Monday, October 22, 2012

If not now, then when?


For most of this year, I've been taking an online course with Kim Klassen called Beyond Layers. Working with Kim is always such a treat and I've been following her blog regularly for a couple of years now. It was in one of the class posts that she asked us this question: If not now, then when? The idea being that we could make all kinds of excuses for not doing something. Or we can just do it.

Wow! Did those words resonate with me!! It was about this time that registration for Shutter Sisters Oasis opened. Last year's camp sold out in hours but I was too fearful to move that quickly. The agonizing question was: To go ... or not to go? Doing something like this is soooo far outside my comfort zone that it's laughable. I came up with all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't go, three of the main ones were:

  1. I'm not much of a "joiner", I actually enjoy my own company, I don't require lots of people and activity around me to be happy. In fact, when I first encounter new situations, I tend to shrink inside myself a little bit, I become very quiet. Once I get a feel for things, it gets better but it doesn't often come easily.
  2. The next hurdle is the idea of traveling across country alone. You see, I do not, repeat, do not, like to travel alone. Nor do I like to leave my home and family, I'm pretty much a homebody. When I travel, I like to have somebody in my family with me. Yeah ... I know ... what a baby.
  3. Last, but not least, there is the matter of my hearing loss. I wearing hearing aids in both ears but still sometimes have trouble holding my own in group conversations. This might in some way account for my reticence in groups. It brings out the introvert in me.
If not now, then when?

But ... last year Terri went to Camp Shutter Sisters and couldn't stop talking about it. Really! And there was something deep inside me that really, really wanted to make this happen, to meet people I've come to know online. Still ... there were all these reasons why I shouldn't go ...

If not now, then when?

Finally I summoned up the courage and registered. It was done. There was no turning back. As you read this, I'm in Palm Spring, California, along with Deanna, Leigh, Linda, Stephanie and Terri and some eighty other photographers. Sadly, the other four members of our FOL team ... Carol, Claudia, Judy and Kim ... were not able to join us.  ... *sniff, sniff* ... We miss you gals!

As I write this, prior to my departure, I'm still scared spitless, probably more scared than excited. Right now I'm trying to figure out what in the world possessed me to think I should do this. What was I thinking?

If not now, then when?

Something tells me that some of you are right there with me in trying to overcome obstacles, real or imagined that often times keep us from stepping outside our comfort zones. We don't allow ourselves to even try, we're too timid. How about it? Is there some dream, some aspiration you've long held but have been too timid to try?

If not now, then when?

Be sure to continue posting your wonderful sunshine and shadow photos on our Flickr page. It seems that our work improves with each month. I'm so glad you're here to share this experience with us.


19 comments:

Carol said...

Dear Dotti,
I am just so proud of you for doing this! I actually am in sync with many of your reasons for not wanting to make the move. I was blessed to be brought up in a quiet household, and I love my solitude. If I do something like you are doing, I always need to schedule in down time - even if I have to stay up later or get up earlier than everyone else. But I've also learned not to say no to special opportunities like what you are doing right now. You knew in your soul that you wanted to do this. And there you are, with built in friends, and a passion in common. How can you miss? It took guts to get there. Now the fun starts, and the memories will last forever! You are very brave! Now enjoy!<3

Carol said...

By the way, I hope you show this to Kim, so she knows how she influenced you!

AFishGirl said...

This is such a beautifully written, honest, and heart-felt post. I woke up this morning and my first thought was of all of you together out there in the sunshine with your cameras, experiencing the vastness of the whole thing. All those months of planning for everyone and now, there you are. I keep racing to Flickr to see if any more shots are up. I know they'll come in as the days unfold and in the weeks following. I find it moving, very moving, to know so many of you are gathered together. I send my love and best fish wishes for a glorious time.
oxoxox Fishgirl

heyjudephotography said...

Dotti, so honestly written, from the heart. At the time I'm reading this I'm sure you're fast asleep in Palm Springs, or at least I hope you are. And you've gotten through the initial meeting of everyone and sometimes awkward first moments. Now it's your time to relax and let yourself be completely immersed in this wonderful opportunity you have given yourself. Like you, and Carol above, I need my "alone" time, I kind of like to be alone many times. So I totally understand how you're feeling. But I do know, that just like Terri did last year, you will be so grateful that you had this experience, so proud of yourself that you "did it," and so excited to share what you've experienced. I am very proud of you for doing this, for stepping outside of your comfort zone! Gee, when you do it, you do it big! Have loads of fun, take time for yourself, and enjoy! My thoughts are with all of my FOL sisters out there, as well as all of our other photography friends. :)

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Pam -- one of these days we are all going to grab you from you comfort zone and get to see your brillant face-- what do you think about that? :)

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

I'm doing the same thing - checking into Flickr and instagram every chance I get - I feel like I'm there!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

I smiled the entire time I read your heartfelt thoughts. Like you I have always been a wee bit hesitant, but I have been blessed to be able to meet on a couple occations some of my on line friends. What a joy it is to put faces to the written word.

I am hoping you have a blast and that you will share all the fun with us! Make sure that everyone knows how much I wish I could be there. I keep saying "next year!"

Hugs-- be safe!

Cathy H. said...

Dotti, my heart goes out to you for the stuggle you've gone through! I can defintely ditto all three of your reasons for not wanting to commit! I admire you so much for pushing yourself and going!!!!! Now, I'm waiting to see your lovely images and read about your adventures! You girls have enough fun for all of us!!!

Peggy said...

Bravo! Dottie you are taking that step to push you even further in your blogging and photography. How brave. Have a wonderful time. Peggy from PA

radish38 said...

great post, Dotti. I am hoping the best for you there. I bet you come home so proud and assured. You have done so much since I knew you in Big Picture classes. You are a wonderful participant. Sally

Natalie said...

Wow Dotti, I had to look a few times to see who wrote this post. I never would have guessed. I hope you are enjoying yourself.

I share some of the same reasons for not participating in group activities. I don't have a hearing loss but I had a Traumatic Brain injury 10 years ago and I am easily overwhelmed with new people and situations. Like you, I like being alone. I guess we are both doing things out of our comfort zones. Before FOL, I don't think I would be sharing my pictures or sharing stories with people I met online. I'm glad I did though..

Have fun

Karen @ away for the weekend said...

Good for you! I hope you have a wonderful trip!

parsoncarson said...

So good to read your post and hear about your new adventure. You continue to inspire me!
Wishing you a wonderful time away.

Susan said...

Wow, you just described me to the T!! It takes work to become a social butterfly "in person" lol. The thing is, you miss out on some of lifes most precious moments when you don't venture out of your comfort zone! Your story has really awaken me, and Im so glad that you decided to go. You will have a wonderful time, and gain a lifetime of memories! Thanks for sharing and have a blessed and safe trip:)

Michele.NYC said...

Oh Dottie...I am looking forward to reading all about your experience when you get back. I hesitated this year and have been kicking myself seeing all the images on instagram. I will be there next year and I hope you will be too. Have a wonderful time and savor the moment. Meeting these fabulous women will only make your friendships stronger and you are lucky for it.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

So happy for you that you decided now was the time to go! Looking forward to reading posts about your experience!! Enjoy!

Viv (modifica) said...

Dotti so pleased that you did it... I am the same I've never been on an aeroplane by myself and the thought of a transatlantic flight gives me wobbly legs . Have loads of fun ...

Kim Klassen said...

oh Dotti.... i'm so happy you are here.....

this is such a sincere post..... I so know how you feel.......
and I'm so glad you are here....

it's just insane. :)

xo, Kim

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