Maybe it was the time difference. Maybe it was the lack of water. Maybe it was what seemed to be our reason for everything; the dry air, but I am still trying to wrap my brain around last week and 5 days in Las Vegas with thousands of photographers. Groggy, catching up on sleep and reviewing pages worth of notes--not from speakers, but from myself. I went in expecting my mind to be blown *BOOMF* that's the sound...of ya know, my mind blowing. Wait, what? Who said that? and I came out remembering what matters most, and those are my relationships. The heart of the people who matter most. The people who I believe in, and the ones who push me right back, even when it hurts. But it took me a few days in to realize this. Tired and mentally drained, I stood in my glasses where I had attended Photographer's Ignite all alone, apparently unaware that it was more cocktail party than speaking engagement in my striped tee and flats I was absolutely underdressed (when does this happen?) and in the middle of the entry way, mid-conversation with someone who I admire most, a river of emotions filled my eyes and streamed down my cheeks. 'Tears, againnnnn' you say? Yep. Crybaby status. Now all I need is a tiny jar to keep all my salty emotions. (100 points for Griffyndor if you get that reference!)
And again, maybe it was the time difference, or the lack of water, or the dry airrrrrr, standing there full of emotion and embarrassed by my wet face, I blamed it on skipping yoga but really I knew it was because I was getting to my core. In a room full of beautiful, talented, marketing smart and exceedingly wealthy entrepreneurs I felt totally exposed. And I was in my flats for crying out loud! I was surrounded by all of these people, not recognizing a single face, wanting to be something to all of them, to make a difference, to encourage them, motivate them, challenge them. But who was I? I was just someone in a sea of people who want to be somebodys. A girl in glasses with bad hair shedding unexpected tears in the entryway to a fabulous networking event where people balanced mini quiche and cocktails and shook hands with big wigs. And just when I was about to leave, they stopped me, talked to me, laughed at my jokes, listened to me rant, and told me everything that I needed to hear:
That I don't need to be a somebody to do something. And neither do you.
THHEESEEEE Somebodys right HERE are people I have known for quite sometime. Strange, really. I started my very first WPPI experience last year with Ashley Barnett, a girl I first met when I was just sixteen and zooming around in a red camaro. Josh Gooden was having a great time that night, a gentlemen I was introduced to via my sister while planning the wedding. Josh was our cinematographer who has since turned into an awesome (and fellow film geeking) friend. Jeremy Mitchell aka Ashley's husband (ha!) seems to love my husband more than he loves me, but I can't fault him for it, I've got a great guy. And Jen Jar? Well, I didn't meet her in real life until last year, but alongside being business partners with Ashley, she. is. a hoot. And redlipped Katie Nesbitt. Man oh man is that girl funny! And best part is, she doesn't even know it! She was roomies with Ashley, Jen, Jeremy and I and had her first WPPI experience with us. So really, I have to give credit to Ashley for both introducing me to WPPI for the first time AND to taking photos in the middle of the woods with me 12 years ago....don't you dare bust those images out! The late night talks with these people, the ideas, the ideals, and the shared conversations with these folks are what I cherish the most. We can have different thoughts, similar actions, and totally random versions of success, but all-in-all we stand by and support one another. That's badass. Kinda like out smilebooth photo, wouldn't ya say? ;)