“Dawg, I was having nervous breakdowns like, “man these n***as that much better than me?”- Kanye West
Kanye West is one of my favorite artists (I’m not gonna go into old Kanye vs New Kanye) because he gives a voice to the dreamers. The ones who are often looked at as crazy or unrealistic because of their dreams.
I’m especially a fan of Kanye’s earlier work, the albums when he talks about his “come-up.”
How much of a struggle it was to be broke, overlooked and misunderstood but at the same time possessing that rare undeniable talent and vision.
When you know that you’re gifted and special, sometimes you desperately want others to see it too. When they don’t, you begin to question if you’re really as talented as you think you are.
The lyric above is one of the fleeting thoughts that pass through my mind on a weekly basis…with help from social media.
I’ve been my own fashion photographer for almost a year now. So, in addition to learning how to paint my nails, do my own makeup, bargain shop, and lay a wig, I photograph myself…by myself.
I take pictures in 20 degree weather or 90 degree weather, when is raining, when its windy etc….
I get harassed by men who feel the need to honk at me, cat-call me, park their cars next to me to sit and watch me, and who walk up to me and objectify me.
Yes, I deal with all of that on a weekly basis.
I get so frustrated and discouraged sometimes but I keep on doing it because I love to create. I love seeing my visions come to life.
But with all the effort, pain, and sacrifice, I sometimes feel as though I don’t get the recognition I deserve.
I see other people on social media who don’t have half the quality of content I have get recognition and opportunities.
I see women who build careers by simply holding a camera up to their face. And that’s it.
When I see all of these things, self-doubt runs rampant through my mind accompanied with questions like this:
Am I not pretty enough?
Am I not talented enough?
Am I not working hard enough?
Am I just… not enough?
Being overlooked can cause you to compare yourself to others and feel like don’t measure up on the imaginary scale of success.
Comparison is a slippery slope that leads straight to depression.
I believe that we were all put on this earth with a unique purpose to accomplish so, why are you comparing yourself to someone who doesn’t have the same purpose as you?
Even if you’re in the same field as someone, your walk will be far different from their’s.
Plus, when we’re looking at someone else’s life, we only see part of the picture. You have no idea what they did to get where they are.
There’s always a price to pay.
Whether that price be sacrifices, sleepless nights, loneliness, “broke-ness”, or even one’s soul.
Focus on yourself.
Enjoy your journey and trust that you’ll make it.
One day, your “come-up” story will inspire others to believe in themselves and to trust their process.
“…dawg, in due time.”
(song references ‘Touch the Sky’ – Kanye West)