This was supposed to be our year. Things were coming together for our business. Our marriage was stronger than ever. Life was good. And then, one day after the next, setbacks were upon us.
The common supportive thread of advice we have been given is to find reason in our misfortune. At the exact time you are feeling the sting of suffering, it's hard to see the forest through the trees. Or however that expression goes.
An initial irritant has since allowed me to re-examine my work, my website and my approach to business.
A troublemaker has allowed me to question myself, my friendships, privacy and trust. And then the inevitable happened. The seemingly worst thing happened. Michael lost his job.
After the initial shock wore off, we sat and revelled in our loved ones' supportive words. Everything happens for a reason. Right. Heard it all before.
And just like that, the information God's were punctual, tactical and of course humorously ironic. A forwarded message presented itself to Michael about a food blogging job in gorgeous British Columbia which would require the chosen candidate to eat at a different restaurant every day for 365 days, photograph and write about it, complete with a salary, urban apartment and of course a gym membership to work off all those sumptuous calories. He read the opportunity aloud to me and I had to chuckle. Who knows what the future has in store for us.
At the crack of dawn yesterday, I embarked on a previously arranged and fun filled weekend in Toronto with my girlfriend. Prior to this on Friday night, four friends discussed the strength of their friendships, their pact to stick together and their mutual love for each other. While others tried to tear them apart, their bond remained unbreakable and the offenders wound up defeated.
It was an unusually frigid and blustery day; a stark contrast to the recent unusual milder temperatures of a Canadian February. A group of likeminded women met at the beautiful ING Cafe downtown. Slava Micic is an international photographer, web designer and travels the world with her husband. What an amazing inspiration this 27 year old stunner has become to her fans. She just arrived home from Brazil, was stopping in Toronto to host the workshop and attend Fashion Week and then return to her Vancouver home. Ruby of Suite XIII specializes in P.R. but also has a thriving photography business. Kat is a knowledgeable and passionate photographer who also coordinates amazing art programs to inner city kids who could never otherwise afford such equipment. Together, the three of them hosted a workshop that was tailored to their student's specific questions.
We spent the morning in small groups discussing lighting, weddings, life, aperture and anything else that came to mind, over ING's steeped coffee, liquid sugar and whatever else we fancied. Five directionally challenged women hopped into a compact car and tried to navigate South versus North. Hilarious. (I only lived in Toronto for 10 years!) Armed with our cameras and appetite, we headed to the stylish and beautiful Holt Renfrew Cafe on Bloor St. We traded photographer's war stories and laughed like old friends. As someone who inherently takes responsibility for planning and ensuring people's comfort level, it was much appreciated to have an entirely organized day, including breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Workshop details (it was previously scheduled in London)
We couldn't resist stopping into Yorkville's Anthropologie where I have been dying to get Michael and I some monogrammed mugs. 7000 square feet of absolute eye candy. I will definitely be back.
Only in Yorkville would dogs be allowed into malls, yet cameras not. We briskly snapped some photos through the midtown streets and then nestled into Hazelton Lanes' beautiful space. We gathered around and learned, discussed and shared. We were presented with a certificate that boasted "I survived Slava & Ruby's Photoshop Workshop."
For $99, we were given an entirely planned day that lasted until almost dinner time, breakfast and lunch and snacks, paid parking, photo adventures, knowledge sharing, and a virtual gift basket of downloads to help us with our editing, blogging and photography careers. It even had a music track list customized especially for our workshop. So wonderfully thoughtful and personable. We walked away with full bellies and even happier hearts. What an amazing day. All I have to say is, Liquify!
My girlfriend and I headed to our beautiful hotel and reminisced about our day over dinner and cocktails on Queen Street. I arrived home this morning and reflected on this month's past events.
Sure, there are pitfalls, setbacks and misfortunes. But in that single nugget of hope buried amongst the thousands of doubts, there surely is truth in finding a reason in everything.
And I'm amazingly fortunate for our journey. Keep dreaming. Here are some of my photos and I can't wait to see our day from the other's perspectives.
Here are the photos from Slava's perspective....