My Best Nine on Instagram: Lessons Learned

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My Best Nine on Instagram: Lessons Learned

Like many others, I shared my “best nine photos on Instagram.” Surprised by the results, I took a closer look. I realized that each and every one was taken with my phone, off the cuff… life as it was happening. Many of them were shared because I wanted to share a thought more than I desired to share a particular image. As I studied the compilation and scrolled through my account, I learned a few important lessons.

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Lesson 1: “Loss of Things” does not mean a “Loss of Vision.”

During the summer, I had to make the difficult decision to sell most of my camera gear. I wound up keeping the body and one lens, but my favorite, my go-to, lens I had to say farewell to at the trade-in counter of Adorama. I still miss her. Instinctually, I still grab my camera bag to pull out the long beautiful lens, only to be reminded that I had to let her go months ago.

But that’s life, right? Difficult choices have to be made sometimes just to keep ourselves moving forward. I may falter and stumble, but I will take as many small steps as possible until I am at a point in my life where I can take great big leaps forward! I’ll get there someday.

Cameras and lenses from various points in my life sat on the counter. Each one was where I witnessed memories from a different life form. Some wonderful and life changing. Others tragic and full of life lessons. Beauty was found in both cases because that is what I choose to focus on. Always. Without the gear, I was afraid that I’d no longer be able to truly capture and share the beauty that I see in my everyday life. (What a silly thought!)

My photos are not of the best quality that they could be, but these months have taught me something important. Beauty didn’t disappear because I no longer had the proper means to capture it the way I saw it. It is still there. It is always there, waiting for us to find it even in the most difficult of stages. Do I still miss my lens? Heck yeah! But I’m still as determined as ever to share with you what I stumble upon.

Lesson 2: Ripples of Positivity

Big boulders, small pebbles… it doesn’t matter. Day after day, I make my attempt to toss positivity out there in the world. There are enough places for others to fill their plates with despair and negativity. Long ago, I decided to be a constant source of optimism, hope, and encouragement.

Does this mean that life is all rainbows and lollipops for me? No. Freakin. Way.

But, instead of focusing on the struggle, I focus on my attempt at finding a solution. I focus on the lessons learned. Casting out ripples of positivity into a rapidly moving current of negativity sometimes feels fruitless, but I know that it’s not. Messages arrive, comments are made, and readers who are searching for encouragement arrive at my posts. Casting out each message of positivity, I write them for the ones who need these ripples the most, the ones who I will never even know.

The images that received the most activity from my Instagram account this year, are not necessarily the best photos, but they contain these positive sentiments that I’m casting out into the waters. Discovering that brought me joy, and filled my back up again to keep sharing more.

Lesson 3: Far from Perfect

Perfectly staged, beautifully designed, and eloquently written… that’s not me. Cluttered is how I would describe my desk. Coffee is often spilled. And there are dishes in the sink 80% of the time. Typos slip by in a hurried attempt to get an idea or thought across, but the point is, I don’t beat myself up over them. Far from perfect is where I find myself, and I’m okay with that.

It took me years to get to that point, bidding farewell the strive for perfection. Wincing at first to the “imperfections” I saw in a few of the “best nine,” I took a breath and reminded myself I’m not perfect. Perfection is an unachievable stealer of joy. I get caught up in a wave of it from time to time, but not for long. I am not my mistakes, nor my typos, spilled coffee, or messy desk, and neither are you.

Lesson 4: I am Grateful

Yeah. I really am.

Thank YOU for coming along with me on this incredible journey. The destination is still unknown, but I can say with complete honesty, that it’s been one heck of a ride the past few years! Wonderful things are still ahead of us, friends, and I look forward to sharing each step of the way with you!

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