Getting out of my comfort zone takes a lot of effort. About a week ago, I received an invitation for a photo shoot to celebrate the second anniversary of one of the magazines where I am a contributor. This brought me tremendous anxiety but not for the reasons it did last year.
Last year, I was freaking out about it because I was uncomfortable with my appearance. I wasn’t sure what to wear and frankly, the whole scenario gave me the shakes. This year, it was more social uncertainty than anything because, let’s face it, writers are like vampires. We are hidden in dark crevices with our laptops. I kind of think we should be heard not seen. Being grouped with models (seriously), local celebrities, and other esteemed individuals, I felt a little out of my element, but in order to continue to build my brand (wow, I sound trendy), I must continue to put myself out there.
I literally knew two people…..my editor and the photographer that accompanies me on shoots. Because I get incredibly uncomfortable being in a group with no one to talk to, I introduced myself to a lovely woman who happens to be local celebrity. I complimented the cover that she graced a few months ago, told her that I was a writer for the magazine, and we made idle chit chat. That is until she inquired about a guy across the room as if I actually know people. Of course, I said something inane like, “it looks like him, but I am not sure”. I moved on from her and caught up with the photographer that I work with quite frequently. He was conversing with the publisher of the magazine who I had never meet. Because I don’t want to look like a lone loser, I walk up with tremendous self-confidence and introduced myself. He was welcoming and entertained by me even after I said that it felt odd not wearing my work attire aka sweat pants. I am super cool.
As we were positioned for the shoot (for those of you who know Louisville, it was on stage at Whitney Hall at the Kentucky Center for the Arts), I found myself next to the woman who thinks I know people. The spotlights made the space extra toasty blended with a delightful hot flash, I found myself hoping that this photo shoot would end quickly. I was incredibly grateful that the range in which it was being taken would not reveal the pools of sweat accumulating all over my body. God knew what he was doing not making me a model.
As the photo shoot ended, I bolted. Eager to get back to my cozy haven dressed in my comfortable sweatpants. I think one of the reasons that I made the effort was that I owe this magazine a lot. They were one of the first to pick me up after losing my writing position of ten years and continue to feature my work monthly. For that, I am grateful. So cheers to me for being a cover model for the second year in a row and not making a complete ass of myself in the process.