When We Talk of Exposure

This is what it means to me and how it makes me view life

Lately I’ve been thinking of the word exposure and what it means, because we all have a different understanding of what it means based on our situations, personal or otherwise. But first, let me let you in on something I find quite intriguing about myself with regards to words. Sometimes I can just be minding my own business, engaging in conversations that are going on around me and suddenly one word keeps lingering and I just can’t seem to shake it off. So I subconsciously start fixating on it and weirdly, most of the conversation that happen around me or the stories I will read from then on will often be around that one word until I gather enough insight to write on something about it.

See, if there’s one thing that I have come to appreciate in my life so far, it’s the level of exposure that I have been subjected to in my work environments and my home environments. It has enabled me to grow in so many ways, from being able to envision a life that at one point I never could really make out. I mean, if you asked me to paint a picture of what I wanted my life to be like in 5 years or 10 years, it was quite blurry to be honest. I would say things just to get the question answered and of course not to look like non-visionary person, but whether that’s what I really wanted, mmmh, I highly doubt. But the more I have gotten exposure, the more I am able to envision what I really want and even don’t want, even though it all keeps changing every so often. Here are some ways in which I have gotten to encounter and experience exposure and how it’s made me view life from that perspective.

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.

~ Ruth E. Renkel ~

Stepping out of my Comfort Zone
Visiting friends and family; Going to new places; Meeting new people and doing different things.

Interestingly, we are heavily influenced by how we’re brought up. Do you feel that way? Well, a big part of me does, because sometimes I would do something and in my mind I would be, “Whoa! That’s so mum!” You know how you would find yourself doing certain things around your house just the way your parents did them. From the interior set-up of your house, to the choice of meals you cook or pair up on a daily, how you fold and arrange your clothes in the wardrobes, how you store your perishables and non-perishables in the pantry or even how you throw your trash. If your mum used to store shopping paper bags in one big bag for use in the small bins around the house before transferring them to the main bin outside, then best be sure you will find yourself doing exactly that. Sometimes even how you react to things, your choice of words at that very moment could be influenced by the words your parents/siblings/playmates used on you or on each other.

You’re more or less subjected to one way of doing things growing up, which could easily dictate how you do your things as well. But as times goes by, and you say start visiting your family and friends or start going to new places that you hadn’t been to before or meeting new people that you had never interacted with before, you get to figure out that there are different ways of doing things. It opens up your eyes and broadens your mind and slowly you start forming your own unique and independent way of doing things. You have a wider selection from which you can borrow a few thing here and there. Such that the behavior you form at this point is not necessarily limited to your background or to your surroundings, but it’s also influenced by the things outside your comfort zone and this gives you a new lease on life.

Doing More with Less
Taking up work projects, passion projects and facing new challenges

It has become some the joke of the day, “being paid for exposure.” Where someone asks you to do a job but instead paying you in cash, they pay you well, in not so many complicated words, in kind. They give you some complimentary tickets to an event that you were helping create traction for or they give you some branded merchandise as a keepsake or they tell you, “thank you, next time when the budget allows…” Well, I don’t mean that kind of exposure in this case, because that’s extortion, let’s call it what it is now. It’s only fair if you give people’s work the much respect they give yours – in that if they deliver the results, you reward them accordingly. And sometimes that respect is in the form of monetary compensation for the work provided, especially if they’ve helped you bring in some good business. Share the proceeds; because at the end of the day, people need that money to survive you know, given the cost of living.

However, the kind of exposure I am talking of in this case is the kind where you do more with less. For instance, many times when you’re working you will be required to do things that are well above your pay grade or well beyond your job description or say not even within your budget but you still need to deliver on the assignment. Do you turn it down? Or do you complain about it? Well, you could, it’s the easier way out. But if you’re looking to get the exposure that will propel you, then you need to be in those type of situations, because such situations are a learning opportunity. The kind of situations where you don’t know what is required of you at that point or even how that assignment is meant to be done, but you go for it anyway. Then you strive to figure out how to work around it either by learning from those who know how or even devising ways in which you can tackle the assignment and learning while at it.

There are sometimes you are given challenges not necessarily work related. It could be by your peers or your friends asking you to explore projects that require your presence, your time, your effort and at times even your resources such as money or space. But then the value derived from doing that project with them is much more and you get to understand how certain things are done, you get to meet and interact with people you probably hadn’t met before or you get to bond over a project that brings you joy and satisfaction or one that has an impact on the society in one way or another. Which again helps you build your character as you see the world through different lenses.

Being Open to New Concepts
From networking, reading and watching to open yourself up to new possibilities

Let me talk for myself here. I don’t know if I am speaking for the masses, but I am very vanilla when it comes to the way I do my things and sometimes that could make me very shy to experiment on new concepts. I will first automatically think, “that’s so not me.” I still do that a lot even now. So it’s very easy for me to let an opportunity pass me by because I felt “it wasn’t so me.” Like the one time my friend signed me up for an impromptu photoshoot she was organizing and I was about to pass it up because I felt like the whole thing was off my radar, but she wouldn’t hear any of it. Then I eventually did it after a lot of convincing and I had the best time getting dolled up and looking pretty for the camera. And after I was done and dusted, I wondered why I had made such a big fuss over it in the first place.

Over time though, I have come to realize that there’s no harm in trying out the new things because they bring in a new perspective in how I think and act. And sometimes I don’t really have to go out of my way to find those new things to introduce into my life. From interacting with my friends and making some joint plans, I’ve been able to do things I would otherwise not have done on my own accord. Or reading books and articles or watching shows and seeing the different ways in which people have done things. It gives me the hope that there’s more to life than what I am currently going through or experiencing and it makes me look forward to unlocking those possibilities. That for me is a form of exposure that costs almost nothing, and over and above you achieve more as an individual with less input. The lazy in me is rejoicing right now with this revelation…ha!

I think the trick here is trying to find bits of yourself as you move around this maze that is life, then everything else will follow in its own time.

It’s just the beginning of the week, so I am wishing you a beautiful one ahead.

Stay Inspired,
Kawi