I think I'm an unusual twist of a person. I feel I'm a big bundle of paradoxes. Perhaps that's just the wonder of the me that God created... perhaps it's my burden to overcome. I'm not sure yet. I often feel I don't fit in. In so many ways I'm just too much for those I know.
I'm logical, methodical, scientifically minded, mathematically geared, insanely and always curious, with an engineering "let's make this work better" approach to the things I encounter in life. Yet I have this artistic component that screams inside of me if I try to deny it. The artist doesn't reconcile with the scientist. I feel so incredibly deeply and seem to be so sensitive to the emotions and feelings of others, almost as if I absorb them myself. I am always thinking. Thinking thinking thinking. I was musical (I miss that). Making and Creating with my hands, whether it be art or crafts or photography or cooking, makes me so blissfully happy. I cannot process how I feel about anything without writing about it. Ever. There are times when things come into my brain and I cannot function in any other arena of life until I sit down and let those words get out and down on "paper". It is as if those words bouncing around in my subconscious are alive themselves, fighting with the normal processes of life. They engage in battle, relentlessly, until they win and dominate my attention enough to find their exit, with the definitive and satisfying black and white of true prose. (There is such relief when I submit to the need. When I sit down, write, let it out, and it is finished. Such sweet relief)
When I'm making friends, I yearn for deep, deep soul connection. I seek someone who understands the depths of my inner world, and exists on a plane that is so much more than surface shallowness. Who understands the drive to create, compose, and feel, all within the paradoxical confines of science, math, order, and perfectionism. I need someone who can relate to this paradoxical pull of scientist and artist. I need someone who is authentic, genuine, honest and pure, and doesn't engage in loathsome smalltalk.
The internet world of photography is quite interesting. There is a whole network of folks who have connected online. You learn together. You share. You grow together. You have similarities. Common interests. Common goals. You discuss. You encourage. It all exists within the confines of words. The back and forth dialogue of words - what I love. It feels like a perfect fit for me. Yet, that act of sharing of your art... that you have carefully created and nurtured... it is such a risk. You are so vulnerable. The rejection of something that is so close to your soul can wound your heart fiercely. That vulnerability generates a sense of camaraderie, I believe, at least for those who create out of their hearts. I love it.
However, it is still online. Virtual. There is a wall you cannot breach, for you are not in the same place. You don't hear the inflection in their words. You cannot infer from their facial expressions and body language. You never really know for sure if it is all real. I've been immersed in the online photography land long enough to see the claws come out, once someone has stepped on a land mine. Niceties and masks are put aside with real character bared. I've been victim of false friendships myself- when they use you until they've pulled from you what they need and then drop you. Falsehood and deception and ugly jealousy. It is really quite fascinating how very much "high school" it can all feel. Apparently we never really leave that behind. My interactions in the online photography world are always tempered with the uncertainty of if it is all genuine. The threat is always lurking.
I "met" this photographer friend, Ginger, a year ago, when I took the Finding the Light Workshop. It really surprises me that we didn't cross paths sooner in our photography journeys. Our passions are so similar. Motherhood. Homemaking. Documenting Childhood in beautiful ways. Cherishing the real moments. Instilling in their hearts a sincere love of Jesus. And both of us approach it all coming from a non-artistic background.
We just "clicked" in the workshop and thanks to the wonders of technology and the internet, we've continued to grow our friendship. We've encouraged each other in our photography journeys, we've encouraged each other in our motherhood, we've encouraged each other in our Faith in and walk with God. It has been a blessed year for me in getting to know her. She oozes authenticity. And that is something I value so highly in my friends. When the threat of insincerity is always lurking in online photography land, she has been a beacon of pure light for me. I am so thankful to call her friend.
We had planned our annual vacation this year as our first family trip to Disney World in Florida. When I realized just how close this friend lives to Disney, there was no way we could pass up the opportunity to meet her. I'm proud of Shawn for being willing to take our whole family there. He has been more leery of online dealings than I ever have, but he trusted me, for I trusted her. When you've seen the day by day images of life with someone, over a long time, you just know. She wasn't some creepy old man in his mother's attic, typing away on his computer, surrounded by empty pizza boxes and dirty magazines. She was real, and safe.
It was amazing. Simply amazing. She looked just like her photos. Her children were real life versions of the beautiful images I've viewed for a year, and they were just like the photos. Their sweet spirits just shined through. Kindred spirits, we all were. The two of us just click. We get it. We are on that same plane. The kids all clicked like crazy. It was just too cool. But the biggest surprise and bonus for me was that the husbands clicked, too. I adore this family. Absolutely adore them, and I just hate that they live so very far from us. I know Shawn had dreaded having to spend an evening and day with a family he knew absolutely nothing about, but it ended up being just fantastic. We all enjoyed it so much.
I am so thankful we were given the opportunity to meet in person and further forge our friendship. I love how God uses technology and the internet for His ways. He brought us, and now our families, together. I am excited to see where that path will go.
Now I need to find a way to make it all the way across the country to San Francisco to visit my other fellow scientist artist kindred spirit Jayme Franklin and her children. I'd bet my morning coffee our meeting would turn out just the same!
I shot these with my Nikon D800 Nikon 85mm f1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.4D
Sigma 30mm f1.4