Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Gratitude....

Once there was a girl and she wasn't sure quite what she was in this life - was she a photographer? Was she an Art School Drop Out? Was she a girl completely lost with no hope of finding her way? In the midst of this confusion she started a blog. She left a comment somewhere and one day people saw her blog, 82 people. It was March 5th 2008.

Gradually more and more people came to the little space she had created and how grateful she was for them. They left kind words, their presence assured her that someone, somewhere was interested in what she had to say, in what she had to share. When she was finally brave enough to share her photos they encouraged her, gently (and some not-so-gently) suggesting that perhaps, just maybe she should think of selling them.

Her boy, who one fateful day became her husband, told her he was proud of what she had created which made her melt a little inside. She didn't realise that making her husband proud was so very important to her.

And then, finally, when her confidence had grown bit by tiny bit she decided it was time to stop dreaming, to stop wondering how and why and when and if and to actually try to be a photographer. And she opened a shop. Because such neatness pleased her, the shop would open one year to the day from her first post.

As a sign of her gratitude to those (that would be you) that encouraged her, she decided to give away a print. She worried and she fretted that no one would want her print. Her dearest online friends told her she was an idiot (in the nicest possible way of course) but still she was scared. She felt fifteen years old again, that age when the fear of rejection is felt most strongly and for days she twitched and panicked and fussed and dithered and worked herself into a terrible nervous frenzy and she ended many days lying in bed chewing her lip while her dear and long suffering husband muttered quietly 'you're an idiot Pix, it will be fine. Now go to sleep'.

She told herself that she would consider the endeavour a success if twenty people left comments. Twenty was a modest number yet plenty to make her feel successful. Yes, she would hope for twenty and celebrate on a grand scale (perhaps with a cupcake) should twenty comments materialise.

And so, she scheduled a post. It had to be scheduled you so for on the first anniversary of her blogging endeavour she would be in London. Actually she would be in Chichester, a land of horses and boats and sunshine and all of life's joys and then on a long country road and then she would be in London. Either way, she wouldn't be at home and she wouldn't be able to write her Great Anniversary Post.

The post announced the opening of her shop and offered a free print to one lucky commentator. And so she held her breath. She waited from Monday when she hit publish to Saturday morning when she knew the post would appear in the wide world and once again she fretted and stewed and well you know the rest.

And then a miraculous thing happened. Twenty people commented, and then twenty more. And then a few more after that. And they wrote such sweet things, such kind things, such encouraging things, things that made her doubts fade away just ever so slightly. And her heart swelled while her breath slowed and her twitching abated. And she was happy and grateful and just a little overwhelmed.

And she thanked them from the bottom of her heart, those people who inspired her and encouraged her and offered her their well wishes. Those people who made her realise that she was a photographer, that she is a photographer. She thanked them. She thanked them more than she could say without sounding terribly terribly acceptance speechy. She thanked them in the third person because to do otherwise made her blush. But she did thank them, oh she really did.



*** The Great Print Give Away will be open until Saturday 7th, when the girl and her boy and possibly their bunnies will devise a method of choosing a winner. So far their ideas have included hats, bingo callers and peanut butter.) ***