Several years ago I started a blog and a video channel called Embracing Average. I started it because I wanted a community online that served as a place where everyone could feel welcome, motivated, inspired and encouraged. As someone who is, and always has, struggled with perfectionism, I wanted to share the message that perfection is not equivalent to happiness, and that I believe that true happiness, and true progress actually comes through embracing our average!
Embracing [Our Own] Average means fully, lovingly and willingly accepting and loving ourselves. It means choosing love and happiness to the best of our ability.
To me, embracing average means seeing our imperfections, and loving ourselves in spite of, or maybe even because of them. Embracing is the act of fully, lovingly and willingly accepting, so Embracing [Our Own] Average means fully, lovingly and willingly accepting and loving ourselves. It means doing our best at choosing love and happiness, over and over and over again. Not perfectly, but intentionally.
Lately I have been reminding myself of this truth, because as suddenly as my blog and videos started a little over two years ago now, as suddenly they ended. I stopped writing. I stopped making videos. I stopped feeling motivated, and I started feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. I became fearful that my message was not adequate, I started comparing myself, I started procrastinating and I stopped creating content. That’s what perfectionism is, or at least components of what make it up completely; fear, comparison, procrastination and stagnation.
I felt myself falling into the very hole I was trying to avoid. I got stuck in wanting my blog posts and my videos to be perfect; to portray the perfect message; to show a person who although not perfect, was perfectly embracing her imperfections.
The only way that we are perfect, is in our imperfections
And the fact is that, the only way I am perfect is in my imperfection. Although I want my lifestyle to promote acceptance and to encourage self-love and love of others, even in this, I am not perfect. My message is sometimes messy, unclear, and unorganized, because I myself am sometimes messy, unclear and unorganized! Every day I seem to wake up with 100 good intentions, and go to bed with 99 missteps! Anyone else feel like that sometimes?
Over the last several months I have been thinking a lot about starting up my personal lifestyle blog and videos again and how to combine this with my photography work and website. So far, I have come to the following conclusion: My photography website showcasing my wedding and portrait work will continue to be curated and carefully put together, because this is the standard of work I provide my clients with. It portrays the high standard of work that they- that YOU- can expect from me, and that needs to be accurately represented through my website and blog. My brand will also continue to have a focus on authenticity and genuineness, because this is what I base my photography on is genuine and authentic joy and emotions!
My blog will also continue to be a representation of what I do- my photography- but it will also become more of a place where I will start sharing a little more about the person behind what I do – who I am – and a little more about my day-to-day life- how I live! My website will be divided into a lifestyle section and a photography section, and if some of you are only interested in one and not the other, no worries, I will make it easy for you to navigate the tabs on my blog to find exactly what you are looking for!
A few topics you can expect to see popping up on the blog in addition to my photoshoots and photo resources over the next few months include:
Stop chasing perfect and start seeing progress
I want my blog to be multifaceted, and to 1) Provide my photography clients with a place where they can get an accurate representation of the kind of work they can expect when hiring me, and 2) To inspire, uplift and motivate others out there to take charge of their life and to take the steps necessary to create their dream life. Life is truly an art, and we each have the ability to take steps towards creating the life we desire. However, my lifestyle blog and brand will be a place not for promoting self-perfection, but rather self reflection and self-improvement!
I am excited to start sharing a few more personal thoughts and details with you all in addition to the work I do as a photographer, hope that you are excited as well! Brene Brown said that our “imperfections are not inadequacies, but reminders that we are all in this together,” and this beautiful sentiment along with the push towards self improvement and development all while letting go of the chase for perfection and allowing ourselves to progress, will be the focus of the Jeanette Merstrand Lifestyle brand!