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,

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,

All images © Mariah Texidor