June 27, 2017
I absolutely love the quote by Vincent Van Gogh – “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
My past couple of years have been marked by several opportunities to serve others in a variety of ways, none of which I’ve perfected.
Throughout high school and college, I really valued creative outlets. Most of those creative outlets involved some sort of performance mentality, and it was paralyzing when I would realize that I would never be the best at something. The best guitar player, or the best photographer. Comparison is an everyday battle for creative minded people – especially when it’s so tied to who we claim to be.
But after college, pursuing a “real job” looked much different than what I had always envisioned. I started a photography business that was slowly growing from a few shoots of friends to a business where people trusted me on their wedding days. I was also on staff at a church where I was serving teenagers, which was so much fun.
Both of those jobs have taught me so much about loving people over making myself look good, which was counterintuitive to how I had always perceived a job well done. If you’ve ever worked with a youth group, you know that allowing yourself to look like a fool will build friendships more than “looking cool” any day. 🙂
I grew up watching my mom teach piano lessons throughout my entire life. She’s an incredible piano player and continually loves to learn new pieces. What I didn’t realize growing up, was that in the monotony of teaching thousands of kids where middle C was, she got to use her creativity to serve people. She was serving kids that wanted to express themselves but didn’t know how. She was helping them gain confidence in something where maybe they didn’t find that elsewhere.
She found meaning in it because she could see others’ eyes light up when they would learn something new. Just the other day, after only having a few days off, she said, “I can’t wait until the fall when I get to work with my students again.” She only had a week off, but was already so excited to start a new year! I wish I could say that I’ve always loved serving people with my creativity – even when the fruit of that labor may not be immediate.
I’ve been noticing the greatest sense of joy I feel on wedding days is from a place of service – that day is about them, not for building my portfolio. Isn’t life more joyful that way?