2017 Project Twelve - Keeping the Faith
Every January I start dreaming up new adventures for the upcoming year and pick a project to focus on for the next 12 months. It is usually something that challenges me to step outside my comfort zone and to live life more fully. My last Twelve project was Twelve hikes. ( http://twelvehikes.wixsite.com/twelvehikes )
The idea for my 2017 Twelve project came to me very unexpectedly, in fact thinking about 2017 had not even crossed my mind yet.
It came to me in November of 2016 as I was struggling with a particularly paralyzing case of self-doubt and insecurity related to my photography. As I was contemplating what was holding me back and causing this fear an idea popped into my head. “Find Twelve people who inspire you, create a photo essay that tells their stories and then share it with the world”
At the time the idea seemed so crazy and random and required me to do the one thing that I was most afraid of that I literally I laughed out loud. I remember thinking there was NO possible way I was going to do it but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that in fact I WAS going to do it and that was a little unsettling.
The idea is to find 12 people who inspire me and tell their story through pictures. Twelve months - Twelve beautiful people making the world a little bit brighter – Twelve photo essays that convey their stories. I’m looking for people who are “the good I want to see in the world”.
Why am I being inspired to do this now I asked myself. Two reasons came to mind. One is because I needed to get over some fears that are holding me back and what better way to get over them than just jumping in and doing it! The other reason is that like so many other people I’ve been feeling defeated, scared and naive with all the crazy stuff going on in the world right now. I had confidently believed that love would win over hate and my rosy outlook on humanity has taken quite a hit. I have come to understand that I need to do this project to remind myself that there still are plenty of good people in the world, that we all have the power to make a positive difference in someone’s life and that in the end love and compassion will win. I need to do this to keep my faith.
I have no idea how this is logistically going to happen, how I will find the right people, how I will approach them when I do find them, how I will tell their story in pictures or how the finished project will look. And although not having a plan laid out is uncomfortable for me I feel like its important to let this play out organically. I’m going to allow myself to be open to being inspired in the moment with the people I meet and the photos I take. I going to try to not have any preconceived ideas of what the “good I want to see in the world” is because I don’t want to limit myself to my own ideas. I’m looking for ordinary people who are choosing to make a difference in someone’s life, in their community or in the world. People who are living and sharing kindness and compassion. When I meet them I want to know what inspires them and what motivates them.
I’ve learned over the years that you have to step out of your comfort zone and do the thing that scares you most in order to fully live and follow your passion. This Project Twelve is pushing me to take risks, seek out inspiration and to trust. Trust that I will have the vision and skills needed to tell these stories, trust that it will all work out without a plan, Trust that love will win over hate.
Thanks for joining me on this journey! I’m excited to share the stories of the people that I meet and the stories of what I learn personally over the next year. I would also love to hear from you, what inspires you? Who inspires you? What are you doing to make the world a little better? Do you know someone I should talk to for this project? Leave me a comment or send me email. Together we can be the change we want to see in the world!