My eyes flutter open with remnants of a dream in flight as I pull myself out of the cramped sleep in the backseat of my tiny Yaris. Only moments ago in flight hand outstretched finger wiggling to touch the cloud that was never there.
After a long car ride and my awkward nap, I emerged out of the bowels of a deeply hidden parking garage. A brief smile to my fellow pedestrians as we make our way across a few streets. Crossing the last of three cross walks I glance at the man still at my side and silently wonder,"Is he going where I am going?" Facing forward I stop just in time to avoid smacking into JD!
Somehow the internal dialogue was so intriguing that I missed not only the people walking to and fro but also the rather LARGE Pass bus. The man/my fellow pedestrian turned to me with a smirk and remarked, "I was wondering if you were going here since I saw your camera." I believe my witty retort was something along the lines of, "uh,su-ye-um" ending in a small sad nod, since my words were falling me. What makes matters worse is that apparently this man/ my walking comrade is Katelyn James' husband! Not only in my first few minutes in DC, outside the parking garage, I almost walked into JD and couldn't get out a simple "yea" to Katelyn James' husband.
The Ruby Tuesdays slowly fills up with photographers. Hand shake after handshake, name after name I can't recall half. Each face smiling and excited to be there. Happy to share their thoughts and ideas; share themselves.
Jeni Bower the facebook group leader came equipped with thank you cards and fun name tags to pass around as she floated around like a social butterfly
I met so many photographers. All so interested in learning. All so interested in giving back.
Did you ever met someone and just hit it off, and not just in the "I can handle this conversation" kind of way but a "Kindred spirit". Almost like when you have a great old friend that no matter the time lapse in conversing you can just pop back, no need for updates you just work.
In the span of 2 hours we covered more topics then I have with most people in a year. It was a blast to walk away if nothing else with a new friend, who just might be stuck with me for life.
The started to set as we made our way over the the Gala Theater. A train of eager photographers lined up for entry like children ready for Santa.
Side note: pretty sure I was the only person there that didn't have a smart phone.
The group quickly filled the room downstairs, with each added body the room temperature climbed up. There were bodies in every direction. As I tried to make my way to the side unsure of how to really communicate in the huddled masses I watched as Jasmine Star made her way through the crowd. Slowly people began to notice that the soft voice behind them saying "excuse me" was indeed the person we were here to hear.
The large swarm shifted quickly to follow her and take pictures with her. Each person jumped in for their moment, some so excited forgetting to even say hello before smiling for the camera. Each one Jasmine greeted with a smile, and for most a hug.
Slowly I made my way up to her. What do you say to a person you feel like you know but has no idea who you are? I mean really. I read her posts religiously, on a bad day it is what keeps me sane that despite not even knowing how I am she is rooting for me. I know what she does in a day, I know that she is silly and likes her cycling class... well now she does, I know about her amazing and giving husband and how much she loves him.
I know all of this information because I read her blog. I feel like we are friends...
But I'm pretty sure when you know the details of a person's life but have never been introduced you're called a stalker.
No, I do not remember what I was saying to look like this.
The lights dim and a rolling squeal rides its way across the crowd.
The Fix. "Did you know that I left what this was ambiguous for a reason? So you guys are either crazy or smart or crazy smart." Jasmine began the evening, "I wanted to gather with group of people who came together for an idea." She explained her madness.
The fix isn't simple, it isn't easy. The Fix is the idea of looking at those around you not as competition but as the best way to get better at what you love. "You are here because you are passionate, if you're not. . . there's the door."
The Fix was a time for Jasmine to explain what she did and openly answer questions. I time for her to share even more generously then she already had. It was a time devoted to the idea of a better more helpful community, willing to give and give back.
Thank you Jasmine, JD, David Jay, Katelyn James... thank you all who I am sure did a load of work but I can't thank you personally: Thank you!