An Inspiring Gallery Opening and A Grand Entrance Into My Thirties

Pano pieced together courtesy of Carlos. Sorry for the blurry middle pic. I moved. ;)
Pano pieced together courtesy of Carlos. Sorry for the blurry middle pic. I moved. ;)

Wow. The gratitude I feel about The Body Project exhibit and all the support and donations received fills my heart with so much joy. Never before has something so wonderful come together so beautifully and smoothly (though my wedding may be able to compete ;P). The turn out last Saturday was amazing--the steady trickle of people with their smiling faces, humbling comments about feeling inspired, and their tears left me in awe throughout the whole night. When I entered The Black Sheep for the private after party with close friends and family and the women of the project, I was greeted with claps and the chant, "Speech! Speech! Speech!" but I couldn't do it. I couldn't give a speech because I am honestly speechless. Know that, though I don't have words, my heart is full.

As many know, not only was this past weekend the Opening Reception of the exhibit, it was my thirtieth birthday, and I have found myself reflecting on what exactly this all means to me. Since this weekend, I have realized that for the first time ever in my adult life, I'm content. I truly struggled to identify the feeling that settled over me after last weekends festivities, and I had to have a friend tell me the word after I described how I felt. Content.

At one point in my life, my calm, cool, and collected exterior didn't match my inner boil of emotions and desires. I yearned for something that wasn't what I had, but I didn't know what that something was. The conflict between my inner and outer being felt chaotic and exhausting. And then, I think I stopped reaching for the unknown and started touching what was in front of me. I appreciate any chance I get to remain that way, and try hard not to fuel the fire of my old ways. It's not worth it, and it kept me from taking risks like starting a huge project like this one. I'm learning that, even if presented with a situation that fuels the fire of my old ways, I should remind myself to breathe and tell myself that it's all truly okay. I think I'm finally realizing how to be without attachment to an outcome. Everything that happens just is and I just am in the midst of all of it.

This project has helped me understand that my life is truly in line with who I am and what I believe. I no longer feel the need to prove myself. I feel whole. Though, I wonder, what the hell happens next if I want for nothing? What a strange feeling! With the yearning gone, I'm left feeling full and unencumbered. I'm left feeling in love with life. And that's a beautiful thing.

I want you to know, though, that I am still quite a private person. There are resolutions I've made for my thirties that I don't care to share, perhaps because too much pain was involved in the process of finding a resolution, but one thing I do want to share is that I want to look you all in the eyes and see you for who you are just as you have done for me. <3 Thank you for making my entrance into my thirties magical.

To view a slideshow of images from The Body Project Opening Reception, click here.

To see an album of images, click here.

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