Friday, July 7, 2017

You've Got This!

Photo Credit: Chuck Bennorth

When you are feeling overwhelmed, or maybe insecure, isn't it nice to hear words of encouragement from people who care about you? I think about friends who are dealing with grief as they mourn the loss of a loved one, and others who are preparing for new roles, whether on the stage or at a new stage of life. Sometimes we just need  some reassurance and words of support.

As I prepare for my first wedding photo shoot without my husband and mentor today, I am a little nervous, but I am reminded of a comforting phrase I learned from the Teen Writers and Artists Project. For the last two years, Chuck and I have photographed a poetry slam in the western suburbs known as Slamming the Sun Down, and throughout the contest, there is a phrase we hear over and over. 


"YOU'VE GOT THIS, POET!"

Slamming the Sun Down is a spoken word competition that leads up to the nationally recognized Louder than a Bomb contest in Chicago. The word, competition, is used loosely because there is no other contest I know where the motto of the competitors is "The point's not the points; the point is the poem!" 

When these young poets stand before an audience of judges and their peers, many are overcome with emotion and nerves. They are about to bare their souls to a crowd of strangers, but luckily, these poetry slams are safe havens for young artists. 

If anyone falters, or struggles to recall their lines, the audience members gently call out, "You've got this, poet!" Those supporting words give the performers just enough confidence to do what they came to do; share their talent with the crowd.

Chuck and I have adopted these words of encouragement to share with each other whenever one of us is feeling overwhelmed with a particular task, or life, in general. When Chuck was faced with deadlines at work with big projects, or when I wasn't sure I could write about some of my personal challenges, we would cheer each other on with "You've got this, poet."

"You've got this, poet" is just the reminder I need today. I'll take a deep breath, and review the things I've learned from the best photography coach ever, and I will do what I offered to do; share my talent to record this special day for two people who have decided to get married. 

We just have to remember to breathe. We've got this, y'all. 


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