Cultivating a better relationship with self.

As it was stated in the recap blog last week, last month’s themes were all introspective. This month’s themes are outward, starting with the relationship with one’s self. The first four blogs laid the groundwork to get started with self-discovery. Coincidentally, getting to know one’s self causes a perspective shift, from just going through the motions on autopilot. This shift starts the moment one start’s asking questions. Similar to how the early phase of talking before dating, how in the beginning, asking questions to possible suitors changes mentality from: “this is a stranger that seems interesting”, to “this is someone who I want to get to know more”, and lastly, “this is someone worth my time.”

Time to do the same thing with yourself, be intrigued, and look forward to being impressed.

Finding One Self with Telluride

What makes one’s self interesting?

Not relatable or to attract, but what genuinely makes you interesting?

I worded it like that for a reason: we all have a perception we want to be seen as, accepted as, and hold interest from others. In simpler terms, we all want the cool-kid version of ourselves to be interesting to sit at the cool kid table we deem the coolest. So that we feel like we “fit”.

However, just like the faking of courage till one makes it, sews an individual into imposter syndrome. So does getting lost in how we are perceived. Starts with a trendy dating bio. The next thing suddenly is keeping up being relatable, to be accepted and perceived a certain way.

Ouray Couple Photographer captures fall in San Juans Mountains.

What happens when the “cool kid” armor gets stripped away?

What is one actually interested in, that brings fear of judgment?

How is this regret from a previous lesson from hurt in trusting the wrong person by letting them know?

Since when did patience in finding the best-suited tribe for oneself, dissipate?

What behavior from self and others, is an individual excusing, justifying, and permitting?

For the sake of keeping up appearances?

Heavy hitters of questions?

I know.

Telluride Colorado Adventure Photographer

There is an importance to each of those heavy questions.

  • What makes you interesting?

Many would start listing things that would make them sound relatable. Most wouldn’t list things that would stand out.


  • Not to attract acceptance through relativeness, what makes you interesting?

Furthermore, research has shown many people also shy away from answering honestly. Due to being on autopilot. No, this is not a sign to hit buy now or take a trip. However, this is a sign to check in to hotel de Cabeza. Check-in with self, by checking out what is happening in one’s head. Since the masses would rather check into hotels as well as try to buy happiness through items, and “showing” others (and themselves), “look I did it!” Yet, the feeling doesn’t last long.


  • What happens when the “cool kid” armor gets stripped away?

Now there is nothing wrong with wanting to be accepted. Yet just like getting lost in the want of anything, getting lost in being accepted by perception will make the destination of one’s soul that. Lost. Losing self in the obsession to be accepted, to be able to “fit” by being interesting by being relatable. To sit at the cool kid table and feel like one fits there. Yet what if every table, was a cool kid table? Where would one feel called to the most, if judgment over what was cool or not was removed? So what is the actual cool kid table one wants to sit at?



  • What behavior from self and others is an individual excusing, justifying, and permitting? To sit at the cool kid table?

As each one of us has a perception of ourselves that pertains to access to the table we deem coolest…behaviors might diverge from core values, to what is thought to be access to acceptance. As a result, this behavior tends to be a mirror of what others have done, the same others that acceptance is sought from. Justifying behaviors from others equals permitting ourselves to the same actions. So is being accepted, worth it?

These questions are supposed to be an alert, that it is time to check in to a timeout of sitting with uncomfortableness; creating a perspective shift.

Since the perception of acceptance has been greatly manipulated by social media. Attention increases the more likes and comments. In turn, the moment chemicals in the brain get hooked on the “high” of feeling accepted…even if it is false. Then following that accepted feeling, comparison sinks in when one sees another user’s post having better interactions. Social media has made the perception of acceptance a high, just immediately replace with a low: fear of missing out.

Firstly, this article discusses 8 ways that social media negatively affects users. Additionally, this link here, explains quickly some of the mental effects of social media. Lastly, this article launches into why social media is so addicting and includes a how-to slowly change the effects.

After reading those articles, I stand by my observation. Social media has taken the freedom of being ourselves and honed in on the cool kid table. Enter in all of these questions.

They are to create a curiosity of oneself. Tie into the perspective shift of judgment, regret, fear, and patience. It is a perfect recipe for self-discovery and dating one’s own being.

Telluride Colorado Adventure Photographer

One’s not merely art by design, but simply art by living authentically and being themselves.

Another perception trick social media has pulled in turning anything artistic viral.

Just as long as the design behind it can be easily sold.

How does this affect the masses?

Fame has always caused people to conform to trends. Social media just exploited that knowledge.

Furthermore, by making fame seem easy for anyone to accomplish, social media created a cult following of “how to go viral”.

In the same way, how to perpetually sit at the cool kid table. Just make art (oneself or product) be designed to fit a mold of easily sold success. Copy these actions and behaviors of those that one follows. Write captions like this, have colors like this, network according to this guidebook, and slowly become a boiled frog.

Hop out of the cult, and reprogram.

Everyone who limits or takes hiatuses from social media notes similar to the following.

I felt more like me and I looked around and it was like looking up from my phone and realizing one has checked out of reality for too long. You can easily see and hear the ones who live on social media and phones religiously. As well as those who don’t. Words used, style and attitude or humor.

As someone who leaves all social media for a month per year, I always am shocked at shared observations. Even if these are from states away, the echoes are always unifying. Leaving for one month of the year, cold turkey always feels like deprogramming: each and every year. You can track my thoughts during the hiatus in this blog here.

Cutting the feed of perception cold turkey and making my own island of calm and cool, always makes me realize how much hold social media has on society. People forget that they are art just as they are– they do not need trendy molds to be deemed worthy by design. Art is not meant for everyone, art is meant to create awareness of many things.

I think this is where my dedication to calling everyone art derives from.

Reminding them, that they do not need a perfect fit of a trend to be incomparably unforgettable–

they are already extraordinarily masterpieces.

Black and White Faceless Portrait Artwork.

To be extraordinary is to be incomparably one’s self.

Sure I find inspiration from baroque lighting and full framework through placement and posing; as well as Lomochrome and other vintage film color-grading… but my best inspiration has always come from the stories I am told.

How each of us interacts: from sitting and posture, to how we communicate and how we intertwine souls with others, and lastly. how we get lost in the moments, how free we look when we aren’t trying to fit a mold.

Art is everywhere that people are.

Ben always times my people watching on dates before asking, “What do you see?” Creating laughter before I answer.

Due to Ben learning all these things, he seems to be able to capture the best perceptive of me with a camera.

Funny, it has taken time to get used to being in the scene that I’m typically capturing.

For clarification, it always reminds me of how anyone and everyone in their own life bubble is art. At any given time.

Essentially, Ben causes me to practice what I believe.

Take away the glitz and glam, keep the foreground and background, blend the subject yet let it lead the masterpiece. Crafted by love.

Removing the expectation of perceived success–freeing both muse and artist.

The best art is meant to evoke thought, feeling, and expression. The fluidity to be admired, and stimulate subjective discussions.

Yes, sometimes art can be designed, it just doesn’t start out as design.

Art has always been a way to revel and leave hidden messages through colors used, lighting, and poses.

Art has been created by bubbles from everyday life, longer than a certain company coined “a tale as old as time.”

Capturing Self, Telluride Colorado Adventure Photographer

Change perception and make one’s self cool– so that any table, is a cool table.

By realizing you are walking art, you begin to think of how you are interesting outside of molds of relativeness. Let judgment fall away from the fear of the regret of not being cool enough to sit with the cool kids at the cool table.

Cool people don’t use the standard of molds of relatable to declare what the cool standard is.

Actually, cool people use self-awareness, set standards and boundaries with themselves. So that no matter the latest trend, and even after 15 minutes of fame– they can still stand by their own actions, behaviors, and decisions.

The secret to being closer to self?

Having the patience to cultivate a better sense of self without needing the validation to the deemed as “cool”.

The standard is to just be free.

So what exactly makes one interesting?

Telluride Colorado Adventure Photographer


  1. Sonz says:

    Love this read

  2. Iva says:

    This week’s blog was by far the best. I really took all of it in while reading, and stopped to think about the questions being asked. This felt like a peaceful reflecting session, and really was a joy to read!

    • BenandBecca Pettis says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Glad it could be a relaxing Sunday read to lead into a fresh week! Happy to create a calm spot on the interenet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read  the Latest

Latest Buzz


Colorado • Worldwide


Read the

Your Lover’s Tale,
your love, our muse,
creating vintage art
in vivid stills + moving frames