This week I asked myself the same question I ask myself every week: why do I participate in the 52frames photography group? It’s not like I’ve made friends there. It’s not like anyone else in the group really even notices my photos. It’s not like my photos are as good as everyone else’s. I very rarely get feedback from anyone. I don’t feel as though my photography is getting better. So why do I put myself through the stress of getting a photo only to not be recognized for my efforts? I don’t know. It’s a symbol of my life in general…not really feeling as though I belong to any group that I participate in. But, I know myself well enough to know that if I skip a week, it’s a slippery slope and before I know it I will have gone 6 months without taking a photo. I want to be good at photography, but it’s not a skill that comes completely naturally to me. To get myself to the next level will take more time than I have right now. So, for now I want to just maintain my status quo, so to speak, with photography.
These thoughts have brought up a lot more thoughts regarding belonging.
Belonging to a group or a tribe. This has been an issue for me as long as I can remember, and it’s why I was drawn to Brene Browns book Into The Wilderness, as she approached that topic in this book. I was disappointed in the book. It did not live up to it’s hype. I expected to come away from the book with ideas and a plan to figure out how to find my tribe. But her book really didn’t go anywhere. It was as if she just ended the book because she became tired of writing it. This was a book I listened to on Audible and the author narrated it and I did really like HER, so I will read more of her work.
As a child I always felt like I was on the outer fringe of any group I was a part of. Within any of my groups there would always be smaller groups/cliques that would form around and without me. This phenomenon has carried into my adult life. As a teen my youth group at church was the same way. I wasn’t devout enough to hang with the holy rollers but not as rebellious as the smokers and drinkers who disobeyed every rule they could…so I stood alone. My curly hair always set me aside from groups of girls. Now as an adult I’m not a mom so don’t belong to that club and am really a complete outsider among most groups of women. If I take a class I find that others in the class pair up and chat with each other around or beside me but not with me, even if I talk to them. Within 52frames all sorts of cliques have formed around and without me. I’ve thought about joining a smaller group but the expectation in these groups is to provide feedback for all of the other members each week. I don’t feel as though I have the time or knowledge to pull my weight in this area, so I have not joined any yet. I haven’t ruled this out though.
I have stopped even trying to find churches because the same thing happens…someone finds out I’m not a mom or that I work full time or that I’m not really a devout holy roller and that I sin differently or more than they do so I’m not included. I have no idea why this happens. Is it a vibe that I give off? Am I sending a message that I really prefer to stand alone? Have I just not found my true tribe yet? Do I subconsciously sabotage friendships before they start? Or is there something fundamentally unlikeable about me? This is my biggest fear. I know that my husband likes me and that the few friends that I have like me but they already know me….how do I bridge the gap between not knowing me and knowing me enough to include me in the group? I find it surreal that in my fifties I still have the same insecurities I had as a teenager. I thought I would outgrow it. I don’t know how to overcome it. Knowing it’s probably not as bad as what I think it is doesn’t help to make me feel differently about it.
Anyway the topic this week for 52frames was “capture motion”. It’s hard to do with an iPhone. I almost grabbed my camera but I planned to only use my iPhone for this group in 2018. If I’m going to do this I’m going to do it according to my plan! I was unable to get a good shot with Fiona in it, so it’s her toy only. I used “live” with a timer for this photo. Online I had found tutorials for using the long exposure filter after the live photo with a timer…but long exposure made this photo too blurry so I didn’t use that.