It’s not easy. Always being the one there for everybody. You get the feeling of, “who is there for me?”  So often we find ourselves the ones who have to put on a happy face for the kids. The ones who have to get the job done because frankly, it won’t do itself. We have to be the ones persevering despite our thoughts and feelings. We cry alone, wipe away the tears, take a deep breath and take Toby to practice. We cook the dinner and feed the family while our insides feel like they might just collapse at any moment. Is this what it means to be a mom? Nobody ever tells you about it. Our own mothers didn’t tell us about it. It’s like the dark secret nobody talks about. Sure loads of moms have their family and friends to whine to when their food processor breaks or their pet gerbil dies. They have someone there to help shoulder the pain, but what about the rest of us? What about those of us who are not the social archetype? Where do we turn when we hurt?

I’ll tell you. We turn inside. We focus on what keeps our lives normal, we do that and do it well. We smile when we want to frown. You’ll see us throw ourselves into our work, our kids and our family. We do so to keep our sanity. We are not avoiding you, we are trying to save ourselves. So next time one of your cooky friends stops talking for a bit, or doesn’t know what to say. Think about what they may be trying to shoulder.  It’s nothing personal. We can only take so much at one time.


Photography: Art VS Product

You’re an artist, you see people in your local group looking for photographers… you message or post your services. You contact the potential client, explain your prices and everything seems good. Then you never hear from them again. What happened?

A week or so later you see the same client posting all of their photos from another photographer. Now you feel like a loser. Like your work wasn’t good enough.

That’s not the issue. That particular client wasn’t looking for art. They were looking for pictures.


Some people treat photography like it’s another Jamberry, MaryKay or Scentsy business. They grab a good camera and if they have the disposable income, they grab some good lenses and call it a day. They are now a professional photographer.

This works for them. This works for their clients. There is nothing wrong with it.

The issue is when creative people, artists, and dreamers who look at photography like an extension of their very soul get pushed to the bottom of the pile. They usually cost more. They spend more time on their craft. They work for hours perfecting and fine tuning their skills. They focus on their work…. Really FOCUS. They FEEL what they create. It’s not just another job. They end up taking it personally, as though something is wrong with their work.


It is frustrating to compete with them I know. Usually, it’s a thread…. someone looking for a photographer. They want an affordable photographer that has a quick turn around. Specials, deals and percentages off. They want a (Scentsy, Jamberry, 31 gifts, Avon, Body by Vi) seller. That’s what photography is to them. It’s another thing to buy.


Those are NOT your clients.

Your clients seek you out. They want your vision. They look at you as an artist. They are willing to pay a premium for a premium product.


If you have any doubt about this, go look at some of the most famous successful photographers. Look at their work. Look at their prices. I guarantee you they are not posting in groups about their BOGO deals and offering to do weddings for $100. They offer a unique product. They aren’t offering 100’s of photos in both color and black and white ran through a quick batch edit. (Imagine trying to artistically hand edit 100 photos and have them to your client in 2 days)


We need those people. They are not “faux-togs,” “cheapies,” or even bad photographers; just a different point of view. They offer a service much like those vendors in the mall or the Direct TV people in Walmart. It’s usually quick and easy and it makes them money. It works for them and the clients they attract.

For an artist, this is good. It weeds out the people you are not working for. It’s not competition. Walmart is a huge company that offers good prices on goods. Then you have Whole Foods which offers a higher quality, higher prices, fewer goods. Neither is struggling to find customers nor are they fighting each other for them.

You may find yourself doing the cheaper work for a while and that’s ok. You have to start somewhere. Eventually when you find your special place in the art world, you will see that the Whole Foods customers are knocking on your door. Those are your clients. They want art and are willing to pay for it and appreciate it.

If you don’t appreciate and respect yourself as an artist, nobody else will either.
Know your worth.


I envied her. Her ability to escape. She was able to leave and head toward the light. While my strength kept me behind I still felt the pull of that long warmth. Begging me to reach out for it. Would that be the only thing to come? Days pass, time goes by and nothing changes. It’s all still the same. I envied her. She got out. Everything stopped and she was finally free. Free from pain and doubt and self-loathing. I envied that.


Taking Control.

A while back, my youngest son comes into my room crying. He asks me to come with him. He likes to Skype with his friends from school so I thought nothing of it. Apparently he had found a friend he didn’t know from school, another boy around his age, to play Minecraft with. This boy along with 2 others were bullying my son. I read the texts back and forth and was not too happy with what I saw.

While sitting there, the boy “skyped” my son. So I answered. (note, neither have their webcams on). I hear a young voice pop up and I say hello, that I’m the mom and I don’t appreciate him harassing my kid.

He proceeds to curse at me and then tells me I “sound like an 80 yr old woman.” I, of course burst out laughing because it was so…. dumb. I told him thank you, and goodbye.

Here comes in the difference between being a bullied CHILD and a “bullied” adult: I then went in and blocked the contacts. I then deleted the contacts.  I am an adult, so I took control. I then asked him…. “Who are these people to you?” My son had felt helpless, he is a child. It’s to be expected. As adults, WE control how we feel. WE control who we listen to. WE control how we react.

Tears still in his eyes, though a little less so after the eruption of laughter….. he asks me how to deal with this. The thing is, he is bullied all the time. At school, online etc.. I tried to explain to him that when you think for yourself, and march to the beat of your own drum, people feel threatened by that. They don’t like it. Since the dawn of time, those who are different have been persecuted for it. He really enjoys being in his own world and I commend him for that. He has his very own story line and he isn’t afraid to speak up. As his mother, it is my job not to “fix” it all for him, but to aid him in getting a hold of the situation. Yes, I step in when needed, but I won’t be able to fight his battles forever.


My Story

I have become so accustomed to being “hated” on, it surprises me to have anyone actually take the time to get to know me. I grew up being pushed around, having my hair pulled (I grew up with Shirly Temple curls), being called ugly, fat, weird etc. Groups of kids would wait at the bus stop after school to “beat me up.” I once was pushed around and picked on so badly on my bus, I ended up having a panic attack. My mom had to work to support us so nobody was really there to “defend” me. I had to learn on my own. Looking back, I was that little girl who picked out her own clothes did her own hair and her own thing. I didn’t like to take my shoes off, I wasn’t very fond of people seeing my feet. This made for difficult nap times in Kindergarten, time-outs were often. I was bossy. It was my way or the highway. I had a temper too. I wanted to do things myself. To put it frankly, I was a real pain in the ass. I was also quiet. Reserved. Lived in my own head. The perfect victim.

By high school, the bullying was just a day to day thing for me. I ignored it. Read my books on the bus, retreated into my own mind for comfort. One day in Drama class, I happened to see one of the boys who bullied me sitting alone. My curiosity got the better of me and I went over and quietly asked him, “why do you pick on me?”

He told me, “because you look like you can handle it. I’m expected to be this big ‘jock’ and to be popular, so I do it to get a laugh from my friends.” I understood, I was shocked. It was literally as though he was hoping I’d ask so he could just rid himself of the guilt. That day on, he never bullied me the same way again. We actually “teased” each other more than anything. No, we never became friends, but I understood. It was no excuse by any stretch of the imagination. Bullies are people too. Something drives them to do what they do. Whether it’s low self-esteem, family expectations or just fearing what they don’t understand.

Not everyone can “handle” it though. I had far worse things to deal with so the bullying was breeze when put into perspective. It helped me release those feelings of “sorrow” when people were mean and replace them with more curiosity as to why they behaved the way they did.

In the long run. Learning how to react to bullying as a child, helps as you get older. The problem is, not every child has a good support system to help them deal with it. Every person is different. I let my kids know to be there for those who might be bullied. Stand up for them and offer them support. As adults, we should do the same. Instead of attacking others, we should try to understand them instead.