A kaleidoscope of different memories and emotions

Sunset Phuket
Over the past few days Facebook has put me in touch with many old friends and I can’t help but contemplate my personal history and how we grow and change in connection to those around us.  In 1998 at age 22 I returned to Ottawa after a year spent abroad as an international student in Edinburgh, Scotland.  This was a truly tough and low point in my life.  I felt personally devastated after the breakup of my first serious relationship and had no idea of who I was or what to expect out of life.  The people I surrounded myself with did not have my best interest at heart.  They took me for granted and looked down on me.  Not wanting to see my true light.  I was just “silly-weird photographer Joanna” and my clothes, hair, appearance and personality were criticized for being creative and not looking right.  

At that point in my life I was finishing my Fine Art degree at the University of Ottawa in 2000.  That spring I started working at a framing store to learn the skills of displaying and exhibiting fine art.  Carrie who managed the bead store across the street would soon become a friend and before long a whole world of people would come crashing into my life.  However this time things were different.  Instead of being awkward I was treated as elegant.  Instead of bizarre I was thought of as artistic.  Instead of “weird photographer girl” I was considered a talented young woman.  In a nutshell this is a short way of describing how I came into being me.

The person we are is impacted by our personality, talent, and drive- but it is also influenced by the people we choose to surround ourselves with.  If you surround yourself with people who do not see the best in you or who put you down, you will never reach your true potential, or ever be happy.  However, if you surround yourself with those who appreciate you, care for you, and want the best for you then guess what?  Chances are that chasing your dreams and finding happiness will be just around the corner. 

This post is dedicated to a group of friends that I met in Ottawa in 2000- before moving to Montreal in 2002.  Sarah, Carrie, Rachelle, Chris M, and Audrey.  Truly I can’t quite express what a positive influence you had in my life because- quite simply- you believed in me.  Thanks a lot.  


6 Responses to “A kaleidoscope of different memories and emotions”

  1. March 20, 2007 at 12:19 am

    I wrote poetry in your name, you inspired me to explore my creative and spiritual side. I’ve never met anyone with gifts like yours, you are truly blessed and mean so much to me. Thank you for believing in me too, we all found each other when the fates aligned.
    Love always,

  2. 2 mostlyme
    March 20, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. i have felt that way (the silly/weird/not-fitting-in way) at that age as well. I was definitely “finding my way” in my early twenties. And many many heartbreaking mistakes resulted from this.

    i am very happy to have meet you and Carrie through this wonderful media and i can’t wait to hear and see more from you.


  3. 3 globetrotteri
    March 21, 2007 at 10:11 am

    From the moment I met you, I knew we were going to be good friends. You’ve always carried yourself with such style and grace and I will always admire your ability to make anyone feel better with a simple kind word.

    I don’t know how many times you’ve made me feel like a princess. Countless to be sure. You’ve always supported me. You’ve always listened. Even when things at Sassy went sour with Natt and Greg, you still stood by me.

    Some of the funny and heartwarming times I will always remember:

    Going to the university with you and Sarah to do that photo shoot for Luke.

    Having you over for long lengthy discussions that ended in the wee hours of the morning on my sofa in Ottawa.

    Learning how to frame properly from you.

    Primping and preening in front of the mirrors before a big night out.

    Letting the good times roll at Atomic and Icon.

    Meeting you last year in Montreal for breakfast and talking like we had just seen each other the day before.

    Seeing you for the first time after you moved to Taiwan.

    Things seem to keep getting better and better. Here’s to a lovely future together and shared memories that will last us to the end of our days.

  4. March 21, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Awww thanks Carrie. Ranjit and I are going to miss you and John so much when you are away. Still we are so excited to hear about all the wonderful places you are going to be visiting.

    You truly are having a trip of a lifetime visiting Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Canada, and America. Wow!

  5. 5 meeme
    May 20, 2008 at 6:22 am

    Just have a chance to explore your blog. It’s a beautiful photo. I will visit more and appreciated those beautiful photos.

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