Friday, September 14, 2007

Wrapped Emotions - Unwrapping Emotions

Mandy's view
This week I decided to participate in a challenge over at Wrapped Emotions where the goal is to unwrap your emotions though various challenges. I picked a tough week to enter, as this challenge was very uncomforable for me!
Here is the challenge as written on Wrapped Emotions:

With your digital camera in hand...and I know you have one because I see the photos you post on your blog...step forth into the world. A public place, not your living room or Aunt Bessie's kitchen. Think of places you frequent...a park, a museum (where cameras are allowed), a store, a playground, but do not be limited by my suggestions. Find an object or objects that you have seen objects I mean anything from buildings to poles to poodles to garbage trucks, anything. Lie on your back on the ground or floor and snap at least one photo from that vantage point. Relax. Unless you choose to lie on the floor of a public restroom, you will not die from an onslaught of bacteria...remember we are unwrapping the mind of such binding thoughts. Hold on to the emotions running rampant through your body as you do this and use them in finalizing your creation.

I carried my daughter's Power Shot around with me this week because it was smaller than my Nikon D70 and I knew that it would be less conspicious (what does that tell you right away!). We went several places this week and there were several opportunities, but alas, I chickened out. We went to Michael's (craft supply store), a Halloween costume shop, a pool supply shop and even the park, and I either (conveniently) forgot to take it into the store, or to take the photos when I did have the camera with me.

As the week wore on, I kept thinking about it, and was thinking about what was holding me back. No big deal, right? But, I really had this fear inside about what people would think, how stupid I would look, and that I would have to explain myself to others. This really turned into a much more difficult task for me. I am really quite an introverted, shy person, and don't like to have attention brought to myself.

Today, we had plans to go by the pool store again, then the library and then I promised the girls that we'd go by the thrift store. So, I thought for sure I'd have an opportunity, again.
First we went to the pool store. It is a small store and there were several customers, some who knew the shopkeeper and/or each other. So, I knew I would feel really uncomfortable doing it there. Next, the library. I thought for sure, I could probably lie down in the children's book area and take one from there without appearing too conspicuous. As we walked in, we noticed there were crafts going on. So, we headed over to the craft room where the girls were invited to make tamborines. Interestingly enough, instead of following the samples that were made, both girls made alternative crafts with the supplies. The samples were of a hexagon shaped tamborine with the bells around the edges and designs on the top, a star shaped tamborine with bells around the edges and designs on top, and a circle, the same. Violet decorated hers by gluing the applications to a star and also gluing the bells on the topside and declared it would be a tree topper for Christmas. Olivia decorated her hexagon shaped tamborine by gluing the applications both on the top and the inside of the the tamborine and making a face out of the applications and gluing the bells all over it.

The reason I point this out is that I can clearly see how creative, out of the box thinkers my girls are, completely uninhibited by what others think about their projects, uninfluenced by how the other kids were doing theirs (following the samples exactly) and yet I was struggling with even attempting to do my project.

We picked up some books we had on hold, checked out a few more, and proceeded to leave. I didn't even think about the project again until we were walking out the door (again, conveniently, or perhaps subconsiously?). As we were walking out, I thought, I really should do this. What am I fearful of? So I asked the girls if they wanted to help me with the project. They instantly said "sure!" No hesitation at all!

The library faces a square grassed courtyard area. There is a sheriff's station to the left, a vaccination clinic to the left, and a courthouse directly across. Small, and not very busy, however, still a public place, and still a bit intimidating to one who does not like to draw attention to oneself!

I had to gradually get to the point where I was brave enough to do it. And, I think, had my kids not been there, I probably would not have done it at all! First, Violet did it. She lay on a bench in front of the courthouse and took a picture of the shade covering and the sky. Next, I took one as I layed on a bench and pointed the camera toward the sky. Then, Violet layed down on the ground next to the flag pole and took one straight up. Olivia was running around the flag pole and would look down at Violet as she took her shot (btw, great picture, see below). At this point, there were people looking out the building from a counter that was in view. I really felt quite silly, but just proceeded to ignore their looks and proceed with the challenge. A rather rough looking guy came out and sat down next to where my purse was sitting on the bench and lit up a cigarette and started chatting on a cell phone. Violet quietly told me she didn't like the smoke. So I walked over and got my purse and the books and moved them a little closer towards the sheriff''s station. There were some crepe myrtles that were beginning to lose their flowers standing over the grass area and the flag was limply hanging above. I decided to really do it (not just lie on the bench, I felt that was cheating!) so I layed on the grass and pointed the camera up towards the flag and crepe myrtle and took my shot! Mission accomplished!

On my way home, I thought about why it was so hard for me. My girls have no problem with creativity and doing things that others might judge or think strange. Is it only kids who feel this way? Do we lose this at some point when we grow up? Or, is it taken away? My children have never been to school. They've never felt judged by peers. They've never felt that they have to act a certain way to fit in. Was it school that changed me? I'm not really sure. But, I'm really glad that I decided to go through with this challenge and I hope that it "unwraps" some of my fears and insecurities through doing things that I'm not used to doing.

Olivia's view
Olivia attempted it too!
Violet's view
And, I love this one that Violet took!
If you'd like to see more entries for this challenge, go to the link below. Be sure to let me know you did, I'd love to read yours!
Wrapped Emotions button


~ Melody ~ said...

Mandy! Mandy! You've made me so happy! Your shot is beautiful. It is made even more beautiful to understand the inner struggle you went through to get it.

Aren't kids great? I actually do stuff like this all the time, because my boys have so brought me out of the self-conscious realm. I love that you allowed your daughters to "lead" you on this one. BTW, tell both of them they made great shots. Never have I seen a more blue sky or a more beautiful face.

Thanks for playing, even though it was (at first) a struggle. Admit, it felt good. :)

Mandy said...

Thanks Melody, for your nice comment. And yes, it did feel pretty good, especially writing about the experience. And, yes, kids are awesome and teach us so much about ourselves! I'll be sure to tell them : )

Kim said...

Hurray for you for overcoming your fear! That is something to really geel great about.

Kim @ TheBitterBall

Lynnae said...

I love your shot! And I struggled with the same things when I did my project.

You're so right that kids are totally uninhibited when it comes to these things. When do we lose that? Good question!

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer said...

your picture ended up being lovely but what was more lovely was the post...and letting your kids guide you was even more incredible...sometimes we just need to think more like our children!

Jenny is Live & in Color said...

Great Shots!
I know I couldn't have done mine if my kids weren't there!