In these uncertain times, I’ve clung on to these 5 more than ever before. With everything constantly changing in our current world, the one thing that has remained the same is how big my love for them is. However, there has been one thing that has vastly changed over the last several months. I have had this increasing voice in my head screaming at me to be “perfect”.
The perfect wife
The perfect mother
The perfect small business owner
I constantly feel the doubt and uncertainty consuming me. Do I let the kids and Chris know how loved they are? Are we raising our kids to be the kinds humans we so desperately NEED in this world? Am I saying enough? Am I saying too much? Should I share this post? Like this post? Will I be condemned if I do? Will I be judged if I stay silent and do not speak up?
It has really made me step back and evaluate where all of these feelings are truly coming from; and while this is a conversation many will avoid… I think it is SO important to be had. As I am typing this I still feel so many doubts about speaking on this. But at the end of the day if I can help encourage one act of kindness from these words I am about to say; or help two individuals with different points of view see one another and realize they BOTH still matter in this world, then it makes this entirely worth it!
It is NO secret; I am a small business owner. I have poured so much blood, sweat, tears and sleepless nights into this business. CWP is literally like my 5th child. I have so many clients I truly love and adore like they were my own personal friends and family. This business has been a dream of mine for years, and to see it continue to be successful, even when the world seems to be crashing down around us… that is something I’m forever grateful for. But with that same token, continuing to navigate a path towards success in these crazy times brings me a feeling of guilt at the same time.
I see sooooo many other small business shutting their doors, not just for a few weeks; but permanently. I have friends and family who have been rocked so hard by this crashing economy they are literally loosing everything. This hurts my heart, actually no; this CRUSHES my heart.
I could never imagine not being able to continue to serve my clients. I could never imagine closing my doors and never opening them again. I could never imagine watching mine and my families dreams being shattered into a million pieces. But the reality is, hundreds and thousands of small business across our nation are living this very reality and it hurts. With every new small business I see die; my heart aches and I feel it deep down.
I don’t know if I can empathize with these individuals so deeply because I myself have a small business and I was raised by business owners… but one thing I cannot help but be so passionate about, is small businesses having the right to remain OPEN!
I’ve shared memes on this standpoint, I’ve shared announcements from police officials saying they will not enforce this new shut down. I’ve shared my thoughts that if you can shop in Walmart/Target/Costco with hundreds of other people touching items and replacing them for you to come up and touch; then you should absolutely be able to sit with your hair stylist and get a dang hair cut using proper safety measures.
By sharing these view points, and supporting fellow small businesses you would not even believe the amount of backlash I have received. If you know me at all on a personal level, you know that I am a pretty darn strong woman. There have been so many things that have shaped me into the confident, strong-willed, determined human that I am…. but some of the things that people have said to me over all of this truly hurts.
Because I choose to support small businesses staying open, these are some of the comments that have been made to me.
“You are heartless”
“You are stupid”
“You are selfish”
“You only value money and not human life”
“You are taking COVID as a joke and need to wake up”
“I have lost all respect for you”
“You need to stick to photography, not politics you just lost a potential client”
YOU GUYS!!! How is this okay?! It’s not! This is not how we should ever talk to one another.
I literally have been sick to my stomach with some of this, and like I said, it takes A LOT to effect me this way. Although some, and maybe many, may not agree with my view point, that is OKAY. I could never in a million years imagine writing words to someone like this just because they shared or liked something that differed from my opinion. I know I am not the only one this is happening to, and ya’ll… we have to stop this nonsense! We are so much better than this.
Since I have not really expressed my thoughts on COVID itself, let me break that down to save any confusion.
I KNOW that COVID is REAL
I BELIEVE that COVID is killing people
I BELIEVE that COVID is making people sick
I BELIEVE that COVID is destroying families….. the same way the crashing economy is destroying businesses
It hurts my heart and I pray for ANYONE who has been negatively effected by this virus
I do BELIEVE we need to take caution and protect or friends and neighbors
But here is one thing I also believe; I believe that there are safe ways to keep small business from closing. I believe that if they really want to close things down, they need to start with the big corporations. If you need something essential from Target/Costco/Walmart you should be able to order it and have it delivered to your car…. this should be the ONLY option for shopping with them; especially if it is too dangerous to be outside, or too dangerous to get a haircut. These are just my personal opinions, and just that.
If you view things differently, that is OKAY! I still see you, I still respect you, I still love you. And you know, I think that is where I can do better as a human myself. Is to be more vocal about the fact I see and hear others, even when their vision doesn’t align with mine. I am making it a personal mission to bridge this gap between these two “sides” we seem to be living among. I actually enjoy conversations with people who have different views/beliefs than my own. I feel like I always come out learning something new; even if we don’t agree.
There use to be a time when these conversations could be had without someone getting mad or offended, and I really miss those times. I totally get it! Emotions are heightened; this is some heavy serious crap we are all trying to navigate. But at the end of the day, we all could use a little love and a little peace in our hearts.
I know this was a lot, and if you’re still with me thank you for listening! Just please know; no matter where you stand there is no judgment and there is always a place in my circle for you. Stay safe out there friends, and lets love each other up!