I lived in Italy for 12 years. I learned and experienced so much that probably I would need a stack of notebooks to write it all down; but I did come away from the country with three things embedded in my brain. Three sayings that I will never forget, and that I find myself quoting or referring to daily. These three things are about Chickens, Hope, and Learning.
Consoco i miei polli. – I know my chickens.
This one means that you know someone or a group of people so well that you can predict what they will do or how they will act. Also I like chickens so it stuck!
La speranza è l’ultima a morire. – Hope is the last to die.
This one is powerful. It means that no matter how hard things get in the world and in life, hope will be there to the end. Such a powerful sentiment and belief that I have tried so hard to remember even in the darkest times.
Nessuno nasce imparato. – Nobody is born learned.
It means that none of us knows everything – nobody does and nobody can. We are all learning and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives.
Well they don’t have to do with photography per se – they have to do with the journey that photography takes us on.
I know my chickens and my chickens here are fellow photographers. No matter at what stage you are, no matter how many awards, publications, or achievements you have, you will always have moments of self-doubt. Of feeling unworthy. Of not being good enough.
I do. And I am sure you do too.
You feel like you will never know enough or be enough or have the skills to reach that goal or objective. I hear you, and I see you because I am you!
And this leads me to my next two very important phrases about hope and learning. You will never know it all. You can’t, I honestly don’t think it is humanly possible.
There will always be somebody who is at a higher learning level than you, that will be faster and will surpass you, or someone that you aspire to be. And that’s okay. We all learn at our own pace, in our own way, and through different methods. Embrace that. Be patient with yourself. Love yourself anyway. Take that deep breath and persevere.
Keep that hope alive inside of yourself, after all hope is what pushes us forward, keeps us going. We hope for a better future for ourselves, for our children, for the planet – even on the darkest days we have that little light inside of us shining. Look to it, nurture it, learn to love it, and you will see it shine out in your photographic journey, as an artist, and as a person.
Don’t give up – you can do this.