Importance Of Community
The past couple of years have been some of the most trying, painful, growing, and wonderful years of my life. I feel like I've learned more about myself and life in general in the past couple of years than in the 25 years of life previous to that. One of the most valuable things I've found is community. Though I've always been a part of various communities, It's not been until the past couple of years that I've started to really grasp the importance of community and working together with others. This journey to find myself has been more heavily influenced the WELD community than any other.
The community at WELD has made me and my work feel valuable in a way I never thought possible. I've always love shooting photos and creating videos but never felt like I was any good at it. And in hindsight, I wasn't that great, but I can confidently say that I am now. But this is only because I had people that believed in me and pushed me when I had a hard time believing in myself. I had people that were (and still are) way better than me in my life on a daily basis.
Here are a couple photos to visually demonstrate the growth I've had in my photography quality in two years:
Though I have better equipment than I did two years ago, which definitely helps, the lessons I've learned in how to use equipment, how to pay attention to lighting, how to edit, etcetera are what has made the biggest difference.
My communities are made up mostly of creatives and coffee people. I spend the majority of my time surrounding myself with these types of peoples and investing my life in the communities they make up. Though your interests and ideas of fun may be drastically different than mine, I believe we have more in common than meets the eye. You see, on a surface level, we all look different. But I believe, at our core, we are all the same (pretty much).
How so? We all need to be loved. We all need to be valued. We all need community. We all need people that we can be vulnerable with. People that will drop the masks and call us out on our bullshit
I used to think I was better off doing projects on my own. I used to be afraid that if I put some of the control in other people's hands, the project won't turn out as good as it could have or how I wanted it to. I've learned that things are always better when done with others though. Yeah, it's still kinda scary sometimes. And maybe things don't always turn out the way I envisioned they would. But at the end of the day, I'm always glad that I've not been alone.
So. Go out and get involved in community. Connect with people that have shared passions and interests. Surround yourself with people that are better than you. Grow with each other. Make it a point to impact someones life. Let someone impact yours. Don't ever grow stagnant or complacent.