The Mirror in the Room-An Essay

Why did I force myself to come to this networking event?

This young professional networking event.

No one is acknowledging my existence.

I rushed to my apartment after work to iron a fresh collared shirt and dress slacks. I even had my loafers professionally shined. I took a shower an hour ago. I brushed my teeth for three whole goddamn minutes. I have my favorite fragrant deodorant plastered under my armpits.

I don’t have a pout on my face……………………………….I’m sure of it.

WHAT THE FUCK

Then, if it’s not me, what can it be?

Is it the people walking by?

It could be. I guess they made a conclusion last time I came that I was no use to them. That I wasn’t buying what they were selling. That I couldn’t enrich their bottom-line in their careers. And in insulting fashion, devalued my profession as a photographer as more of a hobby that I should provide my services to them for free. Fuck You! That’s why your website images are shit.

But I’m captivating. More than what I do for a living. Doesn’t being a decent human being count for anything?

I’ve spent valuable time getting to know these people. But it seems my time commitment was valued significantly less than their jail cell careers that give them the definitive ‘label’ of a professional.

But…I’m no different from the rest of the professionals at this networking event. My intentions, too, were to gather an endless amount of business cards, size up the company and title of those people on that 3.5 by 2 inch rectangle piece of paper in hopes to enhance my own business, monetarily, that is.

My heart is closed.

I’m the real fool who couldn’t see it before. And this event and all these people are a huge mirror of me seeing myself for who I really am.

I need to change my paradigm, my ways of being in these types of events. I have to generously come from an honest, open heart. I have to be a person who wants to help others in their career and life. And not doing it in the hopes that they return the favor.

For somebody to engage me, I have to abandon all my preconceived perceptions, stereotypes and just let them paint their own picture of who they are to me.

I must pick up my head, straighten my back, and shake whatever jitters that are hanging on and walk to and happily greet someone.

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