If Facebook life is perfect, our real ones are too right ? Part 2

Sadly, everyday I spend way more time on social media than I probably should however, I also spend a ton of time on phone calls, texts and sometimes when time permits….coffee with friends.

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. The gift is yours. It is an amazing journey. And you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life rely begins.”

– Bob Moawad

 I love this quote.  I love it because, I get it finally.  I am almost there, to the point of really ensuring my life is my own.  The scars and all.

In my previous post I shared the story behind my most liked photo, to kinda show how imperfect that photo is, even though I was proud of the end result.

Today, I want to discuss how I compare myself to others.  This is where Social Media makes us all think we are not good enough. What you read going forward it also why I need a break from Facebook.

BLOG 4
People on Beautiful Vacations…compare, why can’t I have a trip that looks that much fun ?

 

Facebook and 3 am.

 Here is yet another night, 3:00 am, I am bored and no longer interested in editing photos.  What is Facebook land up to ?  Let us take a look.

Oh man, “he” is really kicking ass at the gym, I wish I could have abs like him, hell I’d even settle for toned arms, too bad my strength is only cardio.

Haha, look at how cute their little human is, too cute for words.  Mom and Dad look so happy as newer parents.  Hmm, am I really getting to old to have kids?  Geez I will be 39 soon.  Of course, I have to actually date to be able to make a tiny human of my own.  I love kids, meh, maybe one day but I would love to have a child look at me with eyes full of love.  OK, anyway…

Oh wow, she is looking stunning.  Love that smile.  Maybe, no, can’t ask her out, far from her type.

BLOG 3
Oh, to have someone to hold like this ….Maybe.

Look at that photographer !!I love this persons work, their photography is something I am just amazed by, I need to learn how to take shots like that but just don’t have time.  Seriously, wow, I just spent an hour looking through their portfolio, mine is good but definitely not to the talent level of him/her.

Scroll, scroll, scroll…… Looks like some people did some fun stuff today.  I am kinda boring.  I edited, I read, napped like a cat again, enjoyed a little sunshine but stayed in Calgary.  Sometimes a camping invite or hike would be nice.  Maybe I should be the one inviting.

I really should call  him/ her.  Meh, they’d be too busy with their family to hang out.  The joys of being a single person when all your friends have young families or new boyfriends/ girlfriends.

I hate being so damn busy, but….ugh, more free time would be just nice to try a few of these things that he is doing.

Oh look, she said I am an awesome guy, inspiration.  Can’t see why she’d say this.  I am just me, always have been, no one special, just someone who wants to see others smile, just a guy always trying to be better.  Just Me.

BLOG 1
Just me, always finding ways to smile.

 

Why do we do this ?  Why do we compare? 

OK, so ya, those are thoughts I have had when looking at Facebook.  Other things that happen at 3 am.  Let’s just say it is a lonely hour,  In fact it is when I feel most alone.  No one to call, no one to go home to, just me.   It is the time when I  am jealous of those who have someone to sleep beside.

 So when I look on Social Media,  I begin to question my self worth, my level of exciting and my mind drives forward thinking of ways to make my life exciting again, in a sense so others may notice.  I think I am boring, I don’t go out much, I get more exhausted than I show, I cat nap and get social anxiety.

My goal going forward is not to compare my life to those around me.  It won’t be easy.  Just like those around me, I know others compare themselves to me and think my life is always happy.  Now, to be clear, overall I am happy but I am not living my life for me in the way I want.

BLOG 2

I have said to others who have come to me upset or falling into bad habits, that if you don’t like it, change it.  Time to take my own advice.

I am ok with being imperfect.  What I am not ok with is not living my life with passion and desire and rather than doing something about it, I sit here, compare and think I am just not good enough, smart  enough, creative enough or talented enough.

 Next time you are online and comparing your life to others, just remember someone is comparing their life to yours.

 

I would love to hear your stories of comparison.  Will you set a goal like me to stop it ? 

 

Mini

 

 

 

The Selfie Project Part 3- Unexpected Inspiration.

Recently Updated1

Ending on a good note.  The photo a day project.

When you take photos of yourself for 12 months straight or do anything that catches attention from people, unexpected things can happen.

I knew people would roll their eyes, maybe mock me ( which of course, did happen.)  I knew different people would like my photos ( they did.)  I knew people would say they liked the photos and make kind comments ( some did.) The one thing I did not know…..

There were a few who saw the photos and never said anything.  Until it was over.  I Inspired some people unknowingly.

4 private Facebook messages and 2 texts that went back and forth for a while.

48

“I am really going to miss your pictures, they made me smile each day and made my day better, especially when I was feeling like crap.  Then, there was your face, smiling.”

“I never commented on your photos but I looked at them each day.  It was nice to see someone smile , even knowing that you probably had some bad days.  You still smiled, I liked that.” 

“ Your smiling face made my hard days better, I am going to miss that.”

“Mark, you inspired me to smile.  I had some sucky days and kept thinking, he’s smiling, so I could try.  Knowing you and talking with you every few days, I knew not each day was good and you told me that this photo thing was hard but yet, you still tried every day.”

“You are a great guy, have a nice smile, you are inspiring.  For selfish reasons, I wish you would keep doing the photos.  I had some hard days, you helped.”

“I saw you’re not going to keep posting your daily selfie. Oh no! I was enjoying them! I hope you had a good year and looks like you’re doing awesome staying healthy!”

Recently Updated2

I didn’t embark on this project to inspire anyone, in fact, that is the LAST thing I thought would happen.  I am not one to take compliments well, nor do the words “ Inspiration or inspirational” make me comfortable.  They make me squirm actually.  I have never once thought of myself as inspiring.  I am just me, trying my best to live my life better and trying different things.  If someone gets inspired or I make someone’s day then I guess I am doing something right. 

I did love hearing that I made some people smile.  That, I am ok with hearing.  I strive to make people smile or laugh.  I love smiling, it is my favorite haha !

So what does “ Unexpected Inspiration.” teach me ? 

You or I may not strive to actively inspire but our actions, even the ones that seem crazy or dumb can affect others, motivate them, make their day or inspire them to just smile even when it is hardest for them to do.

Unknowingly people are watching our every move, even more so since the invention of social media.  What you do or say can and will impact others just by being you. 

My advice ?  Keep being you because being you is authentic and awesome. That is what I strive for.

 

Mini.

The Selfie Project- Part 2. The Bad. Narcissist.

The Selfie Project Part 2-  The Bad. Narcissist

 

Recently Updated1

I like to end things on a good note so, I have decided to write about the bad before the good.  Which will be part 3.

When you take photos of yourself for 12 months straight you are bound to face criticism or get mocked.  Heck, nowadays anything you do consistently and publicly will have it’s trolls.  I have definitely faced this by a few individuals and one in particular felt it necessary to comment on almost every photo and then not explain why. 

I did receive messages from a few people that my photos were annoying, narcissistic. Some went as far to say they were getting sick of seeing my face daily.  Even people who I was not associated on Facebook with sent messages ( good and bad.)  That mostly has to do with the fact that I made all of my posts  public.

Was I pissed ?  No, not me.  This project further proved to me I am a long way away from fully feeling total emotion.  On the plus side I was able to think logically and not let things get to me.

What always seems to surprise me and I am not sure why, is how people can be so rude and disrespectful even to people they know.  Now, I realize of course that not everyone I know on Facebook is a friend and ya, maybe at some point in my life those people may have been friends or a part of my life but are not now.  So most of their comments don’t really matter nor do the thoughts of people I don’t know.

Because I am not a believer in public shaming I will not name on my blog the person who felt it was ok to comment on almost every photo saying “ You are a brave man.” Or giving me a generic, elaborate story as to why or why not he kept commenting.  

However, I will say this……  He crossed lines when questioned about why he did it.  He insulted a friend, a close friend who I have the utmost respect for.  A friend who decided to defend me.  In messages he said I need to get her Laid and for her to “calm her tits.”  This is something that is not acceptable in any way, shape or form.

Insult, criticize and call me all the names you want, I can take it.  I can take verbal abuse…wel,l at least right now because I feel nothing.  Insult my friends and that is where I draw the line, especially when it is behind their back.  If you don’t like being called out for your childish acts by a friend of mine defending me then shut your mouth and hold your insults.

Damn rights I am brave, I am brave to have tolerated some disrespect for almost a year.  I am brave because I do put myself out there knowing that not everyone will be pleased with my actions.

In conclusion.  I dislike negative things, therefore this post is shorter than most. I take chances, not always smart ones but I would rather fail doing something that sit on my butt and do nothing.  If I succeed at a project, then great and if I fail and I show that it is ok to fail every once in a while then I am ok with that too.  This photo project in my mind was a success even with the criticism and disrespect I received which leads me to my next post…..Unexpected Inspiration .

Mini

The Selfie Project- Part 1

For one year I took a photo of myself once per day.  I only missed 3 days.

Recently Updated1

 

As a Photographer I ask people to stand in front of my lens and for brief moments show themselves as natural as possible in order to “get the best shot.”  Many times as these people are getting ready to pose for the camera I hear about their insecurities, physical insecurities.  It is my job to make them comfortable.

26

That last sentence is why I did the photo a day project.  If I am to make people comfortable with their insecurities I had to become comfortable with mine.   I needed to see myself beyond my thoughts about my physical imperfections.  I have always disliked seeing myself in photos.

17

I actually had larger plans with these photos.  I wanted to be super creative and do fun shots but after the first few I quickly realized that me in raw, authentic form is what was needed to make this work.  I did my best to tell a story from my day and not all the days were exciting or funny.  In fact most days were completely uneventful, some tough, some quite fun.

11

In the beginning it was easy.  Smile, take photo, add the date, the story or blurb and post to Facebook.  As the weeks passed it became harder because I began to do the things I had sometimes read about.  Instead of taking one photo then posting, I began to take multiple.  I tried to find the best angle, hide the bags under my eyes maybe limit my double chin.  I would waiver back and forth and some days I would only take the single shot.

25

Side note:  Before I began this project I was perfectly happy with my appearance, my smile and who I was.

23

It was when I began taking multiple photos before posting the perfect shot that I began picking apart my appearance.  I smiled everyday in each shot except I think 2.  Those 2 were days I was exhausted, too exhausted to even smile.  It doesn’t mean I wasn’t happy those days, just tired. 

13

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did I not like ?  My sometimes lazy eye, the bags under my eyes, my scar under my left eye, the cyst I have under my jaw or how exhausted I looked somedays. I hated when I could see how dry my skin was on certain days or the scars I have from small facial lacerations.  I hated that no one would really see what was going on behind my eyes, I hated even more that I did not have the courage to talk about it.   I started to not be comfortable with how I looked.  This is not acceptable.  We are all imperfect and yet we compare ourselves to what we think may be perfection.

 

3

The smiles.  Oh the smiles.  The good and the tough days I still smiled in the photos.  Why ?  That is a simple answer.  Everyday, no matter the joys, challenges or feelings of loneliness, I had a reason to smile.  The reasons differed but each day I could smile.  The biggest reason to smile is that I was given each new day whether I deserved it or not.  I was able to smile because each day I was trying to be better a better person than the day before.  Some days I succeeded, some I failed. But I smiled.

Recently Updated2

 

So what did I learn?  So, so much my friends.  Good, Bad and Ugly.  I could probably write a small novel about my lessons and leanings.

 

5443

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I learned just how much one person can really beat themselves up for thier own perceived flaws and how outwardly we can show people how much we like ourselves, our appearance and our lives but inside we question those same things.

22

 

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I learned just how easy it is to manipulate our social media presence. 

Through photos, stories and daily posts that our friends see and read we can make our lives seem so damn amazing, meanwhile, the reality is that many of us are lost and our lives are not as amazing as they appear. 

Why would we show our real and Facebook friends anything other than perfection online ?   There were only a few who were able to notice my less authentic days through my photos.

2447

 

I learned that it is ok to be authentic. Yes at times I was criticized but who cares, I was me trying to be me.

 

25

16 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authenticity. 

I did my best not to allow myself to create a perfect presence in these photos but I also bet very few people would really know the difference between my authentic smile and the one I forced on the harder days.  With each story that accompanied the photo I shared what I was doing, where I was ( sometimes) and a few of who I was with.  I was as authentic as I could be.

2841

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Likes. 

After taking time to review each photo before writing this it was clear to see it was almost the same people liking my photos each time.  I found at times I loved getting a lot of likes, it was rush and I actually felt maybe this wasn’t such a bad project.  There is a whole other piece to the likes that I will share in another post.

3731

Unexpected Impacts. 

Beyond the obvious likes and comments that regularly happened something else pretty awesome happened.  Something that I was unaware of until the photos stopped.  There were people who never liked a single photo, who didn’t comment once but made me aware of how much they appreciated and enjoyed seeing my photos daily.  One person going as far to say that seeing me smile each day helped them get through some of their harder days.  There is more to that story and I will be sharing in another post.  Whether you know it or not, people are watching even when you think no one is.  You can impact someone by just being you.

3229

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People will mock you. 

People will write unpleasant messages, people will block and remove you from their online presence. People will even post almost daily, in a mocking way and not explain in a clear manner why it was important for them to take that 20 seconds to post under your photo.  They didn’t seem to see how it was disrespectful and wrong Even with the mocking posts I still saw true friends who stuck up for me.  Good from the bad right ?

5143

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project challenged me, made me happy and at times made me dislike myself but in the end I own every part of it and what it took to actually complete it.  It taught me that I need to keep doing odd stuff that people might find odd or intriguing because it gets me away from my comfort zone. 

In the end I have to say this.  I can’t promise I will never look at a photo of myself and be slightly insecure but I can promise that I will see beauty in my smile and what it can do, if even for a moment in mine or someone else’s life.

4933

38 By 38 “To Do” List- Part 1

Inspired by Lindsay Smallwood, a friend who did this last year and blogged about it. I have decided to create my own to do list.

You can check out her blog here.  http://30for30pro.blogspot.ca/ 

What is it?  It is a list of 38 things I WILL accomplish by my 38th birthday on August 19, 2015.

Without further delay, here is the first 18 things on my to do list.  But first a Picture.

38LIST

1. My first Tattoo by my friend and artist Ashla Bee.

Ashla works for Atticus Tattoo and I have seen her work online and love her talents. I want to support friends in their endeavors and her work is amazing. I recommend you check it out their Facebook Page at:  https://www.facebook.com/atticustattoo

2. Complete my first Half Marathon post Heart Attack.

My goal is the Melissa’s Half in September. Physically I am ready for this. Mentally, I will be strong enough. I love running and love the half distance. This will be more challenging than the first one I ever completed.

3. Take a homeless person to lunch.

I actually have a particular homeless person in mind that I saw everyday close to my work downtown. I want to do this to be able to share an experience with someone who may not get a chance to have a “Fancy” kinda meal and actually listen to whatever they wish to talk about. There are so many stories behind people’s eyes.

4. Photograph and interview 10 random people who I do not know.

On the spot interview. This may be more difficult than I think. I wish to do this to test my ability to connect my passions of photography and people. I will only grow as long as I keep being comfortable approaching new individuals.

5. Take a Sushi making class.

I have wanted to do this for ages and just never got around to it. I would love to be able to make sushi from home but I want to learn from a sushi chef first.

6. Kiss a girl underwater.

Yep, you read that right. Whether in a pool or lake or ocean, I want to do this. Being single may make this tough to achieve. Any women I know want to attempt this with me? I think this would be just a fun thing to do.

7. Bake a birthday cake for a friend.

OK, I am no baker and I have attempted this and failed once. I want to try this one more time.

8. Celebrate my 37th birthday.

Those who know me well, know I hate doing things for my birthday. Not sure why but I just do. I hate the attention I think. After having a Heart Attack, I have reason to celebrate this next one for I almost did not get to my 36th.

9. Volunteer at a race.

I love race volunteers and I know how much many of them have meant to me in the brief moments I see them when I am running. Whether it be at a water station or giving out a medal, I want to experience the other side of a race.

10. Write 2 articles for www.mindbodygreen.com .

I love this website and read it regularly. I find the articles fun and inspiring and interesting to myself in creating a healthy me. I want to be a contributor at least twice.

11. Write 3 letters to friends and mail them.

Letter writing is a lost art nowadays and I cannot remember the last time I did this. So now I want to send three friends a letter with a little something special inside. I am curious as to whether they will write back.

12. Spend a night at the Palliser Hotel.

I have always wanted to do this for as long as I can remember. It is historic and a big part of Calgary. I want to feel like a king for a night by staying there. It is a hotel that is out of my price range usually but I am going to save to experience The Palliser in all her glory.

13. Say yes to everything for one day within reason.

There will be no shenanigans that will endanger or humiliate myself or others but I will accept challenges throughout the day and absolutely write about it.

14. Buy a completely tailored suit.

I have lost weight and become healthy. My current suits are too big and I wish now to buy my first completely tailored suit to match my body type. Trust me, buying a suit regularly for a guy my size is always a tough thing to do. I am awkward and I am ok with that.

15. Walk to Banff National Park and back.

Crazy idea ? Absolutely ! This is a personal challenge. I want to test myself and this is a somewhat safe way to do this. I may never walk or run across Canada ( or maybe I will ) so this is my physical challenge to me. May turn this into a fundraiser.

16. 1 month, 1 random act of kindness per day.

I am a giver, it is what is in my nature. I have been blessed many times in the last year so I want to pay it forward. I want to be anonymous and hopefully not found out 

17. Read 25 books to completion.

I love reading and sometimes I will start a book and forget to come back to it. My goal is to finish each book in full.

18. Hike Sulphur Mountain in Banff.

I have not done this since High school but remember how much I enjoyed it. It is physical challenge #2 on my list.

19. Disconnect from all social media and non work related email for one week.

I am a self confessed Social Media whore and spned more time online than is probably healthy. When I went to Cuba in April, internet was limited and I loved the few days I had with no outside contact. I found it enabled me to ease some stress and really pay attention to what was around me. Including the people who were with me. 7 days. I can do that right ?

 

What you have read here are the first 19.  Stay tuned tomorrow for the next 19.

 Life is about adventure my friends and now it is time for me to experience a little.

Mini

 

 

 

Behind the Lens. My Eyes See

Banff 072

 

Behind the Lens is where I love to be, I wish not to be the star.

 

LORRAINE 417

 

 

I see the beauty in a woman’s eyes, her smile. 

see the smirk when a man looks at his girl with love and admiration, happiness. 

I see the hearts of two people in love.

 

 

 

I see the pain of those secretly suffering, afraid of the world. 

I see the story behind the smile.

I see excitement at success.

 

I see the love of a family and friends.

July 2013 1331

I see connection of those around me.

 


IMG_0529

I see desire of one to be happy.

I see pain in our world, loss.

I see the imperfections that really are perfect in their own way.

I see a beauty in others that they may not see.

I see hope.

 

I see the innocence of a child’s way, unbridled joy and excitement. LEEMER

CASSEY 1008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I see a parents love for their child.

 

 

MELS WEDDING 408

 

 

 

I see the love shared between two people.

 

 

 

 

I see God’s great creations in their true nature and look on in amazement.

FlowersZoo 332

 

 

033B

 

 

I see the uniqueness of architecture

 

 

I see a world beyond what the news tells us.

 

I see the real you.

I see my dreams.

I see the secrets you hold, the secrets I hold.

I see you for who you are, which may be better than you perceive of yourself.

292e

 

I see the strength inside people.

I see the beauty in every moment. Little moments.

 

 

These things I see,  brings me joy.

 So I stay

Behind the lens.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...