“We are our own worst enemy…”
My whole life I have struggled with the idea of self-worth. That struggle of course came out of being raised in the extremely dysfunctional home from which I came. For far too long I embraced the consistent, negative message that had been hammered into me from early childhood that I was “not good enough” and definitely “not deserving.”
Though there have been many times in my past where I received awards or honors for accomplishments, those instances always felt so incredibly surreal and I would not allow myself to become emotionally invested in the moment. Instead I would shrug my shoulders and chalk it up to “luck.” While those around me were celebrating for me, I would fall back into that negative self-talk that surmised I could have done it much better than I did.
Perfectionism… What a highly overrated, most definitely subjective, unnecessary waste of time and energy.
Fortunately, I have been able to face the self-worth issues head on during my “later” adult years and have finally begun to slay that dragon so to speak. The negative self-talk does continue to creep in on occasion, however now I am able to flush it out of my mind the minute it threatens by replacing it with positive words of self-love.
The past few weeks have been an incredible test of this journey for me. My photograph “Tower Bridge Sunrise” was gifted to Nippon Shokken by the Mayor of our city and made its way onto the pages of several local newspapers.
Photo courtesy: City of West Sacramento. Mayor Christopher Cabaldon presents "Tower Bridge Sunrise" to the Chairman of Nippon Shokken.
My series “View of Farmlands,” which I created after winning a public art commission supported by the Yolo County Arts Council and the James Irvine Foundation, is heading out on tour with a March 2nd launch at Gallery 1075.
©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. "Farm Labor" - Riverdog Farm, Guinda, CA. One from a series six from my "View of Farmlands" series.
My “Occupy Oakland” series is being featured on SocialDocumentary.net.
My series "Occupy Oakland" featured on SocialDocumentary.net
On Tuesday of this week, I was honored to meet and film an interview with Rocco Landesman, the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he told me my “View of Farmlands” series was incredible and that I am a very talented photographer.
©Tracy J. Thomas, 2012. All rights reserved. Dani Thomas, Executive Director for YoloArts and Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Then Saturday morning, I received notice that I was chosen to be iPhone Photographer of the Day (out of thousands of artists) on iPhoneArt.com.
My iPhone art featured on the home page of iPhoneArt.com for Artist of the Day.
Today I am smiling widely and have a funny butterfly-like feeling in my belly. This tells me I am finally emotionally vested in these most recent accolades. So I am writing this post with what should have been the giddiness of a shy second grade girl who just received her first Brownie badge; the beaming smile of the 8th grade graduate who did so with honors; the overwhelming pride of the track athlete who just obliterated her half-mile league record; the beaming high school graduate who was the recipient of the largest college scholarship given out that night; and the excited college graduate who just earned her third degree.
This contented photographer and writer proudly embraces the quiet accomplishments of my past that I once so hastily dismissed, and is over the moon excited about my most recent accomplishments and accolades.
“I do deserve this!”… May the positive self-talk continue forever.