Thursday, January 9, 2014

I don't need a title...

Yes, I am a photographer, but I am also so much more...
I have recently discovered about a project called: The Exploratrice, I think it is wildly interesting that it is uncommon for women to travel independent...adventurous...bad ass...sensual...and I think...really? Maybe because a lot of my friends fit this description, because I live this description it isn't a surprise or uncommon to me.
There are all these categories to fall into to be... an "exploratrice"
Bad Ass - ride a motorcycle, shoot things, scuba dive - sweet! I'm a bad ass! I started deer hunting at age 12, I own a motorcycle, and I am OW!
Adventurous - snorkel, ride horses - anyone who knows me, this is a "duh". I started riding horses at age 13, and trained for 15 years, I was also heavily involved with rodeo & have roped my share of cattle and horses. I have snorkeled often in the ocean, I have also kayaked in the ocean, I go caving...enough said.
Sensual - dancing, swimming...(not sure how the swimming fits in) but I would think my years of a dancer, ballet, jazz, tribal belly dance would fit this category.
Athletic - I would think with all the farm work, dance, horse training, 5K's I've run, caving, hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, the softball team I played on & the volleyball team I was on in Memphis at some level I would be considered athletic. Caving is the best sport I have ever participated in - and the most healthy.
I don't think twice when I want to go see a movie and end up going by myself. If I want to go out to eat and no one is around, I go alone. If I want to get up and move from Wisconsin and travel across the country to live in Oregon...I pack the car and go.
For many years I have been called a gypsy, a free spirit, independent, strong willed woman who seeks after what she desires. Yes, I have fear, yes I am human and get scared, sad, lonely, but if I want to dance, I dance, if I want to travel, I get in my vehicle and go, I want to learn an instrument, I pick it up and play it.
I don't know...I like this Exploratice project, but at the same time I don't get the big deal over independent, adventurous, strong, athletic, intelligent women doing what they want...maybe because that is who I am & I don't know who to be anything else. Or maybe because I am fortunate enough to have so many women friends who are all that and more...we don't think twice about what we do...we just go do it...we don't need a title.
This has gotten me to want to put out to the world the things I have accomplished in which defines, me.  I will be developing an album under the various "exploratrice" categories and others I may add, which give me passion, motivation, energy and joy.  Details and photos to follow...

Supporting local High School Music Program

I love that middle Tennessee is filled with schools which have music programs.  Something incredibly dear to my heart are the string orchestra classes, for several, due to the work I once was doing I was fortunate to be blessed with opportunities to be face to face with string teachers and students in the local programs.  Two, I play the fiddle and love string music.  Three, I was blessed with piano lessons growing up, and anyone who has an interest in music gives me energy to support them so they have the opportunity to play music too.  Four...well, I could go on and on about my passion about music, paying it forward, etc.
Ok, so I was fortunate to implement a practice challenge with a local string program.  To my surprise THREE students finished this challenge, which consisted of: practice three hours a week for three months.  I put together prizes that added up to over $1,000.00 for these kids, which included a donated photography package, strings, music stand and other great opportunities to support their playing.
Here I am with the three kids at the school after I presented them with their prizes.

The arts are important and ALWAYS the first to get cut when it comes to educational budgets.  You will be able to participate in arts your entire life, however, sports often have limitations due to injuries and age.  Support the arts, it will be the best and most rewarding thing you will ever do.