February 8, 2013


I encourage my students to try things; to experiment in a low-stakes environment; to screw up. It's our mistakes that teach us everything. Within the world of statistics, I've been an expert for years. The role of expert provided me safety. Yet it also feels dull. Dull, blah, uninteresting. It no longer serves my soul.

So I took some risks. (Besides my upcoming resignation in August.) I experiment with photography and writing, and I often bare myself on this blog. I participate in the online Flickr community, and I bare tender parts of me (the parts that are still unsure about my art; the parts that want critique, but in a gentle voice).

Every time I take these risks, I feel naked; I feel vulnerable. Yet I also feel incredibly alive. It's an interesting line to walk: if you fall off one side, you feel hurt and embarrassed; if you fall off the other side, you feel stilted and tired. I've come to realize that perhaps it's not such a fine line, but a wide path (with many soft places to land). All of life is balancing responsibility and freedom, safety and risk, vulnerability and boundary, pleasure and pain.

And it's our mistakes that teach us everything. 


  1. Thank you for your post Joy! Love these experiments in black and white: still my favourite way to photograph and create selfies as to me, they are the most artistic and I love the beautiful simplicity of working with them.

    Right now, I am in the stage of allowing myself to make mistakes and to embrace my inner child: it's very difficult for someone who has always been very perfectionist, but the more I learn to let go, the more balance I feel coming up and that's a great feeling, despite the uncertainty and the strange feeling of saying goodbye to these old parts of me after more than 30 years ...

    1. Thanks for sharing such a tender part of your journey, Cococita. Cheers to mistakes and to re-parenting our inner children!