February 3, 2012

A Little Ditty About More & Enough

Every time I open a new blog post, I should be excited.

After all in that small moment of starting over, I have one big, boundless blank slate of whatever I want it to be staring back at me. The chance to write the story that I want to write. To create the characters that I believe in. If I’ll just have the courage to break away from the plots that have already been taken. The ones that have already been read.

But somewhere between thinking and typing, a thousand other voices rush in from the back corner of my brain. They shout. And shove. And talk over one another. Telling me what I ought to do. Reminding me of the formulas that have worked before. Urging me to ask well, what would this person do… and then do only that. And whatever you do, do not veer off the beaten path. They try to convince me that my story is not good enough. That who I really am is not good enough. That my voice, just as it is, doesn’t deserve to be heard. And guess what….they lie.

Earlier this week I got to talk to a photographer who felt like if she was going to be successful, she had to find a way to be….more. And ohh, don’t we all get the feeling of more? That we have to be more than what we are. Put on more of a front to the outside world with what we think they want to see. Bend and fold ourselves in to a million tiny pieces just to be more like somebody else.

When we were first getting started, I thought if we were going to be like all the people we looked up to we had to dress just like them, charge just like them, talk just like them, shoot just like them, brand and blog just like them. To say all the same things they do. Like all the same things. Deliver the same tag lines. That we had to be those same super outgoing personalities. And say words like rad.

Well guess what. I’m not sure if I’ve ever in the course of my normal day to day had cause to say the word “rad”. So why would I put that out there on the web like I do? Except that I felt like I had to be more.

But the thing is, that kind of “more” rarely adds up to anything that matters. And even if by some chance it could get us to where we’re trying to go, is it worth if we lose us in the process? If we lose the story that only we can tell. Every morning we all wake up faced with our own blank slates.

It’s up to us how we choose to fill them. And I think that’s something to get very excited about.

**This post does not include a picture. It is already enough just as it is.

  1. Gail

    SUCH great words, Mary. Truly.

  2. Deborah Zoe

    This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your heart Mary!:)

  3. Emilia Jane

    Yes to this.

  4. Dede Edwards

    Well said!

  5. Kristen Schueler

    this post is like mac & cheese on a rainy november tuesday!

  6. Lisa Cour

    Always good truth hear! There is a very good reason God made us the way we are….if we spent the time exploring and discovering who that person is, instead of chasing after "them", we’d be so much happier and the world truly would be a better place. Easier to say than do though!

  7. Lisa Mathewson

    AMEN. Thanks for the post!

  8. Cassandra

    Thank you :)

  9. Jennifer

    Once again… a perfectly timed post containing exactly what I needed to here at this very moment in time. I just came away from a moment, where I crossed paths with that first photographer who even put a bug in my head of, "I want to do THAT." Interestingly enough, the same attraction to why I would hire them to photograph my wedding (which was latter cancelled… a story meant to be shared with a bottle of wine…) We now live in the same town. I still admire their work to no end, and folks are always saying, once they meet me and come to learn I too am a professional photog, instantly say, "Do you know…?!?!" and, "… you two should meet!!!" There isn’t a week that goes by where I have a moment of feeling, "do I need to be more like them??" and shortly after that thought, inner voice jumps in, "No, you need to be exactly like you Jenn." However, some days are a little harder than others when you are just a "little photographer" who really just wants to be the little photographer, and enjoys the small business feel in a local community… but on days like today, the feelings sneak in and make me questions, "but what if I…" Then, I read a post like this. My little voice inside says, "THANK YOU MARY!!" We needed just an outside reminder that being ourselves, and traveling out own path will lead us to the life we cherish, verse the one people think we should have… x

  10. Meridith

    Very true. Those last 3 lines hit home and I love the little nod to John Mellencamp in the title:)

  11. Alison

    I had a great conversation with my best friend who is a up and coming writer about this very thing over pad thai the other night… and how to overcome that fear that who we are is somehow not enough. Thank you my friend!

  12. Jessica

    I *love* that last line…A LOT! :) Excellent as usual!

  13. Gertie

    this was so encouraging to me today! there are so many people out there "doing it right" & it’s so easy to get sucked into trying to do like they do. it actually keeps me from writing great personal posts just like this one. i’m so greatful for your realness (is that a made up word). keep it up!

  14. Karen Bonar

    It’s SO easy to feel this way – to have to BE more or to BECOME who we feel we SHOULD be. Not JUST in business, but in relationships, too. After years of being a chamelion in love and falling flat, I gave myself permission to be ME …. and it was the most freeing, and love-filled experience of my life. :)

  15. Jessie Emeric

    yup! you did it again, Mary! Thanks for being so honest and helping me see I’m not alone in wanting "more"! But, you’re so right, we need to be more of ourselves of who we are and well, not lose ourselves in the constant comparison…xoxo

  16. Kari Jeanne

    Love this. Like a lot.

  17. Bethany Ann

    Ahh, I’m struggling with this now! Here’s to hoping I can just be without feeling that I need to be more. :) Thanks for this!

  18. ashley barnett

    Are you SURE you aren’t currently following me around with a hidden camera?! Because you are just in my head with your latest posts. I am feeling faced with the intense need to BE more, DO more, CREATE more, LOVE more, EVERYTHING more and it’s so hard to find myself in it all. And truly, I know that the real me, is the one that when it’s finally let out is the one that will make all my biggest, craziest dreams come true. Happy Weekend J&M!

  19. Nancy Mitchell

    Well written Mary! Thanks for the reminder to be just ME! xoxo~nance

  20. Shannon Rosan

    The seemingly never ending cycle of having to do more is so overwhelming…dangerous even. It causes us to run ourselves ragged. Cheers to just being ourselves :) Thanks Mary for the wonderful reminder.

  21. janine kaye

    I adore you Mary Marantz..you are one "rad" chick and I am so glad to have met you and been inspired by you (to be myself!) xxxxx

  22. Stephanie Stewart

    Well-said, Mary! So true! That feeling of pressure to be more, to always offer more, give more, do more…it can be overwhelming! I just love your perspective on life! Thank you!

  23. Lydia

    Wow, so so true, Mary! Here’s to another day of working hard to just be me!

  24. rich

    so needed to read this – feeling so encouraged =)! thank you!

  25. Sandra Fazzino

    dear clever mary. i enjoy everything you write so much. and how did you know that *more* than just one of us needed to hear this today? i thought by now i would know who i am – i really thought we were getting closer, me, myself and i. we seemed to be on such good terms for so long. and yet, lately, i feel a million miles away. lost. let’s see if the idea of *more* has anything to do with this awkward distance between us. thanks for sharing. really looking forward to your las vegas shootout at wppi!

  26. Mia Bjerring

    Thank you so much for this Mary! I think we are so many people that needed to hear this today! Thanks for always being encouraging and inspiring for us all. Thank you and have a great weekend! :)

  27. Char

    So, so beautiful.

  28. Karin

    I love you guys.

  29. Lauren

    Perfect. I struggle with this every single day and I you truly couldn’t have said it better.

  30. athena p

    isn’t that the truth? wow. a dear friend of mine, who just rebranded and launched an amzing one-of-a-kind photo blogsite has already been copied. and upon hearing news of such she said "don’t you know that when you copy, you are still a step behind? carve your own path." This…and that…are crazy true. real. honest. i am in the process of branding (As we speak) and it terrified me at first. i thought i had to fit into this litte photographer niche of prophoto blogs and swirly font … but the trouble is, i didn’t fit there. square peg=round hole. i’m not sure now is the best time to brand….i don’t yet have my clear vision – i’m still desperately seeking MORE – but at least i’m not in a round hole anymore. or in a box. or succumbing to the status quo. i’m attempting to carve my own path, while still standing in the shadow of those whom i admire.

    i hope that a year from now i can look back on this moment – your blog post, my comment – and laugh and how much further i’ve come.

    but enough about me.

    you. Mary. you. amaze, delight, wonder, teach. i’m sure you know how inspirational you are to those who come here, and i hope, in your days of longing for more, that you never lose sight of just how much you already are. you already do.

    so very much.



  31. Allison

    Your energy and spirit are exactly what I needed today! Thank you for always being so….real.

  32. Sarah Wamuhiu

    I was at this place of "more" a few weeks ago (at the same time I stumbled upon your blog). My hubby is a total original, don’t care how the next person does anything, I’ll do it my way and I’m the dead opposite…I always want to reach the "more" whatever it maybe in all aspects of my life. Happily for me I gave up a few weeks ago and I’m already seeing the benefits in my marriage, with my baby boy and most definitely in our photography! Thanks for expressing it so beautifully!

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