“Growth is uncomfortable; you have to embrace the discomfort if you want to expand.” ~Jonathan Majors
Click! The camera shutters open as I stand barefooted in mud with lilies surrounding me. Wearing nothing but a cloth of lace draped across my chest, I am waist-deep in cold riverwater. I’ll never forget how nervous I was the first time I was professionally photographed nearly naked. I was called to it by something greater than my fears.
My father wanted me to be a model or an actor when I was young. I attended several castings for models and even participated in a beauty contest. These paths did not lead me anywhere. It was like I was totally unnoticed.
I remember several times, after having photos taken for agencies, my father wouldn’t let me see the pictures. He would say, “They didn’t turn out good,” and I believe, to this day, that he was right and was protecting me. In my youth, I wasn’t photogenic. I was definitely a “late bloomer.”
These experiences made me believe that I am a person who can overcome any obstacle. Clearly, It was clear that I wasn’t the girl people wanted. That I couldn’t model, and I wasn’t pretty enough (no blame here on my father; it was the entire experience as a whole).
In my teenage years, I was far less confident than I am today.