"When Bad Dogs Go Good"
This is a milestone blog for me and I am silly, giddy, ridiculous happy. You'd think I won a gigantic lottery jackpot and my own private island, and figured how to manifest world peace, I'm so pleased with myself.
You see, after a little more than three years, my earnings balance finally reached payout level, and in the most bizarre and enlightening of ways for me. I am growing!
Just over three weeks ago, I was having a rough time in life, and had been, for a couple of months, actually. It was a way too chilly for my taste, Saturday morning, and I was supposed to be on my way to South Carolina for a long awaited and desperately needed winter vacation, that had been many times delayed. But alas, my traveling companion had been stuck this time, an extra day on a business trip, and was on an airplane, a day late returning home, on his way back from California. I was so frustrated that my vacation was again postponed, but I was trying to stay positive. Then I went outside for a morning walk with my camera, and saw my side view mirror from my car lying on the sidewalk, after some neighborhood kids had vandalized my car on Friday night, surely in a misguided attempt to impress their friends. So I was momentarily upset, because this would cost me time and money to fix, but I was determined to stay as positive as I could. I tried to ignore it, and took my grumpy, irritated self for a walk in the cold with my camera anyway.
It was still very much winter, and not very pretty outside. I was unmistakeably unhappy, as much as I tried to convince myself I was not. On my way back home, I had to wait at a corner for traffic to pass and the light to change, along with a neighbor and her raucous, attitude-y little dogs, who barked nastily at me the whole time. I fake laughed, and asked her if I could take their picture. She answered that it was fine, but warned me that they were not friendly, and I was barely paying attention when she told me that one of them bites. By that time I was busy trying to focus my camera on their bouncing, yapping, vicious, little figures. After I got my shot, I moved in close to her, as is my custom, to show the owner of the monsters the photo. That's when the bratty little brown one lunged at me and planted his tiny, sharp teeth into my calf muscle, right through my jeans! I was STUNG! I felt stupid, and upset, and overwhelmed, and all kinds of other bad, all at once, and I had finally had all I could take. I pulled the jeans leg up to see that there really did not seem to be much damage, no blood,and barely broken skin, but a small bruise beginning to develop. I scurried the rest of the way home, walked into my house, shut the front door, and let out a long, agonized WAIL. And then I just sobbed and sobbed, feeling shameful, and stupid, and unjustifiably sorry for myself. I looked at the leg again, which was hurting and hurting, and saw that the bruise was more severe now, and there was a tiny bit of blood, and and I got on Facebook and posted an unedited version of the picture, as my status update, along with a photo of my wound, and a long, rambling, fearful discourse on everything that was wrong with my life. Lots of friends offered support and kind words of encouragement, and several told me what an awesome picture I had of the dogs. My sister text messaged me, some kind words and support, and told me it was now time to turn my day around.
I edited the photo. I uploaded the photo. I wasn't crazy about the lighting or the composition, but I did feel that the photo illustrated a theme that certain people are probably looking for, and it was free of noise, and good for the reality of the light I had available to me on that winter day. Perhaps obedience trainers, or other people struggling with pets with behavior issues, or maybe even people who just like to dress up their dogs, might need this photo. Who knows. It seemed like a useful image.
The next day we finally went on vacation. I relaxed. As my leg began to heal, I forgot about all about those bad little dogs and the picture I took of them.
Two weeks and one day after the incident, I logged into my Dreamstime account, and found that my earnings balance was $100.78. Enough to finally get paid by Dreamstime for the 1st time ever. While admittedly not a lot of money for all that time, it was nevertheless a momentous and super joyous moment for me. Excitedly, I went to the management area to find out what image had finally put me over the top, into the realm of DREAMSTIME PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER.
and it was those two crazy little dogs, bad attitude and all, looking back at me!!! What do you know.? I smiled lovingly at the two of them, and then laughed my butt off at myself, my foibles, the universe.
Stay positive. Recognize when you are over your head in negativity, and reach out to your friends for emotional support in the roughest times. Be receptive to the tiniest flicker of hope or help, or good. Never let yourself wallow for too long. Believe in yourself.
and always keep shooting :)
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Photo credits: Cmoulton.