in love with this camera.

Ben running to Gioia pizza, shot with Canon 6D

Investing in Ourselves

Ever since I took the plunge and bought my new camera I have been thinking about this idea of investing in ourselves. I’ll never forget the day my friend Kim bought her first laptop computer. We stared at the box underneath her desk for a long time, chatting. She was afraid to open it — wondering if she deserved such a beautiful tool, worried she had spent too much money.

I did the same thing after buying the camera. It took some measure of courage to drive over to the camera store and just buy it already. It felt like an illicit act, something daring, maybe even a little bit dangerous. When I got home, I stared at the box in the middle of my living room floor. I could take it back, I thought. Wow. It is so nice… Do I deserve this?

It felt substantial in my hands when I first tried it out, awkward. I felt like an imposter holding this sophisticated tool. Am I a real photographer? Isn’t this camera supposed to be for professionals?

It takes courage to invest in ourselves.

And yet, every time I have ever invested in myself, it has paid off a thousand fold. Every new tool has launched me into a whole new realm of creativity. This camera is no exception.

Have you ever invested in yourself? How did it feel?




  1. javc
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    My (and my husband’s and mom-in-law’s) investment in myself:

    Fell in love with intaglio printmaking in college and it’s only now (almost seven years later) that I am pulling prints again! Etching presses aren’t very accessible where I am.

    Getting my etching press – named Ms. Pascal – is one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

  2. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m so thrilled that you got it!

    I have been the same way with things-computers, cars, clothing.

    One other layer that I often need to notice for myself is where I will start to scale back on what I really want, and “settle.” For instance, when my old car started to putter out and I clearly needed to get a new one, I ended up getting another sturdy, reliable Toyota Corolla (even though my heart longed for a meep!meep! Mini Cooper).

    Now, I am incredibly grateful for my new car-don’t get me wrong. But I can see how often I talk myself out of getting the thing I really want. I’ll tell myself to “be practical.”

    Even typing this out feels sort of vulnerable. The little voice crops up that goes, “You’re lucky enough to get a new car at all, some people don’t have them, you should just be grateful for what you do have…” I worry about coming across as if I’m trying to say I suffer some great hardship because I didn’t get the car I really wanted.

    But that’s not my intention-I just notice that when it comes to money, I’m often finding myself trying to find ways to scale down, to have less, to not get the truly great thing that I actually worked quite hard for.

    This strikes me as just another form of scarcity that can sometimes be at work.

    Beautiful photo! I’m so glad that you got the camera!

  3. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Just did it!!! Just finished purchasing the ticket for WDS. No doubt that before, during (and still as I type this), fears and self-doubt were floating around my head. But I am so glad I did anyways. I feel GREAT knowing that I am giving myself such a wonderful experience! See you there ;)

  4. Di
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I feel that way when I schedule a massage for myself more than once a month. Do I deserve to spend that much money on myself, especially when I don’t even have something concrete to show for it? And yet, don’t I deserve to feel good, and heal my body from the stresses of my job, and have some quiet time to myself?

  5. StacyK
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I thought I was the only one who felt this way after a major purchase. I can relate to how you felt! I feel guilty buying anything that isn’t a necessity. I, like you, try to think of it as an investment into my future. I’ve been thinking of the Canon 7D, but was inspired to check out the 6D after hearing you review it a little here on the blog. The most appealing thing for me, aside from all the fancy features that come with an upgraded camera, is the wireless capabilities.

  6. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I still have the box from my brave move to take the very first check from art I sold and invest in a new camera! It has brought such joy and inspiration into my life! When I pick it up and hold it in my hand…I feel free, giddy and ready to see life as I am supposed to.

  7. Posted January 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Oh baby. I just keep thinking about the camera and it must be thinking, “What did I do to be so blessed to land in these hands.”


  8. Renee
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Once again – you’ve hit the nail on the head and I can so totally relate to this post! A few months ago, I finally took the plunge and bought myself (invested in) a Mac Book Pro. Like you, I kept thinking if I deserved it. But oh! I love it so much – I haven’t looked back and it’s definitely vital for my new business; it also helps me loads with my creative projects. Why haven’t I done it sooner?

    Well done for investing in yourself and your creativity! What a gift :)

  9. JC
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Yes! I took ages to believe I deserved my own laptop, thinking I’d scrape by on the few minutes I could eek out on the “family” (read: husband’s) laptop.
    Finally getting my own has opened up a whole new world of creativity, connection, inspiration and action. LOVE it!

  10. Becka Lee
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    If this were facebook, I would “like” Hannah’s comment! ALSO – thanks for investing in yourself because it is a gift to your readers and your students (not to mention your family) that you continue to build on what you do!

  11. Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    You’re spot on. I invested in myself by traveling to conferences that I considered important to really stretch my brain and my relationships: SxSW and World Domination Summit. I just invested in myself again to return to those two events this year — and I know in my hear they will grant me the wonderful experiences and emotions I seek in my life.

    Thanks for this.

  12. Nancy Guillery
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Wow I thought I could answer that question fairly easily, but turns out not so obvious. Right now running is something I’m doing for myself….it takes time, energy and commitment, but the physical, mental and psychological benefits are tremendous! Just today after being in meetings from 9-4 straight without any breaks I was mentally exhausted but I knew I needed a workout out. That’s exactly what I did and it felt great to do something for myself.

  13. debbie
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    the lighting in this photo makes my heart weightless. awesome!

    I felt that way about my 2012 subaru outback :)

  14. Posted January 17, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    love that picture!! gorgeous light:-)

  15. Sona
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Love the picture and so glad you love the camera and YES, YES, YES you deserve it! I find your blog inspirational. May you be inspired daily to continue this work.

  16. Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    You always take such beautiful photos, but you can really see the quality difference in this one. Great investment in yourself!

  17. Posted January 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I love this post because ever since you talked about getting the camera, I’ve been thinkng about that – what would “investing in myself” look like? What would be the equivalent of “buying the big camera” for me? I’m still not sure, but I’m thinking about it. It’s tough to realize that I don’t have any answers yet. Hmmmm…

    Bigger questions arise: what do I think I’m worthy of??? What are my big hopes and dreams for me? And what will it take to make them true??? Thanks for yet another great thing to ponder, more big questions to find answers for.

    PS. I love the photos you are taking with your new toy!

  18. Mairi
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I love this, Andrea! It all comes down to feeling worthy. Worthy of love, joy, creativity. I am so happy that we decided ro buy the new camera. I hope it will inspire you.

  19. Kimba
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha! So funny to read your take on that box that sat under my desk, just hanging out, waiting for me (for days or sheesh it might have been some weeks?) to say “Okeedokee here I go”: Ready!
    Yeehaw for you and your camera, and your tribe of us is also very lucky to see what you make with it! xo

  20. Teresa
    Posted January 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    HURRAH!! Yay you! Ha! It’s all too true! I took the plunge this year and bought a new camera and lens. I did the exact same thing. – sat and looked at the box, telling my hubby I could still send it back! “It’s not too late!!” He just grabbed the box and tore into it. So thankful for being married to such a good friend! Enjoy! Of course you are a photographer!! You’re a real live girl too!! :)

  21. Posted January 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I have just invested in myself and my creativity this week. I have been pondering how to share about it and came over to read and see how you are doing….it looks awesome…and the camera (it will come for me eventually)….this week I made the plunge and purchased the following (it was a big week):

    a new tripod (its red; just like redlinedesign®) and very cute…

    a new scanner and photo printer (as recommended by Kelly Rae Roberts): to print and scan my artwork and photography to share with the world…

    a new table top easel so I can paint without having to have my work on top of my other work and “stuff”

    I am so excited as I write this…like a little kid in a candy store…cant wait to share the results…(many photos taken in Andrea’s classes)


  22. Gemma
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I happened to hit that photo of Ben while listening to the last minute or so of Gustav Holst’s “Venus, the Bringer of Peace”, and let me tell you it was magical! Thanks for your gorgeous photography!

  23. Elizabeth
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    You have no idea how much this post resonated with me today. I have been STRUGGLING with a decision, and this has been very helpful.

    Thank you Andrea.

  24. Posted January 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    My big investment this past year was in my own health. I spent more than $6,500 on treatments and surgery for a herniated disc. But before getting to that point, I suffered in pain for many weeks (and pretty much lost my mind) without having an MRI, because I was so terrified of spending my family’s money on my health problems. In retrospect, I see that my sanity and health was worth every penny-and that I let fear hold me back for way too long.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By living4Impact » I Need to Run Today on January 17, 2013 at 1:26 am

    […] of my favorite bloggers, Andrea (Superhero Life),  posted a question today: “Have you ever invested in yourself? How did it feel?” When […]

  2. By I Surrender. « A Thousand Shades of Gray on January 19, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    […] I am inspired by Andrea Scher, who creates safe spaces for her students to connect, to contemplate, to dare, to take chances. I’m also inspired by her own acts of courage, her willingness to ask for help, her willingness to invest in herself. […]

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