Dear ‘Anon’.

I received an Anonymous email a couple of days ago, in which a seemingly bad speller,
has berated me for sharing my extremely personal post on PTSD & Anxiety.
He or she has stated that they think it is “unprofessional” of me to share this
information on a business website.
They have also accused me of using it as a “desperate grab for more likes
on Facebook“, and for my clients to “feel sorry for me“.
Although, according to them, none of this matters because my work is “shit
and amateur” anyway and I will “never succeed in this industry“.

For a moment, I did consider taking the post down. Not because ‘Anon’ was
right, but because I thought perhaps others would feel the same way, and
maybe he or she was just someone saying what everyone else is thinking.

But that next night, in my online mother’s group, a friend started a thread
in which we could randomly compliment another member of our group.
I love this stuff. I love the honesty that rolls out as people share what they find
most inspiring about another individual.
We have such an amazing lot of girls in that group, and seeing everyone
confess their love for one another was really special, and I could tell a few of
the members really needed to hear someone say that they were doing a great
job, for being so kind-hearted and genuine, and for overcoming such huge
barriers since we’ve all known each other.
Two gorgeous ladies complimented me by saying they have admired the
way I followed my dream to become a successful photographer, all whilst
learning how to also be a great mum. They said they thought I was talented
and always looked for the beauty in everyone.
One also complimented my humour and strength during a challenging few months.

Two things happened when I read this. First and fore mostly, I felt very
honoured to receive such kind words from two mothers I have looked up to
while navigating this thing called Parenthood. Overwhelmed and blessed.
Secondly, I noted that many other compliments addressed people’s generosity,
their strength for just carrying on when things are hard, and for being calm
and passionate parents.
I realised, that while my compliments were so beautiful and genuine, they also
didn’t address the things about myself that I try so hard to preserve.
My fierce love for my son, despite our rocky times. My willingness to help others
and to make others feel included and welcome. My yearning for a peaceful life for
myself and my family. My sensitive nature and my ability to empathise.
This all boiled down to the fact that I am obviously not portraying enough of the
person I believe I am.
Everyone has a story, and the truth is, that the only story most of you know about me,
is that I’m a Photographer who loves her job, and was lucky enough to travel the world.

With that in mind, I will not be removing my anxiety post.
I was my truest self while writing that post. Every word you read in that, literally hurt
as it exited my head via my heart and fingertips. I am that post. I want to be every post
I write. I want to write honestly and openly, and I want my clients to feel comfortable
with any emotion they may show while we work together, knowing full well that I have
felt it too. So the post stays.
Instead, I’m writing you a letter.

Dear ‘Anon’,
I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you wasted your time reading my post. And I’m sorry that you
found it desperate and unprofessional.
I am not sorry I wrote it, and I will not be removing it.
I’m also sorry you thought it was a grab for Facebook likes. You obviously aren’t an avid
follower of mine. Facebook likes are the least of my worries. If I wanted numbers, I could
buy a bunch of foreign Facebook likes and be done with it. I don’t want that crap. I want
to interact with genuine people with brains full of ideas and hearts full of desire.
I don’t know if you are one of my colleagues in this trying industry, but if you are, you will

understand that I am a brand. I am my business. I am the heart, eyes and shutter of my
business. Why on earth would I hide myself from people who are looking for someone to
understand them? Why would I not share who I am at fear of being known.. when I am
who my clients are booking? I don’t outsource photographers to jobs. I am what you get.
You have said that my work is “shit” and “amateur”. 
My shit and amateur work has led me to adventure around 6 countries, and many of 
our own states and territories. 
My shit and amateur work adorns the walls of many homes around my country, and 
even overseas. I can only assume that means people like it. 
It has led me to win national competitions, and is the sole reason I spoke at a conference
in our nation’s capital, advocating for the rights of those suffering from Mental Illness,
with our government’s finest officials in my support, and the nods of hundreds who “got it”.
It is the reason I am able to stay at home with my beautiful and happy son, and not
have to work a Monday to Friday 9-5 job.
It has allowed me to meet incredible and inspirational people from all walks of life. 
It helped me buy my first house at 21 years old, have the wedding of my dreams at 24,
and maintain a healthy married life while welcoming our son into the world in 2012.
It has given me true and enlightening friendships.
But hey, despite all of that, I guess I’m unsuccessful.

I’ll give you a simple piece of advice – Let go. 
Whatever you’re holding on to, it isn’t healthy. There are so many great things in this 
world, and more than enough to share. I’m not a threat to you, you don’t need to worry.
What I do, has absolutely nothing to do with you. But I’m still sorry.
I’m sorry you are insecure. And I hope you find peace soon that allows you to move on.

Signed,
The Shit, Desperate, Unprofessional Amateur. 

 

8 Reactions

  1. rebecca

    woohoo! go you!! do you really want clients or readers like that anyway?? This is your personal space on the web… write whatever you like! “You know your on the right track when people haters, hate you” 😉

  2. Cath

    It is probably your innate ability to empathise that not only makes you an accomplished photographer, but also connect with your clients on a level that creates such warmth in your ‘product’. If only all photographers and all people had your level of empathy, the world would be a far better place.

  3. Gery Seville

    So proud of you right now. Independent, goal focused, successful and surrounded by family and friends that love and support you. To be successful means you have to try. No try = no success. I have tried to instill in my children that ‘you can if you think you can’ which is why every night we would say to our sleepy kids ” you are confident and courageous, decisive and enthusiastic, happy, honest, healthy and loving”. The proof is in the pudding. MWAH

    • Krystle Quinlan

      And “we have a perfect memory”. Love you Dad! x

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