I do not like the word "no." It could be the most agitating word to my ears. Despite hating the word, I love to play a game with our daughter, Lilah, whose favorite word to say is "no."
"Lilah. Would you like a giant hot fudge sundae?"
"How about to play in a room filled with sweet little puppies?"
"Would you like to swim in a pool full of marshmallows?"
You get the point. Like our precious girl, I have become more and more "OK" with dishing out the two-letter put down; but I still struggle with being on the receiving end.
As an artist (visual and performing), I have heard it a lot in my lifetime. But perhaps I thought that as an adult I would stop hearing it, standing transformed as a master of sorts. I could pick and choose my jobs, not worrying about website revamps or audition jitters, joining a union or setting up a portfolio for artist representation. I would float through life on a sea of "yes," picking an choosing as I please.
But this dreamer is here opening disappointing emails, and having difficult conversations. She is hearing worn out encouragements like, "As long as you did your best," and "Don't you think its who you know?"
Insert eye roll.
I bring all of this up because these images represent one such email. I wish I could say I took it like a champ, but I was really disappointed, angry, and sad for myself. I had done my best.
Cue month long (or longer) pity party. For realsies.
But as I immerse myself in these images again, there is a fire that burns still. It burns for creation, for the girl transformed through collaborative creative power. It burns for fingers that still move and eyes that still see. No refusal can "out" my light, and no hand can choke my voice. Because I'm awesome, and my window for mastery is as big and wide as I want it to be.
Call it drive, bravery, moxie, or the get-up-and-try-try-again. Call it whatever you will, but you will do it if you love it.
And we do.
Love, Rachel B.
Photography: Patrick Biestman of Acuity Photography
Hair and Makeup: Rachel Biestman