#Mygreateststrength. Some people are so authentic that you have the feeling you´ve known them forever. Syl Gervais is such a person to me, although I´ve ony admired her work on her blog „Syl loves“ so far. Her colorful, wonderful photos, her cheerful optimism and her words are so honest and genuine that Syl’s answer to my question about her greatest strength has hardly surprised me because her work and her appearance radiate precisely these strengths.
“My greatest strengths are optimism, cheerfulness and the fact that I am not afraid of challenges.
Since I came from a very poor family in Poland and had to take care of myself, my studies and my parents at a very young age and the circumstance that I had several jobs at the same time while learning for university, has made me kind of tough. I always had to travel very much alone. My university was in Saxony and my jobs in Bavaria, so I traveled up and down with a huge backpack in the trains of Germany.
After my studies in Germany I didn´t get a working visa and should have gone back to Poland. But as I didn´t want that, I grabbed my backpack again and traveled to Great Britain without having a job. But everything worked out well, I found a great job within two weeks – my first real office job, without really speaking proper english – I rented a nice apartment and cut my way through. At this time I missed my present husband very much, I was in love and he was so far away.
It was never easy, but always very challenging and adventurous. And whenever I think about the stages of my life, I realize that I couldn´t have done it without humor, laughter and a positive attitude. On my path I had always help by great people who offered me amazing chances. I truly believe that, if you have an honest, positive attitude and be optimistic, good things will always come to you and people will trust you. You have to dare to dream, be open minded and take your chances. If I hadn´t done that, I wouldn´t be living my little dream now. I´m working as a freelance photographer and stylist for several years now and have a lot of great projects in my portfolio. I am, of course, a lateral entrant in this profession. By the way, back from Great Britain I’ve married my Mr. Right and for about ten years I´m a happy stepmom of two – now – teenagers.
Even if I had always been a lone fighter, I´m learning through my “journey” how important other people are on my way or for success. I admire creative women, I´m not envious at all and I´ve noticed, just like you wrote, dear Sonja, that women support each other increasingly, that they work together and not against each other and that makes me very happy.
Recently I went to Sicily for a photoshoot with other photographers, I had a wonderful time and realized how much women needed each other. We were all around 40+ and although we didnt know each other before, we quickly got together as a group. I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about my weaknesses, I had doubts about my photography and I said it right out in the open. And these great women took their time to talk about my work and me as a person and I felt that it came from the heart. I´ve cried for joy and was so grateful for their honesty. We all need to hear compliments from time to time, especially from women and we must not be ashamed of that. We´ve talked to each other for days and nights, empowered each other, gave each other tips and photo tricks, laughed and cried a lot. I will never forget this experience.
All in all, I´d like to say that we women are great! We have strengths and weaknesses and that is all too human and okay. We decide what we want to achieve in life and how we want to live our lives. Optimism, a fighting spirit and a smile also help a lot. We all undergo good and bad times, but we shouldn´t get caught in the difficult times but look ahead. If we want something in life, we should dare to ask other great women for help, trust ourselves and accept difficulties as challenges.”
Cover photo of Syl Gervais: Sabrina Schindzielorz Fotografie
This post is also available in: German