Monday, January 9, 2012

I DO Take it Personally

I promised last week that I would show you all some of the photos I took all by myself, but I got caught up in wedding stuff and life in general, but as promised here it is. Curtis (the fabulous and hilarious husband) bought me a tripod for Christmas- so I've been excited and a little apprehensive about trying it out on my own. My camera is so basic and ancient that it doesn't have an available remote shutter, but I made it work with the self-timer.

I was really nervous to show up at the park by myself. I was relieved that no one was there. I parked and situated myself as far from street traffic as I could, and tried to just imagine myself as a "real" photographer taking landscape pictures- not some self-absorbed narcissist snapping shots of her daily outfit. Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun. I didn't feel rushed or self-conscious. I was so pleased with this first set of photos that I rushed out to the park the next day ready for a repeat performance. Instead the park was covered up and some random dog and his walker kept trying to creep closer. The "I'm a real photographer" mind-set didn't work and I was incredibly nervous and awkward. Not a usable pic in the bunch. Seriously. I was too worried about what the other people there were thinking about me to enjoy myself and get the job done.

So the teachers at my school had a "homework assignment" over Christmas break. We were supposed to read The Power of ICU, a book explaining how to implement a "No Zero Policy" at the high school level. I'm not going to bore you with the nitty, gritty, but I read and highlighted REPEATEDLY the idea that as a teacher "I can't take it personally when a student doesn't do work for me" and that" it's not about me." These are very hard concepts for me to embrace in my teaching life and in my personal life. I take everything to heart. Who knew I was so sensitive?

My husband used to call me "Little Miss Take Offense" and I think the nickname is pretty self-explanatory. Every sideways glance is someone judging. Every laugh in the hall is directed at me and what I'm wearing. Every furtive glance down at a cell phone is a secret text message to someone about me. When I first started teaching, I was super concerned with my students "liking" me. It's really hard sometimes to separate your adult self from your teenage self when you are working in a high school (I think those difficulties are compounded for me because I teach at my alma mater and my ghosts seemingly haunt the halls). It's a second chance at high school!

But then students don't like you (well, me, but I'm trying to be hypothetical). They talk about you. They complain about you. The use of social media is both a wonderful thing and a dangerous thing, especially in the hands of teenagers. Everything is an opportunity for drama. I've taken major steps in the past year to separate myself, and to not take things as personally. While it is incredibly tough, I know it's for the best. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. As I spend this year working towards my goals and aspirations, I am going to try to stop taking things personally- both at school and with the blog. At school, I will remind myself I am there to teach, not to make friends. With Hems for Her, I will not take it personally when people and companies I tweet don't respond or emails go unanswered. It doesn't mean they are purposely snubbing me because they think I suck, even if it is what it feels like.

It's a long road, but I'm determined to not take things personally, well, except my pictures... See how I tied all that together?


Mamafrost76 said...

I'm proud to call you daughter-in-law! I am blessed... You are doing a great job on the blog. I learn more about you each time.

Kristin said...

Girlfriend, you and I are cut from the same cloth. I've ruined many a relationship because of taking things too personally, or thinking everything is a snub on me. This should probably be my goal this year too. I've tried to work on it, and I've gotten better, but every once in a while those sneaky feelings will creep back up. The one place I don't have that problem is with the blog. I've found so many supportive people, and it's been wonderful.

Keep writing like're helping me!!

Carrie said...

Wow - lovely photos! The lighting is spectacular. :) I haven't ventured out into public to take photos yet, so I admire your bravery as well. :)

Feathers & Freckles said...

Yay! I'm so happy to see these photos! You did a fabulous job and I LOVE the background :)

I am with you 110% on all of this. I am very hard on myself and take things very personally as well. Sometimes I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that there will always be people that don't like something about me or what I do - and that's ok. It's part of life.

Kathy Haynes said...

I love your photos!

Courtney @ Cookin Up Life said...

Yah! I am so happy I found your blog and met you this weekend :) Your pictures are beautiful... great job!!

Porcelain Complexion said...

Well done, you did a great job with your tripod :)
I love that blue on you, it's such a great colour.
Teenagers are cruel at the best of times, they don't deserve the attention.
To thine own self be true xo

zetta said...

I hope this doesn't come off as rude or too personal but I was very curious where you buy most of your clothes and what size you are? I think you are beyond beautiful, and an inspiration, really and I believe we are close to the same size and I could sure use some fashion tips! Thanks.

Katie said...

Store sizes fluctuate so much, but I fit in 14-16 depending on the store. I usually shop at Old Navy and Kohl's because I am definitely shopping on a budget, but they both have lots of selection and don't cost a lot of money. Feel free to email me if you want!

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