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Friends, here is a slideshow of the images in chronological order as the event progressed.  I went with the intention to observe, document, and experience a movement in free speech.  Please try to do the same as you make your way through these photographs.

Commentary is welcome, but please keep it respectful of ALL our fellow citizens on all sides of the issues addressed.

 + + Big shout out to all the Police Officers, First Responders, Nurses working the first aid tents, and Organizers for a safe & peaceful event. + +

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Jourdan Photo Portland

This year has been difficult. The particulars are not important here. We’ve all been in situations that made us feel small and powerless. We’ve all had moments of paralysis in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Which of us has not had to reach deep into our coping skills to face down demons with grace? My problems are no bigger than yours.

But I have held back on you, dear Readers because this is a business and the personal doesn’t belong in business. But this is also art. There is no art without truth and heart and most of all, humanity. So right here and now I am choosing to return to a perspective of connecting life to art. Otherwise my work is only pretty pictures and a smattering of words. So read on, Friends, if you can go down this road with me.

Jourdan Photo Portland

Life stories are winding things with many unexpected turns. Sometimes the shifts were because of factors outside our control, but more often the decisions were deliberate. The consequences were weighed. The leap was taken. For better or for worse, it all led to this moment.

When you turn around and mentally walk the path backward, you see the wisdom, or lack there of, in what you have done. Some fixed moments blink and shine brighter than the others, calling for attention. Judgment is required whether or not that point, with the benefit of a wider perspective, was in fact worth the benefits and consequences hinged to your actions.

This is not about regret. Regret is a waste of time and emotion. It is self-indulgent. Though it does have a tendency to fly out of nowhere to smack you in the face unexpectedly…like grief. I recommend having a large imaginary bat at the ready to bash that shit aside before it knocks you on your butt in a weepy puddle. Side note: my imaginary bat is covered in gold glitter and rains sparkles around the room when used. Regret is not worth the price to productivity and precious bits of happiness that it eats with gluttony.

This is about the responsibility of looking back, sifting through the past to discover the pivotal moments that led to positive or negative outcomes in the now. Taking what is valuable and leaving the rest, with a mind for objectivity and also forgiveness.

I recently took the time to assemble my history and write my resume. Many years have gone by since the last update. The exercise was an effort in taking stock of all that I have accomplished, and all that I have yet to accomplish. The “yet to” list was long. My glitter bat got a lot of action during the days and weeks of gathering and organizing the information for this document that is meant to represent me as a career woman.

The truth is that those “yet to” goals were what drove me to do the work of putting it all down on paper in the first place. I needed to assess where I  was at. It was necessary to de-gloss the vision of my past and put down the facts. There was no other way to move forward in an honest, informed way. I’m ready now.

Jourdan Photo Portland

The time has come for me to re-enter the full time workforce. Jourdan Photo will always be here. I will always be creating images and writing this journal. One truth I discovered was that there is no unmaking of the photographer and writer in me. Like breathing. Like being. I just have to. So continue to bring me your projects, your lovely faces, your amazing products and I will continue to put my heart into capturing them.

That said, I also need to grow. That happens best for me when working in collaboration with others, when there is constructive feedback, when I can be useful to goals outside of my own, when I can give and receive knowledge, when the exchange of ideas builds on each other to create amazing things. Just writing this gets me excited for the possibilities ahead. Of course, the prospect of the peace of mind of a steady paycheck is also a sweet motivator.

The sharing of this very personal choice has to do with knowing that there are many people out there in similar situations. Parents who chose to spend some years at home for your children’s younger years, who know it was right for your particular family at that particular time, who also know that getting back to work is the right thing for the next phase of life. You know as well as I how hard it is going to be with that big time gap on your resume. You know that the competition is fierce and formidable.

Challenge doesn’t sway you though, does it? You’ve wrestled wills with toddlers, dammit! You’ve ran a household AND a home-based business. You’ve navigated schedules, chauffeured, volunteered, and kept your people fed even when the grocery shopping got skipped and all you had left was a wrinkly tomato and a packet of ramen soup. You’re an organizer, a multi-tasker, and improviser, a consoler and cheerleader. You are capable and resourceful. You’ve got your glitter bat in hand ready to smash your way through the rejection letters and the self-doubt. You know you can stick it out, waiting for that right hiring manager with vision to take a chance on you for all the reasons above, despite your being outside the formula.

This one is for you.

This is so you know that you are not the only one. This is so you can look back years from now at this pivotal moment in your life and see that you made the choice to seek triumph over your “yet to” list. Do it. Start today. Take action.

I am right there with you.

Jourdan Photo Portland

Click here to view these studies in Fall Color in the Shot from the Heart gallery.

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