“Ask Colson if driving his BMW makes him feel SEXY”…
That was the question that was asked of me from an online chat room, 200 people strong, watching me get grilled by Jeff Jochum as I tried to explain one of my self proclaimed guilty pleasures. ”WHA-WHUT!?!!!” I thought as my brain splintered into a million freaked out and fragmented ideas.
This was Fight Club. A three day workshop down in Anaheim designed by Jeff, to help photographers discover what makes them unique compared to other photographers in the wedding industry. For the previous ten minutes I had frantically tried to explain why I liked my so called “guilty pleasure” of driving a BMW… “It’s because it has German engineering behind it!” ”It’s because it’s a stick shift!” ”It’s because it hugs a curve like Snooky’s dress!” (I didn’t actually say exactly that, buuut that would have been awesome!) In the midst of this conversation, Jeff, a well respected and often opinionated photography business coach, exclaimed, “It looks like a PENIS!” ”WHAT!!!!” I thought… “DOUBLE WHA-WHAT!!!! No! Nooooo!!!! What in the $*&%^ is he talking about?!?” ”I don’t like it because it looks like a penis!” Seriously people, I was reeling! I was so taken aback! Shocked! Stunned! This was being streamed to over 200 people online. One minute I was trying to explain why I liked driving my BMW, and the next minute I’ve been pegged with driving a penis-mobile!!! ”I’ve wanted a BMW since I knew what a car was! My grandfather drove a BMW, my dad drove a BMW… that’s what I wanted since basically forever. So, when I could afford it, I bought my dang BMW!” Jeff wasn’t having it. His comment was purely figurative, suggesting that driving this car feeds my ego or vanity, yet I fervently refused to follow his path. Finally he gave me a look that silently said, “If you’re not going to be honest with me, we need to move on.” and at that point everyone in the room quietly shifted, bracing themselves for the next person to get shredded. Just before starting in on the next opponent, Andrew from ShowIt poked his head up from his laptop and relayed a question from the online chat room…
“Ask Colson if driving his BMW makes him feel SEXY?”… he read out loud…
I was called out. At first, I was surprised that someone would be so bold, so brash, to assume such a thing, and then in a flash I realized that I had only one answer. My shoulders dipped, and my brain surrendered to the thought. Confessional time. ”I would be lying if I said no.” were the words that came out of my mouth. That was it. That was the answer Jeff was looking for. That is my guilty pleasure.
There it was… my innards had been spilled all over the floor. Guts, intestines, probably my heart too, all exposed for the cosmos to examine and JUDGE. My biggest darkest secret. I LIKE DRIVING MY BMW BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL SEXY. At first, this was awful. I could not believe I said it out loud. I had this impression that feeling sexy was a shallow and self centered state. I feared being looked at like some ego centric d-bag zipping around in a BMW. There it was though, out in the open, yet no one’s jaw dropped. No one scoffed, and no one gave me dirty looks. Slowly, a calm and somewhat soothing wave came over me. Something in my brain said, “It’s okay, you can feel like that, and not be a bad person.” and I began to relax. We continued the discussion and eventually learned that I liked wearing tailored shirts, and dancing to obnoxious european techno music. They ALSO make me feel SEXY. They make me feel good. Because of these things, I walk a little taller in the world, drive a little faster, and dance a little more often, and that’s that. They do not make me a bad person.
So what is this post all about? It’s about growth… it’s about transparency, it’s about facing fears, it’s about being okay with who I am in the world. Honestly, there was a part of me that was TERRIFIED of someone knowing that I feel sexy when I drive my car. That’s not how I wanted to be seen in the world. I want people to see more than just that single image of a penis car driving dude. But, you know what? It’s one small part of me, and since I’ve just gone ahead and just admitted it, I feel like I have a weight lifted off of my shoulders. In my mind… this idea of being vain, or self focused, or even just saying the word “sexy”, has taken a new, lighter feeling. Instead of fearing those ideas, and burying them to the deepest part of me, I am trying to embrace and maybe even revel in my new found guilty pleasures. Over the last few weeks, I’ve found it has been more fun just making light of these subjects, perhaps even making fun of myself openly and outwardly, and moving on. It makes me laugh in a fun way, not in a scary self-conscious way, and I spend a lot less energy as compared to when I tried to deny it.
Writing this post is another level of admission for myself. Sharing these thoughts with the internet allows me to continue to let go of that self conscious little voice that is constantly streaming in my head and proceed with owning who I am. I think it also has opened new ideas in terms of how I approach my photography and business. Having these feelings openly and outwardly might also encourage the couples I work with to embrace their own sexiness, and walk with a little extra swagger.
So, next time you see me fly by in my BMW, you might hear me screaming, “IIII’MMM AAAA SEXY BEEAAAAST!”… that is, if you can hear my voice over the blaring european techno dance music… and I’ll be perfectly okay with that.
And for some ridiculous reason I love to road trip in that thing. Who sleeps in the back of a BMW? Feeling sexy in the city… feeling rugged in the woods!