For this mornings inspirational message I wanted to put it here on my blog rather than on Facebook as it might get a bit too long. I am not a writer at all and one of the things that I always seem to put off is when I have to write something. Maybe because english is my second language and I am always so self aware that I might not say something right. However, when I have a passion for something, I can write and write and write and no worry about anything.
I always get asked what’s the secret to my success. How did I start my facebook page less than a year ago and we are almost close to 40,000 followers. I think, I view definition of success very different. To me success is not in numbers at all!! I so appreciate all my loyal fans and I love them all but I would not call myself successful because of my number of fans, because of car I drive, because what clothes I wear, because I am published in a magazine, and because so many other things. To me success is to do what I love to do, to lay my head at night knowing that I did my best that day and to treat everybody I come in contact with, not for who they are today, but for what they can be in a few years!!! I have learned that just because somebody is not as “popular” as others, that doesn’t make them less valuable. I go to my daughter’s school and all the kids know me and they all say, hi Mrs. Boicu, and I make and effort to remember their name and I always say Hi… and say their name. It makes their day. One little boy was so amazed that I remembered his name from kindergarden. I am a strong believer that just as I was a little girl and remember every time somebody paid attention to me and how I felt and how it gave me courage to believe in myself, there are a lot of children just like me. I had a dream since I was a little girl that I want to go somewhere and help those that don’t have as much as I do, and trust me, I grew up in the communist era and we were poor. I didn’t see a bottle of coke till I was I believe 12 or so? We didn’t have bananas, oranges, chocolate, gum, nothing. But I still saw pictures in some books of kids in countries that lived in a tent and even though we didn’t have a big house still we had a house so my dream as a little girl was to go one day and help those people.
So why am I writing all this? I got in a bit of hot waters yesterday on Facebook over a picture that I edited and somehow implying that I don’t like people because of their skin color. And no matter how much I try to explain that the picture overall was just underexposed and all I did is edit the entire picture, not just the skin to somehow make somebody’s skin lighter. I grew up not even one time thinking that somehow I am supposed to not like somebody because of their skin color. Since our country was so poor and because the communists were so strict who came into our country, I actually never saw a dark skin person till I was in my teenage years. And that person was a missionary that came and brought us, our first bottle of Coca-Cola and our first bananas. I was about 21 years old when I came here, and when I first heard the notion that for some people the skin color matters. To be honest with you, I am 36 now and I still don’t understand the concept that skin color matters and why some people don’t like others because of the skin colors. I know that there are some words that are politically correct and non politically correct to say and if I ever say anything that offends anybody, please understand that I try so so hard to say things right but some concepts are still so hard for me to grasp in a culture I didn’t grew up in. Sometimes, I google certain terms before I post something to make sure nobody will be offended. I love what I do, I love encouraging my fans on facebook, but I don’t want to live in fear, in fear that I will say something wrong and offend somebody. I respect everybody and if I ever say something that is not “politically” correct please email me in private.
I see potential in each and every one of my fans, I see potential in anybody I meet in my day to day life, I treat people with respect not because I am somehow better than everybody else but because I remember how I grew up, I remember how hard it is to work hard, hard to try to make a living. In the hot Texas summer days, we have some people that help us with our lawn, and it’s over 100 degrees outside and they come and cut our grass and you can see on their face how exhausted they are, and I always make sure I go and get them something cold to drink and ask them if they want a snack!! I respect what they do!! I know they have a family and they have to make a living!! Why do I do that?? Well, maybe because I remember how hard it was when I grew up, during the communist times, we didn’t have the luxury to have sugar, oil, or rice. We had to take eggs, milk, chickens to the state in order for us to QUALIFY to even buy just a tiny bit of sugar, once a month. Since I was the oldest in the family, my parents always send me to the store and I would not even open the door all the way to enter the store and the man in charge of the store would say… “Grigorean (my maiden name)… and he would wave his hand for me to leave the store… you can’t buy anything today.. tell your parents you didn’t send eggs, or chickens or milk so you are not allowed to buy anything!! ” I mean this concept is almost unreal to me just thinking about it now.. but that’s how I grew up!! And I am not complaining.. I am so very thankful of how I grew up because I appreciate everything so much more today!!! But, to me all those events and so so many other more where I was turn away from a long line that I have been waiting for, for over 2 hours to buy some bread, and I was turn away because I didn’t have a “CITY” ID (we lived in the country), all this to me is hard imprinted in my brain that life can take people to places we never thought possible!!!
I can’t tell you how hard it was for me to come to a new country and people to say to repeat again what I am trying to say because they can’t understand me. I struggle so hard to learn a new language and I am already afraid that they will know I have an accent the minute I open my mouth and then when they say to repeat cause they didn’t understand me I just get terrified. Well, I used to not so much anymore. I was working at a bank call center answering phone calls 10 hours a day and even with an accent and all the new terminology in a new country, I worked hard, and I was always in the top 5% from the company. I always loved to work hard and do my best. But one day when I answered call somebody heard my accent and they didn’t even want to talk to me, they just said, give me somebody that speaks English!! Wow!! I didn’t know what to say!! I did cry and cry and cry that day and many days after that but honestly I am thankful for that because that’s the reason why I treat everybody today as if they were gonna be the president of the United States tomorrow!!!
There are a lot more things I could write about on why I treat everybody with respect and that I never, ever would try to put somebody down!!! Why should I ruin somebody’s dreams and tell them they are not good enough, that their photography is not good enough, why would I want to ruin somebody’s whole dream with a few words!!! We don’t know why some people do photography and even some of the pictures that are posted on my wall get criticized sometimes and it makes me sad. I can’t put here some of the emails I get from my fans, on why they are doing photography, maybe they have lost somebody and photography is their way of coping, I did that too when I started, I got into photography as a way of copying with cancer. It was the only thing that gave me pleasure and joy!! My pictures where not anywhere close to what you see now, but in my mind I was happy and I was so eager to learn more things!! We never know people’s lives, their struggles, I want my facebook page to be about support not about trying to prove who can win or who can use the meanest words!! My goal in life was never to be published on a big magazine cover (even thought I have the highest admiration for those that are published) but that is just not where my passion is. My passion is to support people!!
Here are some of my pictures from only 4 years ago. What if somebody told me I am not good enough? I would have probably put that camera down and never looked at it again.
I know that drama in life is inevitable, but many times we have a choice on what to say or what to write!! Our words are so very powerful so please use them to built people up and not tear them down!!
I am sorry if maybe some things I wrote don’t make sense. I wrote from the heart and if I try to re read I question myself too much so this is just me from my heart!!! A very simple girl, with a big dream!!!