Do you remember a few weeks ago when we were all certain the world was going to end? The winds and rain were going to sweep us away, the stores ran out of white bread and bottled water (but not butter bread or Gatorade), the gas stations ran out of gas and there wasn't a piece of plywood in sight? Yeah, that was fun. Well, in the midst of the panic, doom, gloom, and certainty that we were going to be powerless and roofless for the next month, I received a little email.
This wasn't just any little email, this was an email that needed a response within 48 hours and I didn't know if I would even have a house in 48 hours. I had officially been selected as a class participant in Kirsten Lewis's Creative Live Class, I had 48 hours to say yes, with 10 days to book a flight and make sleeping arrangements, all while prepping for the biggest hurricane in history. No problem! Actually we got really lucky post Hurricane Irma. Minus some major leaf clean up in the yard, we went untouched. All the stress and anxiety passed, I booked the flights and talked 3 random photographer strangers (that were also going to the class) to shack up with me.
I made my early morning departure from TPA before the dawn. I was anxious to stretch this trip as far as I could. I love my husband and kids, but I was not passing up this opportunity to be a single adult for a few days, even if that meant sitting in an airport an extra hour. A quick layover in Chicago and I was whisked off again to Seattle. The plane ride was long and I enjoyed every minute reading whatever the hell I wanted to read.
Landing in Seattle I quickly caught up with a long time facebook photographer friend. One of those that I have spent long moments in deep PMs with at midnight, but never met face to face. I immediately felt a deep bond (the first one of many made over the next few days) and became fast friends over food and beer!
I spent the next two days deep in learning mode at Creative Live. My day filled with photographer learning mojo and no cell phone was good for my brain and my soul. I had many ah ha moments (some of which you can read here), some tears (and you know I don't cry), life affirming thoughts and overall warm gooey enlightenment goodness.
During the off hours I drank more than I ate (which is saying something because I ate some good food), wandered the streets after dark alone enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. Took in the smell of city life and salt air while just meandering, not really knowing where to go or what to see, but just learning the lay of the blocks around the airbnb I stayed at.
The final day I flew out super late (again to stretch this trip as far as I could) and walked the streets seeing all the typical downtown Seattle tourist things. Saw the Needle, wandered Olympic Park, sat in Victor Steinbrueck Park in gorgeous comfortable weather for over an hour with no interruptions, walked along the inlet to the Pike Place Market, watched them throw fish and hawk their wares. I drank good beer, sat at the bar like an adult, had adult uninterrupted conversations and even hung out with a "band" from England called DOOF that really consisted of 4 guys drinking beer and shooting the sh*t. I spent adult time doing adult things like a F'ing adult. It was glorious.
The Pike Place Fish Market was a treasure trove for people watching. They put on a show with their sing song yelling, fish throwing and funny anecdotes. What was more fun was watching the people's reaction, the crowds cheer (after being told to) and the kid's eyes bright with amusement. If you go, make sure you see the monk fish up close and personal.
Above all, it was the friendships forged that filled my soul with warmth and belonging. The reminder that photography is a journey, not a destination and we all follow our own path. Above all, I was reminded that:
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