“It’s better to be single but inspired rather than committed but confused”
I hate to devalue or discredit this photo in any way by admitting this, but like many other pieces of literature, art or music this too was inspired by no other then a break up. I collaborated this photo shoot and wrote this article back in October 2011, but decided to wait to share it until now.
We all have unique ways to cope and express our thoughts, emotions, frustrations and joys. Some may find comfort in exercise, others in food. Some may confide in family or use pets as therapy. I have always found journaling to be my best outlet. My diaries are filled with mostly my highs or lows; the times that I feel most inclined to share. I tell you this because I recently had reason to believe my diary had been compromised; read by someone close to me and words can not describe the feeling of helplessness not knowing if this was true or not.
Not knowing if these personal entries were now being held against me was highly upsetting. Feeling betrayed by my own thoughts, in what I had expressed in what I once saw as my most private and loyal confidant, now felt tainted…making it vital to find a different outlet to work out the emotional turbulence I was experiencing.
It would have been much easier to just go for a run or bake some cookies, however, while sitting at work one day, bored and feeling the need to release some creative ideas, I asked a friend what she thought about the idea of a photo shoot. I explained to her how I was recently inspired by the 1932 photo of 11 men seated on a girder, eating their lunch hundreds of feet above New York City streets, during the construction of Rockefeller Center. The photo, by Charles C. Ebbets, was taken during the great depression and I thought it would be neat to recreate something similar, but capture it from a women’s perspective and during today’s economic recession.
I wanted to capture a time in our lives that so many young women experience. A time in which she embodies so much youth and beauty, however the struggle to appreciate it because of all the challenges we face at this age. Not only the burden of being inexperienced young college graduates, but the cloud of life’s uncertainties and ever day insecurities hovering over us every day.
Being covered in nothing but a blanket out in the middle of the ocean on an extremely windy afternoon was to symbolize our vulnerability. The height of the beam was meant to represent our age in which many believe to be the peek of our lives. It was also meant to symbolize the fear of falling down… whether that means falling for the wrong guy, settling for the wrong job, or just the quiet noise telling us we are not on track according to society or where our parents were when they were our age. The backdrop of Charleston was meant to remind us of how lucky we are to get to live in such a wonderful community in which we are so deeply rooted and tightly bonded and that no matter what path we chose, with the guidance from good friends and family we will persevere.
The challenge of getting everyone onto the ledge was unexpected and not part of the plan, but it can be a testament to show just how far we will go for each other to help one another succeed. That with persistence and tenacity we are willing and we are able to do anything we put our minds to.
You can see the steps that went into planning and implementing this photo shoot HERE. Thank you so much for everyone who was involved in making this happen!
It turned out to be somewhat ironic that after so many years of expressing myself so privately in my diaries that I then chose to take a very public form of expression, but I felt there was a positive message to be told. A reminder to every young woman who might be struggling during this uncertain season of life that they don’t need to worry because they are beautiful, smart, talented and will persevere.
Oh, and I later discovered that the kid never read my diary. He in fact had some ‘unresolved feelings’ for his ex girlfriend that he may or may not have acted upon while we were still dating. At first I was disappointed, but everybody knows I never stay upset for long. You just have to remember that ‘its always better to be single and inspired rather than committed but confused.’