Posted by Kelli Joan Bennett
Day 4. Have you ever found out that you completely misunderstood what someone was saying in their email only after you’d already replied all? Well, I haven’t…until now.
I have been rushing around since my eyes popped open this morning—creating clean toilets, dishes and a good credit rating by paying my bills on time as well as trying to create my creative work all the while thinking outside the box inside the box and creating from what I have…which for breakfast was scrambled eggs and left over tossed salad…surprisingly a nice compliment. The frantic energy a by-product of a last minute, unexpected trip I’m preparing to go on tomorrow to surprise my dad for his 75th birthday. No, I haven’t packed yet.
Throughout the day, I periodically check my social sites, my website and my emails. At one checkpoint, I get an email from a brilliant photographer I know. One I would pretty much kill to have shoot pictures of me because she’s that amazing but know I can’t afford. She is reaching out to just a handful of female friends and entrepreneurs she knows about “a portrait opportunity she is offering to us.” She writes she is extra inspired by my Think Outside The Box Inside The Box experiment and is getting creative with what she has in ways to promote and launch the new direction of and intention for her photography this year. In my haste, I scan my photographer friend’s email as if I were a trained speed-reader, noting the key points: Inspired by me—awesome. Opportunity—cool. Cost—ouch. Damn! I really need new photos but I just can’t swing that price right now. Bummed I don’t have the dough but excited that she is inspired, even a little, by my new venture, I immediately reply all and write:
“How fantastic!!!!! I’m so glad I added to your inspiration!!!! This is an incredible offer, one I wish I could take advantage of because I would LOVE to be able to have you shoot me, your photographs are stunning, but, unfortunately, I can’t at this time. My Think Outside The Box Inside The Box mantra involves a whole lotta “free” and “favors” right now because what I don’t have to create from is much cash, but, that’s part of the experiment…Can I actually create from what I do have? 🙂 Please keep me posted on how it goes! Your intention is so clear and specific and you’re obviously super talented, I’m sure the universe is going to respond in-kind. Keep going! Best of luck and much love, Kel”
Shortly after I press send, another friend on the “all” list emails me in what I interpret as an alarmingly gentle tone, “Honey, I think you misunderstood. Read it again.” I quickly pull up my photographer friend’s email and this time study it like a first grader, sounding out one word at a time, then saying the whole sentence, plus going over it a second time just to make sure I understand. Holy shit load of mortification! My face flushes a deep crimson. My chest tightly contracts. My lungs constrict my breath. Indeed, I have completely misunderstood. The cost is not what I think it is, she is actually offering an incredibly generous gift that fits perfectly into my mantra and my pocketbook—but I am going too fast to realize it…until now.
Oh, the irony. Oh, the dangers of speed. Oh, I’m a jackass.
Just by confessing my hurried headless blunder I can feel the vice grip of embarrassment start to release. I have since pulled the book “In Praise of Slowness” by Carl Honoré back off my shelf to slowly reread, left my photographer friend a voice mail and sent her another email rectifying my obvious speedy slow witted-ness in essence saying, “Hell yes! Sign me up!” I can only hope I haven’t missed out on this incredible opportunity because I was going too damn fast to read an email slow. I’ll keep you posted.
Until tomorrow, create from what you have…the good, the bad, the ugly, and, the embarrassing.