The Comparison Game: Respecting your story

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Comparison is the thief of joy. We’ve all heard that, but it seems impossible to live.

 

Pinterest and Instagram and blogs that seem perfectly curated.

 

Fashion and media that tell us we’ll never be enough.

 

Businesses that could be allies and support in industries but are competition because what you’re doing is too similar to each other.

 

 

Then there’s me. I’m 5’5″ and according to “the standard” I should be about 50lbs less. My whole life I’ve been told by one person or another (or the people on tvs and in photos) that the size I am and the struggle I’ve had with weight has caused me to be deemed “not good enough”. “Not good enough” to be in your  photos, “not good enough” to wear the clothes you designed, “not good enough” to date or be friends with based on the surface of myself.

 

My house is about as messy as the waves in my hair because I’m busy working. I don’t have a perfectly styled wardrobe. My industry is a growing one, so there are a lot of people doing work that is similar to what I do.

 

But here’s the deal. I can’t even think about wishing to be anyone else. Why? Because it downplays the stories of everyone involved.

 

Every part of every person is the sum of their entire story. If you want one of those parts, you’d have to be willing to take on everything that’s happened to them since they were born.

Think about that for a second, when you say “I want to look like Beyonce” (guilty of this thought on a regular basis), I would have to be willing to also accept the family she had growing up, the small experiences and the big ones, the good the bad and the life she has now. Though her life seems glamorous, would I be willing to trade my home, my life and all the stories I’ve collected along the way just to look that good in a leotard?

To have that person’s business success would mean that I would have to loose the passion and the reasons behind why I create and have theirs instead (and though their reasons may not be bad at all, they’re not mine).

 

If someone wanted my life, or any random part of it, they would have to take all of the heartache, all of the all-nighters, all of the moments of pure bliss and steady peace–and those are too precious for me to ever cheapen into something that could be adopted piece by piece by someone else, so why do I view others that way?

 

Your successes, your failures, your body, your everyday “normal” you may not feel like a prize, but you’ve fought for it. And so have the models and celebrities and bosses and “normal” people living all around you.

 

Let’s stop comparing and start respecting. Instead of hating your body, love where it’s taken you. Instead of envying their size or flat abs, listen to their story of their entire life and congratulate them on creating themselves, learn what you need to from their story, then go on to the next phase in your own.

 

We are the sum of all of our parts (and so is everyone else) broken, misshapen, and beautiful as they are. Grow, strengthen your body/craft/business, make you and your life the best it can be, but please don’t ever think it ever needs to be anyone else’s.

 

I promise you. It’s good enough. It’s perfect.

 

And just to make my point. Here is me: crazy hair, crooked half smirk/smile (with a sweaty upper lip because I live in Arkansas) and all. And though there may always be room for improvement, it’s not because I’m not already good enough. Because I am. I’m just as “good enough” as you and Beyonce.

 

 

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And, just because it’s Friday, here are some links for you.

Delightfully Tacky: Authenticity comes in all shapes

Design for Mankind: The Myth of Effortlessness

Sian Richardson and Death To Stock interviewed people choosing to go their own way and choose their truth instead of the “stock” lifestyle. Read those here.

“At its best, entrepreneurship isn’t all that different from activism—a chance to shape the world in the image of the things you care about, gain a sense of agency, and pick up a few checks along the way. Dream on, #bossbabes. You’re doing well.” We’re all girlbosses now.

What do you think about the ideas of “Like attracts Like“? Braid brings a little bit of “woo woo” into the real world as they explore it.

And this: this just put so much life behind one of the ideas Truebadours is releasing next year and hit the core of why we do what we do–authentic stories.

 

Who is Grace Kennedy | Truebadours short film | Arkansas Videgraphy

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This post is going to be a long one, but you get a good story out of it, so keep reading:

You’ve seen our videos on this space for almost a year now (crazy!), most of them being real-life videography, but I wanted to let  you know a little more about my path here to make the project we’re sharing mean as much to you as it does to me.

All my life I’ve been imagining stories. From taking my dolls and figurines on adventures, to directing my friends as we performed for my parents in the living room, to obsessing over Disney movies and pretending like my life was one of Walt’s creations.

I wanted to be everything when I grew up–when I was 5 I wanted to be a ballet dancing nurse (seriously, ask my mom), when I was 10 I wanted to be a pop star, then a writer, then an actress, then a youth pastor (that one’s random I know), then by my sophomore year I was undeclared and had no idea where to go. When the time came to actually choose something to study, the first thing I did was go through the course catalogue and circle every class that seemed interesting. Luckily, most of them fell into the Intercultural Studies/Community Development major. Great. Done. Check that off the list and get a degree…Until my advisor told me I’d be graduating super early (read: before I was even 21) so unless I felt ready to do that, I should add at least a minor. No way was I graduating that early, so I began round two of the “what do I want to be when I grow up?!” crisis.

 

And then my friend Xac asked me to come and help him with his senior film project. He needed to use the coffee shop I worked at for a location and my managers let them with the understanding that I would be there to make sure everything went okay…and that’s when I found a world I didn’t know existed. And it was love at first sight.

 

I didn’t add a minor, I added a whole 2nd degree because I needed film to be part of my life. I am a mediocre musician, a mediocre illustrator/painter. But this–this was something I thought I could do. So, having never even used a cam-corder and having never opened any sort of editing software, I decided to major in cinema.

 

I spent hours and years (and a million all nighters) balancing the two worlds of my different degrees, and also using Cinema to process what I was learning about people through my Intercultural Studies. I missed out on a lot of the “college experiences” because I was devoted to my education in both fields–and I haven’t regretted it. I finally felt like the artist my soul always knew it could be. The camera felt so natural and so beautiful, and I just wanted to create stories that showed the beauty and humanity I’d witnessed through my education.

 

Fast forward: Now I produce videos for a museum and I run Truebadours. I make videos about exhibitions, this summer I’ve been making videos about artists, and I do creative weddings and stories through Truebadours. But this itch keeps coming up to return to the artist I was when I was in school. There is an art to telling other people’s stories like weddings, moving portraits, and brand videos; but I have stories inside me that I get too busy to tell and create, and it has started to be a constantly present voice in the back of my head. I will never stop doing the work Truebadours is doing because it’s too precious, but I needed to make spaces in my days for nothing but a creative vent.

 

So when Jasmine messaged me about putting something together for Project Greenlight. I said yes. In a week, we pulled together a concept, we shot it, and I got it edited by the submission deadline. It all happened naturally and without any major hiccups. It was beautiful.

It didn’t make top 200, but it didn’t have to. This wasn’t for HBO, this was for me, this was for James and Jasmine–this was for Truebadours and our future as videographers.

 

Our hands and our eyes and our minds were on fire. This was a new world, and we loved it.

 

So, out of this world came Grace Kennedy. The typical, everyday girl who’s just a little bored–and just brave enough to do something about it.

 

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Everyone talks about getting to be someone else for “just one day”, but they never actually do it. But when you don’t have much of a life…maybe it’s time for a new one…and that’s just what Grace is going to do.

 

 

Who is Grace Kennedy | Short film from Truebadours on Vimeo.

 

Working on this project reminded us that we’re more than just “videographers” or people with a camera that happen to do videos–we’re cinematographers, directors, writers, artists. And those are not mutually exclusive from a “videography” company.

A new fire lit up when we worked on this. A fire to make more creative films, but to also bring even more art into your stories as we tell them. And we’re so excited to tell them, so keep an eye out as Truebadours takes it all to a new level.

 

 

 

 



Want to join in? Have a wedding, brand, band or creative idea that needs a story? Let us know and we’ll come up with something magical together.

 

 

 

2 years.

Two years ago, my best friends and I woke up to my mom in the kitchen proclaiming “Today is going to be a wonderful day!” and she was right.

I put on the fanciest dress I’ve ever worn and walked my way down to you. We said our vows, greeted our guests, and it ended perfectly–with you serenading me and warm embraces and peaceful downtime with the dear, dear friends and family who had stayed until the end.

It was short and simple and full of people we cherish from all phases of our lives.

Then we went off to do what we do best–adventures.

And what an adventure it’s been. Topsy turvy, speed up, slow down, make a u-turn, put your feet on the dash and pick the perfect song and throw the map out the window kind of adventure.

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Let’s keep doing it for years to come.

 

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Also, since my sister can’t crash our anniversary dinner, it’s only appropriate that she crash this post.

 

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wedding photos by Photo Love Photography

 

To my sister on her birthday | Truebadours Photography

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My little sister turns 21 today. Not only that, but she begins her senior year of college and is planning for her summer of 2015 wedding.

 

Man, does time fly…and sometimes it feels like everything important is happening all at once.

 

When it feels that way, stop and celebrate one moment at a time.

 

For me, I do that with my camera in hand.

 

So here’s to you, sister, on your 21st birthday:

 

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You celebrated with cookie cake and Christmas crafts–proving to the world that it hasn’t gotten to you. You still want to celebrate life with the little (but meaningful) things.

 

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Those puppy eyes are real. and can be a joke or the ultimate tool for getting what you want (who can resist those big blue eyes?!). Use those powers for good, and not for evil.

 

 

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This yard is where you rode your bike straight down the hill without pedaling, where every inch of snow was left to the mercy of your sled, where you would ride the lawnmower (blades up) in circles, screaming the Green Acres theme song at the top of your lungs. Now you’re posing like the gorgeous girl you are, but being ridiculous and having fun is by no means below you, and that’s why you’re such a joy to have around.

 

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Now, we all know who the real star of our family is. So I’m going to have to adjust the spotlight a bit.

 

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This is Darcy. And the bond between her and Hallye will never be broken. Not even when she’s married and moved in to a place of her own.

 

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That is the face of a dog defeated by the hairbrush and a girl realizing that our family is so strange (in the best way).

 

 

Now, back to you Hallye.

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And I saved the best for last. Just so we can all just stop here and appreciate how gorgeous you are.

 

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Seriously. Beauty and brains and a heart of gold (not to mention a voice of gold). Jacob is one lucky guy.

 

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So here’s to you, Swyster. You’re truly someone we should all look up to, (and look at, because you’re a babe). 21 will be a year you will never forget, and I’m so glad I get to be a part of it.

 

Happy birthday!

 

 

Monday Morning Pick Me Up

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Today’s pick me up is short and simple. Because Danielle LaPorte gets straight to the point.

 

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Family. Friends. Bosses. Inspirations. Idols. Internet trolls. You fill in the blank with whomever you want or need to.

 

You don’t need their approval.

 

Follow your own way and the approval will come from within. A still, small voice saying “you are enough”.

 

Though none may go with you, go your own way.

 

You don’t need the approval of others, that need is too heavy to travel with.