It is a bit of a scary feeling to, hmm, scary not quite the word for it...uncertain maybe...to grab my laptop and head out the door on a perfectly good weeknight to 'maybe' be teaching photography to a group of 4-H photography project members. The 'scary' part is not the teaching in itself, as I love to share and help and am confident in my skillset. No, it is the not knowing if anyone will show up part that makes me wonder as I drive away from home, and away from my sweetheart husband, wondering if the effort to show up is going to be rewarded by an empty parking lot and empty chairs.
Sure enough, I pulled into the parking lot, it was empty. Even though I was arriving 20 minutes, I secretly had hoped that there would be cars in the parking lot. There wasn't really, only one that likely belonged to someone else working in the building. My brother, Brian the wise, with whom I had been talking with on the phone, assured me that I should go in, set up and he promised me that at five past 6 people would flood through the door. Even if it wasn't true, my brother knew how to immediately make me feel better, because just the thought that he believes in me that much instantly made me feel better about having volunteered to teach the next generation of 4-H photographers.
My son Harlyne (11) cheerfully had grabbed the HDMI cord out of our projector box and we headed into the building to set up. The one other car in the parking lot must have belonged to the friendly janitor who was carefully, methodically and slowly running a buffer down the shiny hallways. That brought back the many hallways I had shined with a buffer in the Army, and made me smile at how much harder that was to master than it looks. Let's just say the first time of my using a buffer looked like an episode of "I Love Lucy". I'm sure it was hilarious.
Onward we walked. We were in room 12, so we headed into the room with a long conference table set out before us that was dotted with comfy looking office chairs all the way around the table, framed motivational posters dotted the walls and the large, white projector screen on the wall was waiting for me to plug in my laptop for the powerpoint I had prepared for this evening.
I had now become familiar with the switches, which ones to turn on, the cord needed for my laptop, though I always still breath a sigh of relief when the screen on the wall matches the screen on my laptop. There it was, the title of tonight's topic, "Perspective and Point of View". Glancing at my watch, it was 6:00, looking at my son, and tell him, "Looks like it's maybe just us, honey." He smiles his reply, "That's okay Momma." He was still happy and hopeful, though I think that has something to do with 1:1 time with momma and the fact that he has figured out the office chairs not only swivel, they also raise & lower....
At 6:01, a woman walks in with her son, and I introduce myself them and tell them that we are going to wait until 6:05 to begin. In this time, I get to learn more about Brady. He shoots with a Nikon, is 9 and likes to photograph fish. We chat about what a challenge that can be because of aquarium glass. Last year he enjoyed entering his images at the county fair. Then, like magic, just as my dear brother, Brian, had promised me, people flooded through the door. All seats around the table were filled in, and a few along the wall.
It was time to go around the room and ask each person to share what they like to photograph, dogs & cats for the win! The best part of donating my time is getting to see the joy on the faces of the young photographers when they talk about what they like to photograph. Next month we have an assignment to photograph animals with the theme of perspective in mind. It is my hope that they will email the images in to me, and we will discuss the images on the powerpoint. I can hardly wait to see what lovely images the young students capture.
My challenge to you, it is okay to do 'scary' things. While I love to donate my time & talents, I also cherish my time with my husband and family. It is, for me, a 'scary' thing to give up that time in fear that it would be for naught. Try, attempt, show up. The world may surprise you. In the words of John Wayne, "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway."