Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all enjoying the first week of December so far!
My tree is up and decorated, I currently have four Christmassy candles burning, and Elf is in the DVD player! I just love the joy, warmth, and love that surround this time of year!
However, with Christmas quickly approaching, lately I’ve found myself reflecting on this past Halloween.
I’ve mentioned before that my very best friend is a pin-up model, who’s lovely inside and out! This past Halloween, she had set up a themed photo shoot with a local photographer and invited me to go along with her. She was dressed up as a witch, and asked that I be her black cat for some pictures. Wanting to be a good friend, I summed up all of the courage I could muster and agreed to it.
As I’m quite a shy and introverted person, with a healthy dash of social anxiety, I tend to enjoy staying within the realm of my comfort zone. I just love to be at home where I can be safe, cozy, and sound. Until recently, I was even quite camera shy. For my high school senior pictures, rather than going to an actual photography studio, I had my mom take pictures of me in our own backyard.
So, naturally, the thought of dressing up like a cat and prancing around a coffee shop during business hours for some photos, horrified me.
However, I promised myself that this would be a good learning experience for me. I thought that as long as I went into it with a positive attitude and the intent to grow from it, that it couldn’t be too bad.
After a day full of sweating and a couple of panic attacks, I mindfully rejected all of the last minute excuses my nervous mind stirred up to prevent me from going, and I readied myself for my very first, actual photo shoot. Luckily, my friend very kindly volunteered to do my kitty make up. Otherwise, I probably would have had eyeliner everywhere due to the shakiness of my hands.
I’m no actress and I have a difficult time hiding true emotions like fear, dread, and panic. But in order to prevent myself from having a full blown anxiety attack whilst my pictures were being taken, I tried to clear my head as best I could. I tried my very hardest to focus every bit of my attention on my breathing and on the task at hand, which was to be a character in a scene.
I was a sassy kitty, soaking up the spotlight.
A large majority of the photos which I received back from this shoot made me cringe, but here are the few that I find the least painful to look at. lol
Oddly enough, the whole experience honestly felt like a dream, which made it a little bit easier.
When it was all over, though, I felt empowered. In not allowing my anxieties to make a decision for me, I had conquered a great deal. I walked away that night feeling more centered and whole. I chose to leave the confines of my comfort zone for a moment, and in doing so, I gained so much. I realized that I have the strength to overpower my anxieties and that I don’t have to live in constant fear of panic attacks. I have control over my life and what I can and can’t do. The more energy I give to my anxieties, the more they’ll have.
As far as the actual pictures go, I definitely don’t see myself quitting my day job to pursue a career in modeling, but the experience in itself was worth all the worry I so needlessly gave it.
If you deal with social anxiety and panic attacks as well, I’d love to hear from you! Or, if you’re overly excited for Christmas like me and have already decorated, I’d love to see pictures!
Enjoy the rest of your week! ❤