"As I prepared for this session, I reviewed, mentally, my life, my feelings, my struggles and desires as I have grown and matured. I asked myself, “What have I tried to hide in the recesses of my memories that have unconsciously held me back or motivated me to try harder.”
As I covered in the session, just the thought of having to be photographed without any of the outside coverings we all use to try to convince others who we are, what we are, our status in life and how “cool” we are took me on a journey deep within my psyche to know who and what I was.
Growing up, I was the skinny kid, the artist that saw things different and didn’t “fit in” with the “normal” crowd or the rest of the family. I see now, how much I struggled to be noticed, accepted and believed. This, I know now, explains my lack of self-satisfaction for anything I do or accomplish. It’s never enough.
Men, as well as women, are bombarded with “the perfect body” in media and entertainment.
We also struggle with, if I just do this, if I’d only look like that, if I had his … ., you name it, and I’ll be happy and desirable.
It’s a never ending struggle.
I was a fair skinned, red head, spindly and not very athletic. I MUST be a dark haired or blonde, muscled, tanned and toned Adonis that can conquer the world!
This drove me to a life of trying to improve myself physically but not to an obsession, as I learned fairly quickly I’d never satisfy everyone. Luckily, it lead me to a life of healthy living.
Still, I hide my body and compare myself with others and feel it is never quite good enough.
This affects my work (never enough and never good enough) my art (never good enough and filled with mistakes that only I can see) and my relationships (they are never satisfied with me and are thinking “what could have been”).
I entered the session with a little bit of trepidation, determined to overcome my angst of having to be so exposed (indeed, I almost canceled even after we’d talked and I was preparing).
I left with a sense of accomplishment at having looked myself in the face and stared down my own insecurities.
There are certain habits I’ve already developed that will not be broken, the healthy habits and always trying to improve my craft, but, the motivation has changed. It’s not to impress anyone or even myself. But, it is to just be the best ME I can be.
When I look at the photos, I see my age in my skin but, I realize, people can still see my youth in my eyes and expressions.
I’d recently been noticing my hands and how they are aging but, it turns out, my favorite photo is of my hand outstretched toward the camera.
It’s how I’d like to be remembered, always reaching out to help others whether it be through my art, my work with youth teaching and counseling, talking and befriending the “outcasts” whether it be because of financial reasons, creative reasons or lifestyles.
We all have our own insecurities. The trick is to channel them to help others, to control them and not let them control us.
I’ve been through and seen a lot in my life and will go through and see even more. I may not be able to share my stories with a lot but, I can always share them with myself and be satisfied. They will always be there to let me know, I HAVE LIVED.” - KING