Let's Talk About the Struggle

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© Mariah Texidor

I am halfway through watching this interview with Marie Folio and Todd Henry about finding your voice, and I became inspired to write about one of the topics they discuss.


Something the author said struck me so hard, it was as if I walked into a glass door. You know its there, but it’s so clear you walk right into it? Yeah, that way. Like those crows in the Windex commercials.


There is so much content on the Internet, it is so incredibly easy to get overwhelmed by all the things we should be reading or listening to. I am totally guilty of feeling this unnecessary pressure to get through my ever growing list of “Things to Read”.


Something I am finding that all of this content has in common, which is touched upon in that video, is that everyone wants a shortcut or a hack to do a million different things. This really isn’t new, there has always been content about “getting rich quick” or trying to gain skills quickly, perhaps without doing the work. However, I feel it is more present than ever as I am in this fluid and ever-changing stage in adulthood.


I won’t say no one (because I am one), but not many people are talking about the struggle. Not many are talking about the fact that while you made something or accomplished something, it was actually really fucking hard. This is a bit of a problem to me. For one, individuals posting their end result without any mention or acknowledgment of the process, possibly creates this idealistic visionary of sorts to their viewers. This is not to say everything has to be a struggle, because there very well may be things that do come easily to some. Second, this lack of acknowledgment kind of fuels this realization that many of us come across: we can do those things (insert person you admire/say you want to be like) does, but when we try to do it quick and dirty and are unsuccessful, we become disappointed and give up. I remind you, so-and-so person you admire most likely worked really hard to get the attention they are getting now. It probably took a lot of time, trial and error to get where they are.


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© Mariah Texidor

Participating in things like #The100DayProject (my project was #100DaysofFeelingbyMariah) and completing four years of college culminating in my exhibited work,You & I and the Shadow Shelfshowed me the importance of the process as well as the struggle in order to create a body of work I am truly proud of.


Here are somethings I learned and will share with you:

  • Envision how you want the end product to look like. Now accept that it will not look exactly like that. I don’t say it in a negative manner, but things manifest over the creation period. Which leads to my next point…
  • Embrace change. Be malleable, pliable, open, etc. With any content you are creating, listen to it and let it flow.
  • Lastly, share your process. Get feedback, open your mind and hear other people’s opinions. Find groups of people you trust to share your work with. Share your in-progress work to the public, to strangers. It’s okay. Remember to take feedback, suggestions, criticism, and praise all with a grain of salt.
  • I lied, the last thing is to be proud of yourself for doing all of the above :-).


It’s hard to be an open book and let people in on projects when they are not “perfect”, definitely not saying it’s easy. However, it will help you grow. It will attract people who appreciate honesty and vulnerability in potential products/work/pieces they many want to buy or share with their network of friends and family. It will bring to attention that you are human, as most of us are, and it takes many steps along the road to get a final product we are proud of.


I am proud to say that I work each day to show that to get to where I want is no easy stroll in the park, and is indeed a struggle. Some days are better than others, some days worse. That’s my whole shtick, ya know? It’s okay to not be okay. You know that quote, it’s about the journey not the destination? Yeah, that’s basically what I am harping on.


Keep pushing and go on, share your struggle. Tell us your story.


With love and encouragement, 

Mariah


P.S. I finished the interview and it has so much more inspiring content worth writing and thinking about as well. I encourage you to watch it yourself!

It’s OK: Follow Your Heart

I just read this blog post written by photographer Tamara Lackey and I am overwhelmed with a sense of drive. She completed a project in Ethiopia that entailed creating a portrait gallery in a particular orphanage. She photographed and hung portraits of each of the children. The sense of happiness and joy those kids and caretakers felt spills out of the words + images displaying “the best gallery opening ever”.

Have you ever felt something so intense it kind of made you want to cry? No? It’s okay, I’m a little over emotional anyhow, haha.

I’m in this groove of things where I am meeting people, photographers, artists, business owners, strangers, etc., and I try to explain what I want to do in the future. Something along the lines of how much I love helping people and want to give back to various communities through my photography, especially my home area in the Bronx, always spews out. Followed by, “I don’t know how I am going to do it or how long it will take me, but I am going to figure it out”. One day at a time I am brewing and making strides to figuring out that “how”.

I wish I was posting this to announce a big grand idea in the spirit of helping someone, but, I am not… yet. I am posting, however, to share that no matter how far fetched or vague an idea may seem, if you feel that intensity in your heart for it- listen and go towards that intensity, feed it. Don’t wait for approval. I am telling you now to go after that idea full force and work towards it! The universe will keep pushing you towards it; That is what I think reading Tamara’s blog post did for me.

Share your ideas and dreams with me by commenting on this post! If you have any ideas for me on what I should do to get me one step closer to accomplishing my dream, also comment below!

With all my support,
Mariah

Photo ©Alijunior Abdelaziz

Do you believe in yourself?

There’s something about believing in yourself that really takes a shit ton of guts. It takes some mastery in self-defense, the ability to turn the other way, and the skill of pressing onward. 


It’s been two months since I graduated from college and I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster– I am just bobbing in an ocean, not sure of how to swim, or if there is a shore in sight, just letting small currents take me to the next big wave.


I have taken the time to pat myself on the back for hitting the ground running with freelancing work, spending time with loved-ones, and attempting to better my health and wellness. However, I tend to forget about emotional wellness. I forget that I have to practice self-defense against the harsh, negative, mind-consuming thoughts of judgement, belittlement, and doubt. 


I remind myself everyday, that I don’t have to do things because “that’s just how it is”, especially when it comes to the job search. I am fortunate to still be in my parents’ home, therefore allowing me to save money, but it doesn’t save me from having to make my own decisions and tough choices (nothing ever will).

So I guess, I am here to tell you that no matter how hard it is, everything happens for a reason. The breakdowns, the beautiful moments, the negative chatter, and the steps forward or back- they all happen for a reason. For me, I think the reason so far (not that we will always know or ever find out), is for me to realize the power of choice. The power of being able to say ‘No’ to certain thoughts and say 'Yes’ to more positive, self-healing ones. The power to, as a few have told me, “lean into” the bad days, and ride the waves. Tomorrow is a new day; a new day to cheer yourself on and continue believing in yourself.

With a shit ton of encouragement,
Mariah 

All images © Mariah Texidor