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Permission to speak

Can I be honest with you? I mean really honest...the don't-read-back-over-it-after-I'm-done-writing-this-or-I'd-end-up-never-posting-it kind of honest?  I think I heard a nod all the way from Leslie in Africa, so I'm going to take that as a general consensus. :) Thanks.

Whether it be through blogs, facebook, or some other media outlet...I've found myself feeling a bit..."intimidated" isn't even a strong enough word..."inadequate", maybe...to speak.  To write.  I look at people's lives, their pictures, read their stories...experts in the field, whether that be in decorating, photography, fashion, cooking, or life.  I can mistake what was meant for inspiration and instead, I set it as a mental road mark, that once I've hit their level of expertise, I'll have something worth sharing.

I keep waiting for my life, my business, my images, all to be perfect so I can get the nod that what I've got to say means something.  That I've got a success story to share with you.  I want a 10 step power point on a "how to" do life successfully.  I don't have that story or the power point.  Instead, I've got a lot of mistakes along the way, things I wouldn't do again, rejections, learning to develop a tough skin, and in-between those, you see the pictures I post.

I guess I feel caught somewhere between those who wonder why I write because I know so little and those who mistake edited pictures for a life full of glamour and perfect lighting.  The one side keeps me from speaking...the other side keeps me from being genuine.  I don't know which is more difficult.  But like most everyone...I live somewhere far in the middle.

I'm convinced that people like Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey made their billions on the very idea of giving people the permission to speak.  No matter who you are.  Some do it very little. Others? With reckless abandon.  I often find myself staring at a blank Blogger post...wondering what to write.  In my mind, I see a busy world...and by hitting that first stroke on the keyboard, I'm tapping on my figurative podium.  As people click into my blog, I hear the room silence as people turn to look who tapped...and there I stand and here I sit.  Looking for the permission to speak.  On what?  I know very little and am an expert at nothing.  I look around for that nod...and I get it from those who like me, aren't perfect.  Who are doing life with scars in their past, mistakes in their day, and a need for great grace to do better.   I write to those who would rather live with wrinkles and stretch marks because of the experience that brought them than to be without.

I love you, my dear readers, my clients...my friends.  Not because we share perfection...but because you let me both laugh and cry through this blog.  The only vantage point I know to write from is my own.  I'll share what I know and tell you when I don't have a clue as to the answer.  So whether you've been a faithful commenter, shyly "confess" to being a secret reader of my blog, whether you're male or female, we've met or are still going to meet some day...thank you so very much, from the very bottom of my heart, for giving me that permission to share my life with yours.

My love.


leah said...

oh tami. i love you. i love that you have no clue how amazing you are & the extreme talent you have! maybe God's way of keeping you humble. :)

love your honesty & your heart & you.

miss you friend!

Erin said...

Today in Jesus Calling it gave the challenge to see if we wait for the right circumstances in life or if we simply try to give the right response in whatever circumstance we are given. I see you doing the second, and praise God for your willingness to share your heart and what you know. Thanks for being a vessel!
Love and Blessings from JA!

Sarah said...

Love this post Tami. Thanks for being "real" - and I echo Leah's comment.


Kyle and Trish said...

I never read every word of any blog post anyone ever writes. But I did this one, I really enjoy your honesty. - trish

Anonymous said...

I'm one of your closet readers and I'm actually not even going to tell you who I am, but I want you to know that I truly appreciate your blog and the things you write about. I find myself wishing that I could be like you with your sense of humor, honesty, love of life and family and just overall not taking yourself as seiously as I take myself. Thanks for letting us see who you are through your writing!

Janel said...

I don't even know you, but really appreciate your honesty and openness!! Reading your blog through this past year has been an inspiration to me!!! Thank You!!

Rebekah said...

I'm proud of you for having the courage to write honestly.

love ya

Abi said...

Tami, I am going to admit that you are a person that I look up to and sometimes wish to be like! I totally know the feelings you're having and I struggle with the same ones from time to time. You're an inspiration to me and I love how you are able to write, compose a paragraph, and take beautiful pictures! I cannot wait for you to take Jimmy's and my picture!!
Keep on writing!

Anonymous said...

I always read and love what you say and how real you are.
Be true to yourself.

Mindy said...

"Never compare your worst to someone else's best." I was encouraged by this phrase in a Bible Study I did a while ago. It is so easy to see your own inadequacies and compare that to what you see on the outside of someone else. Everyone has a story and I've been so convicted of this over the last year!

At the gym where I work I have seen this one mom come in every week on the night I work. She is stunning, thin, has two cute kids and looks amazing in all her cute work out clothes. Every time she came in I noticed that my guard went up and I would start thinking "my hair looks a mess, my muffin top is completely bulging through my work shirt, I'm sure she is thinking about how ugly I am, etc..."

Well, the other week I asked one of my fellow co-workers about her and what her story is. She told me that she's a single mom, her husband left her and works overseas. They never see him and he won't give her a divorce because he can't afford it. Wow - talk about a punch to the gut. On the outside she looks like she has the perfect little life but the real story is that her life is probably pretty hard. So even though she may look "perfect" on the outside, I wouldn't trade any part of my life with hers.

All that to say Tami, that all of us who know you, think you're great, beautiful and talented! You never know what someone else sacrificed in order to get that great picture you are comparing yours against. God has blessed you and will use your humility, "inadequacies" and vulnerability to honor Him! And THAT is a life worth living and admiring!

Love ya and sorry for the book I wrote. :)

Vanessa at Lynn David said...

I ditto Leah's comment. You probably have no idea that of the 50 or so blogs I subscribe to yours is a favorite, like top 5 favorite. :) I always look forward to your posts!

leisle deisle said...

aw man, i love you, friend. permission granted :)

Anonymous said...

Permission granted! I love your blog and smile when I see it in my reader. And can I just say,this statement of yours -- "I'm convinced that people like Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey made their billions on the very idea of giving people the permission to speak."-- Profound and wonderful just like you :-)

Christen Leigh said...

I love your honesty and I love your blog...thanks for taking the permission to speak. It's a blessing and a joy to be a part of your life from a state away.

Love ya!

Haley said...

Hi Tami!

I loved this post and it really hit home. I love reading your blog and seeing your honest heart! Thanks friend!

There were so many things to this post that spoke to my heart. I love this part that you wrote -
"I guess I feel caught somewhere between those who wonder why I write because I know so little and those who mistake edited pictures for a life full of glamour and perfect lighting. The one side keeps me from speaking...the other side keeps me from being genuine. I don't know which is more difficult. But like most everyone...I live somewhere far in the middle."

This is SO why I struggle with what to write for every blog post!!!

A lot changed for me when I entered into the photography world. I have always struggled with insecurity but this new business we had started seemed to magnify that.

- It is a business that the photography world teaches you to promote yourself and yourself. My thoughts: "What if people think I am bragging."

- It is where you display your work... where so many people view and comment on it. My thoughts: "What if they judge my work that I have put so much time, love and energy into?"

The list goes on... "What if they think I am being greedy because of my pricing?... What if they think I don't know very much?...What if they think I am better than I am? We only blog the best you know. ;) I could go on and on, but I won't. ;)

I still struggle but I am trying to learn to just do my best and glorify God in all I do. Think of all the people you are blessing when it comes to your photography and through reading your blog. You are definitely a blessing to me! I love you! :)

Anonymous said...

This post was beautiful and completely transparent, and how many people feel in various ways. I love you so much Tami! And even though life seems to prevent us from seeing each other as much as I would like, you will always always be a life long friend. Sunita

heysoos said...

i don't know if we've ever met. we have so many mutual friends and you've done photography for lots of people I know...so i've heard about you. i began reading your blog because i truly enjoy hearing the thoughts of other people (and your pictures are gorgeous). in all honesty, i've been intimidated by how creative, cute and all around talented you are. and besides that, I felt slightly like a blog-stalker. (hence why i haven't ever commented).
Anyway...all that blunder of words to say...thank you for writing whatever comes to mind, thank you for sharing the inner-processing that you go through, thank you for being a journeyer.
blessings as you continue on in this crazy whirlwind we call life. maybe one day i could have the pleasure of meeting you for real.

teresa said...

i always love reading your posts ... all of them.

Jane said...

Tears Tami, that's what that kind of honesty and heart brings to me because I can relate so much. I started a blog once, and very quickly became intimidated by how much better other people write and how much more "perfect" there images (and their subjects are). I love you and you make me miss your mom. Until the next time....blessings and prayers your way!! PS I think you are incredible.

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