Why You Shouldn’t Burn Your Bridges


Being an emotional creature is a bi-product of extreme creativity.  I’m pretty sure that if I did my due diligence and researched this, there would be a litany of psychological journals that would report that there is some sort of correlation between the two parts of the brain and this.  For the most part, this isn’t me.  Nonetheless, I love having my creative friends to bounce ideas around with because almost anything can become inspiration.

Brian Freeman is a second cousin to Timile.  While I had heard about him during the course of our relationship, the first time Brian and I met was when Timile was only a few weeks pregnant and we didn’t even know it.  We were in Virginia dealing with some legal bullshit with regards to her closest friends and her her immediate family.  He seemed like a pretty cool guy; but we were in and out in less than twenty-four hours so we didn’t stay long enough outside of getting acquainted.

Timile and I stayed with Brian in December 2010 when one of her best friends was getting married.  Virginia got hit with a whopping two inches of snow and our weekend trip turned into a mini-vacation that lasted a little longer than a week.  In that time, Brian and I began to become friends and talked a lot while Timile would be out with friends or family.

During that week, Brian told Timile and I that he had just bought a camera, some lighting, and backdrop equipment, stating that he was about to take up photography.  He majored in architecture in college and while his parents were being parents by hoping he’d find stable work, Brian always felt that his mission on earth was much bigger than that.  Brian went with whatever he felt fueled his passion and would lead him along his way.  To test things out, he asked Timile and I to be test dummies for his equipment.

Over the past four years, I have kept in contact with Brian and watched him continue to follow what some would call intuition and what he felt was God putting onto his own heart.  He had been commuting back and forth between Hampton, VA and Washington DC and said that he just knew he needed to DC.  He met his wife there and while there are struggles and pitfalls he always shrugs off, things have continued to fall into place (One of my favorite posts on this blog was written about his wedding).  On his Instagram, I have seen him do photo shoots with Under Armour, The Washington Wizards, USA Today, and his work is amazing.  Last night, I saw a picture of Kobe Bryant and his daughter that he took and prompted me to give him a call.

Whenever we do talk, there is something in our exchanges that is said that is ridiculously profound.  I asked him how did he wind up taking a picture of Kobe and the story began with a friend of his who told him “I never burn my bridges because I can’t walk on water.”

Church.  Preach.  Tabernacle.  Synagogue.  Jumu’ah…that was a word.

I try my hardest to not burn bridges.  Sure there are extreme examples of people who have done harm and some form of physical, psychological, and/or spiritual abuse.  They’re the outliers.  Otherwise, you never know what good someone who may have been toxic for yourself can possibly have a positive impact on someone else.  Maybe it’s ego, it could be an inner credo, or whatever.  Everyone that we encounter, we leave a little of ourselves with them.  The best thing to do is to always try to leave people with a positive experience.

A little more than three years into being in a very creative-and emotional-field, my relationships are everything.  Even if my motivation for networking is to further my own career and endeavors, I always lead with or find a way to ask/suggest/state “What can I do for you?”  People of influence or with something are more often than not asked for something to be given to them initially versus what can be offered.  Continue to do so and people typically are more than willing to reciprocate when their services are requested.  One can have a Rolodex iCloud full of phone numbers and email addresses of those that they are acquainted with.  However, the person with five relationships in which they have done more for those than they have done for them is more powerful.

I think that I unconsciously approach my romantic relationships in the same manner.  Maybe that’s because everyone that I have dated within the past three years have been creatives and in some sense worked in a similar industry as me.  I have dated the emotional of emotional people who have had talents better than most; but they didn’t have the greatest attitudes and constantly told me tales of soured relationships.  When they needed something executed for the sake of their professional endeavors, they had no one to go to and felt that they needed business partners because they know how they can be.  Nobody gets anywhere based on talent alone and those people wind up being assed out.  Even if they sucked, I still would connect them with others that I knew because my relationships are A-1 and even if someone was a jerk, they would still work with me.  I’ll still maintain those relationships because their particular capabilities can come in handy at sometime.

The truth of the matter is that if one’s bridges aren’t burned, there’s no need to walk on water if you can walk above it.  Brian Freeman’s not-so-ordinary road into becoming and excelling as well-regarded photographer is a testament to this.

Follow him on Instagram and check out his site at www.BKFreeman.com.


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