Friends with Benefits.
Me: I can't find anything cheaper than $450. AHHHHH. Can't do $450!! Tim: Well what "can" you do?
Me: Your mom. And $350. But I won't give up just yet!
Tim: Well I talked to Candice and Erin [We are all willing to put in to cover costs]. No Excuses.
I almost didn't go. For crying out loud, I just got here! But with some pressure mixed with guilt and days on end efforts to book a flight from everyone's behalf and a generous gift, I was headed to a J*Jets reunion. No getting out of this one.
Confirming the decision to fly back to the Mainland was tough, especially after finding out that my 94 year old grandmother, Mommalou, was diagnosed with a brain tumor and scheduled to have neurosurgery the same week, but my Mother insisted that I go and encouraged me to have fun, enjoy such great company, and benefit from the experience. With my Mom (& Marshall!) so adamant about me showing up, some hardcore peer pressure, and the fact that elusive Anthony Quesada was slated to make a dashing appearance, I couldn't say no. So I accepted my Aunt's generous frequent flier miles and belted my seat to arrive in San Diego.
The weekend was jam-packed with everything from kayaking with Tim upon my arrival, hiking the next day (more on THAT trekk, later!), sunsets every night, backyard bonfires, and "philosophical" roundtable conversation (If you had a terminal illness, what would be your "Make A Wish?" and it HAS to be selfish, no charity allowed here!) We got dirty looks for our jokes in public, we chatted until one of us passed out in a hammock, and we kept each other going with the help of a few naps mixed in there. Totally worth 57,000 flier miles. These people keep me on my toes.
Us Jets all recognize how lucky we are to have each other. Even though we are scattered across the U.S. (and Pacific! ;)), and have different relationships with each other, there is no doubt in my mind that these people will always be there for me. We were put together for a reason, and it's certainly no coincidence how well we get along. I've got a feeling this is just the start of something BIG. Real big. I'm sure you know, I love you guys like whoa (wickie-wickie reeemixxxx). & Jasmine. SO GLAD YOU CAME! Thank you for putting us all together. You have created a monster. Thank you for your love, guidance, and glittery goodness, bows and all! ;)
I am grateful for all of the people who have been my support system, professionals and friends alike. I am thankful for the opportunities I've been provided, the knowledge, insight, and late night laughs from every one of you. For my friends (and photo friends) who've been there, pushed me forward, and simply answered the phone when I needed a warm body to rant to, thank you.
Being in a creative field is tough, and building your own business is even freakin' tougher. Having a support system that you can engage with is tremendous on pushing yourself to excel past your goals, talk out ideas, and just have someone critique your new black and blue logo. Make the effort and reach out! A connection with someone in your field, someone who see's how the golden light shines through those trees, too, could be a gigantic force in your career. Being huge fans of the adage "A rising tide raises all ships", the Jets keep each other encouraged and inspired, even though we are in the same industry. But you know WHAT? Out of the seven of us, none of us is looking for the same client! There is business to be had for us all, and with some friends along your side, we can all make it happen for each other. It's amazing to know that someone has your back, but even better when someone knows you've got theirs.
A few shots from San Diego & the Jets on film (John couldn't make it and we missed him so! NEXT TIME!). Shot on a Canon EOS-1VN with a Canon 50mm 1.4 and Fuji 400H film (Overexposed to 100). (I sound like I know what I'm talking about, huh?). Developed one hour at Ritz Camera for $7.99, HOLLA! & Now I've figured out exposure, now I've got to figure out my camera's focus points! Because I sure did miss the mark on a few of these! But whatevs.
Note: some of you may kill me for the photos of you, in particular, jasmine, but it's FILM! I only have a few shots, haha! & can you spot the OSCAR in these photos??