But what they didn't realize is that yes, yes I do know these people. In fact, I probably know these women better than I know some of my local friends. I have seen their lives the way they see it through their lens. They have opened themselves up, fully exposed themselves, their art, their passion and their creativity. We have made a connection because we are like minded people.
People talk about finding their tribe and I've always wondered what that feels like. Sure I have my family who I love dearly, but to find people who share the same passion and vision as I do...well that is an overwhelmingly intense connection. No one gave me a second glance as I turned my camera down towards my feet or when I stopped to focus on a small leaf laying on the sidewalk. Nobody questioned me as I knelt down on the ground to get a different perspective on the palm trees. In fact, most of the time they would join me! They got me! Having some of my FOL sisters there with me put me at ease as they are all exactly as I thought they would be.
Xanthe Berkley and Kim Klassen (pictured above) made a connection at Camp last year when they found each other at the bar both ordering a Diet Coke. During a learn along at Oasis they spoke about their process. Not how they process photos (which they both do beautifully!) but how they got here and what led them to where they are today. Everyone has taken a different path and stumbled along their way, but we all ended up in a similar place together. It was a talk that will stick with me for a long time to come.
"I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I ended up where I needed to be"
And even more important than finding my tribe is perhaps the self discovery that I stumbled upon. I knew going in that I was going to learn more about photography, but I didn't realize that I would learn so much about myself too. It's ok to feel vulnerable. It's ok to put myself out there and not know what to expect. It's also ok to feel confident in my vision, in my style and in my art. Self confidence is still difficult, but I'm beginning to feel stronger in my own skin. Meredith Winn and Kristin Zecchinelli spoke about the importance of self portraits and seeing ourselves in the family albums. According to them, it's not about the pretty it's about the proof. Talk about a defining moment for all of us mom photographers! To truly know someone you need to see things through their eyes and sometimes seeing myself through my own eyes opens up a whole new world of self discovery.
We all see things in different ways...that's what makes us unique. There were tons of photos of this particular spot with the paint dripped wall and colorful chair and no two were alike. Different perspectives is what makes us who we are. My photo of these chairs included my daughter's puppy who was placed in my bag as a reminder of home. He had fun at Oasis too, but was definitely happy to be back home with his people as was I, but my tribe will always be in my heart and luckily they are only a click away :)
Tomorrow is November and we will be introducing a new monthly theme. In the meantime, why don't you add your Sunshine and Shadow photos to our Flickr Pool!