I was a cheerleader for years. I wanted to do something on a team and I didn’t make softball in 7th grade which changed my entire destiny:) I tried out for cheerleading and learned that I could yell pretty well, pep up a crowd, and that I loved pom poms, cute uniforms, and boys who liked cheerleaders.
Do you know anyone who doesn’t cheer for other people, perhaps for you? They have their selective friends they butter up to, gush over, but for some reason, not you. I do not get it. How miserable a person must be to make this conscious choice. They see you or others giving it all they’ve got doing this business or that business, working on your family, just trying to survive but they choose not to respond in any way. You can almost ‘see’ them rolling their eyes on the other side of the screen.
I’ve started a lot of crazy businesses in my lifetime (ask my kids!) and while part of it was creative energy overflowing, it was almost always an effort to earn income for my family and NOT that I needed one more thing to do! In fact, one of my biggest regrets in life has been how I chose work over my family more times than I care to ever remember but at the time, I felt I had no choice. I had a choice. I was a paralegal for 27 years, I sold scrapbooking supplies, two makeup lines, was a part of two MLM businesses, made t-shirts, been a photographer for 12+ years, written for others, now this blog…. and those are only the ones I actually pursued! But throughout every crazy endeavor, I have the same faithful people who for whatever reason have backed me up, supported me, probably chuckled a little thinking ‘here she goes again’, but it didn’t matter. I LOVE EACH OF you cheerleaders out there!
I have a lot of friends who are photographers just like you know a lot of people in your field. Some are good friends, some are acquaintances, some are still learning just like I had to do, and I love watching their work change as they do. Some are simply amazing. Some have been tough competition for me, some have gotten my clients, and I’ve gotten some of theirs. And then there are some who, just being real, can turn me off. Maybe I did that along the way too, who knows. Anyway, did it sting when I’d see my clients go to someone else… yes, a lot sometimes, especially if I didn’t think they got the images they deserved, but often, they were beautiful and that was what mattered in the end. Every person who does what you do is competition in some way, skill, price, who they know, BUT if they are good and kind people, good to clients, good to their competition (yes, I said that), then you know what?
I say GOOD FOR THEM for striving, thriving, and hopefully surviving!
Some of my photographer friends are hugely successful and don’t need support from me but I give it anyway; some are fighting to stay above water and I give it anyway (if FB lets me see their posts). I don’t click like and love on things I don’t like and love, I don’t agree with that, but if there’s ever an image or session or event I like, I’m going to let them know! And I’m being sincere. I refer, I applaud, and I even share cool events that I think my friends might like! I’ve actually done that with some photographers who kind of take a step back like I’m crazy and maybe I am but it’s just who I am. And realistically, we all have friends who sell something, perhaps something we don’t use or even like but we can still cheer the person on. We all have numerous friends doing the same thing like Mary Kay (I have at least five friends selling this wonderful product!), many relatives and friends who are hair stylists, sell Pampered Chef, and so on. Financially, we can’t support them all, but a click of a like, love, emoji, a share, they’re all free gifts we can give!
I have this one person who comes to mind as I write this and I’m putting this into the universe so it will float away. They have taught me so much about cheering for others. This person was a big part of my life and I felt I did a lot for them… another lesson! Don’t do for others expecting the same in return… just do it anyway! Over the years, I shared so much with this person on many levels and they actually did a lot for me too so I felt we were close. Years after we met, someone told me some negative things this person had said about me professionally and personally and needless to say, I was crushed. Thankfully, this was foreign to me, but I felt I was in high school with a bully. I hurt for a long time but eventually, just being me, I rekindled everything as if it never happened, forgave and tried to forget, and then later learned that was a mistake. I won’t get into details but my caring, my forgiveness, had cost me dearly. Do I wish none of it had happened? Yes. Do I regret caring and forgiving? No. The lessons I learned were invaluable and could have been this person’s purpose all along.
I’ve now come to know that when I am driving myself crazy over someone or something, I’m the only one driving! They’re over there being them. I’m learning that their rocks are a lot heavier than my pom-poms and not nearly as sparkly! I recently heard this quote for the first time,
“Some people won’t like you because of the way others love you….”
I am loved (thank God!) and I love back. I am blessed with an abundance of friends and family. I have forgiven.
So back to being a cheerleader. Next time you can click like, share an emoji, share a post with friends, say a kind word or comment, it is priceless… support for others without a price tag. To all of you who cheerleaders, you rock!! If you’re not a cheerleader but want to be, we don’t have tryouts on this team… you just have to pick up your pom poms!
“C-H-E-E-R, you’re the best, yes you are!”