A year ago today I was laying on my couch in excruiating pain due to a herniated disc. See, I went to church with my mom and daughter's and parked in the overflow lot which has dirt. It was a very warm and rainy Christmas Eve and our car got stuck in the mud. My daughter's and I decided to push the car out of the mud ourselves. We had a lot of laughs and lots of muddy clothes and bodies, but we succeeded in getting the car out. Two days later, I couldn't stand up straight and thought I broke a hip or knee or something. Luckily it was just a disc. The doctor I went to suggested bedrest for many, many weeks. No therapy, no exercise, no nothing. ( Turns out that was not a good idea.). Anyway I decided to make the most of the bedrest and what happened was the silver lining.
Several years ago I worked with a friend doing murals and faux finishing and when the business closed up I stopped doing alot of art. For me, that is a bad idea. I truly am happiest when I am creating. I decided to try and get my artwork published and begin to live a creative life again. Much to my delight I found a group of photographers that met on social media. At the time they met up and did photography at different locations and posted the photos on instagram and facebook. I was very nervous about meeting them. I was certain they were professionals and I would look like a fool. In my mind I was certain I wouldn't be good enough, but felt I needed to get out of my comfort zone and try. One year later this group has grown and an offshoot group began which now has over 80 members. I have been lucky enough to go on several photos shoots with whoever can make it that day. These meetups are so inspiring and have opeined my mind and spirit again. I look forward to seeing the same places from different eyes. The support we give each other is unlike any group I have ever belonged to. We help teach each other, we applaud each others successes and generally just have fun. Every level is welcome and every camera is as well. Big ones, with many lenses, point and shoots and cell phones are all encouraged. Whatever it takes to get the shot is all that is need. That and love for photography. I feel so lucky that I found this group of people.
During my haitus from my day job,I had time to paint and research as well. I entered art competitions and was selected to be published in an acrylic painting book. ( more on that when it comes out!). I was also the featured artist two weeks ago on a website that I contacted in January when I was on recovering from my injury.
My instagram account has been flourishing as well. I have many more followers that I did and to my surprise was offered an opportunity to be the featured artist on the Jersey Shore Hurricane News special project they did where they featured a new artist every month for the year. I was interviewed and then featured and took over their account for a weekend to promote my work.
I truly believe that none of this would have happened had I not been home and out of work. God work in mysterious ways they say. Very often I have heard, there's a reason for everything, blah. blah, blah and I dont' always buy into it. This time, though, I believe it. I really feel I needed the time to think and research and start becoming who I want to be. Somewhere along the way I lost the fire, but I can assure you, It's back and it's roaring to be heard!!!