Mostly, I think, because of this post, which was nominated and then selected for Schmutzie's Five Star Friday round up that week, making it my second time to be honored with such a recognition (something I don't take lightly at all, but with heavy grace and humility), and the attention that garnered from a friend who heartily and resolutely encouraged me to enter some of my #365feministselfies into the fray of this year's inaugural photo component of the Voices Of The Year recognition and award ceremony.
So I did.
I did so sheepishly, because despite my deep desire to always, in any way, capture the things I see in my head so that I can share them with other people, so that I can tell the stories that live inside of me, I am not a photographer. It's one of the main mediums of storytelling I have not really even tried to learn because it seems so all-encompassing, so overtaking of everything in your life, that I am afraid to take that plunge.
It's probably coming, since I've been lusting after a DSLR for almost two years now, but I'm not there yet.
And to be completely honest, I'd have much rather that my words be chosen and honored, but between you and me we both know I haven't been on my best game in the last year, so I'm not entirely surprised that (again) I wasn't selected this year. I know, gift horse, mouths, etc.
However, many of the amazing women honored for there words this year are my friends, people who hugged me at first sight at last year's conference, who listened to my story with intention and genuine interest, who caught me from falling head-first down an escalator, who copped a butt feel and danced all night with me and these women, they are the ones who made last year's conference the complete antithesis of the year before's, showing me that this truly is a community and that I have never, ever, been alone.
And this year, I get to sit with them, for a brief moment be on stage with them.
I get to belong.
I also apparently get a GIANT POSTER of my selfie displayed at the reception afterwards and already there are people who want selfies with me in front of my selfie because this is now Inception for bloggers.
I started this project on a whim. I had no idea if I'd complete it or not. As time went on, I started to form ideas on smaller series within the larger series. I've taken photos with the express intent of them being for a particular set of eyes, whether they be past, present, or future. I've taken photos with people I wanted to be seen with and people I wanted to see in equal measure. I've taken photos of what I'm wearing because my self-confidence is burgeoning and I'm so less afraid of the thoughts of other people and so much more assured of myself and my choices, sartorial and beyond. I've been better about taking photos when I felt uninspired or didn't want to be seen, because that's the whole point of all this, is to be seen.
And dear lord after all of this -- I want to be seen.
And it looks like, even in one of my more recent darkest hours, I have been. I will be. I am.
And there isn't gratitude and humility and grace enough to begin to cover what that means to me.