At some point, one of these amazing ladies started a "group chat" on Facebook with the rest of us... that chat has been active for over a year now and we chat EVERY SINGLE DAY. These women are amazing and they appeared in my life when I felt very alone and uncertain. I needed friends, but was rather new to the area, had a baby and another on the way, and just felt overwhelmed. Suddenly I had people to talk to every day. Yes, at first it was all about photography. We critiqued each other's images, discussed lenses and software, came up with creative ideas, and so much more. But then something happened that will always happen when you talk to someone every day... we shared much more.
Over time, I have come to know these women and they feel like family. I know their struggles, their hurts, their husbands, their kids, their pets, their challenges, their joys, what inspires them, what makes them want to give up, when they are happy, when they are sad... and they know the same of me.
There have been many days that I have stopped what I am doing and sent up a flare prayer, thanking God for these ladies in my life. Though I have not met any of them yet, I hope that will change soon. We are in different parts of the country and different parts of the world, yet we have all found the ties that bind... our very humanness, our womanhood, our love, and of course, our passion for our art.
Each morning we wake up, get on the chat, and wish each other a good morning. Since there are almost a dozen of us, someone is always available to listen, to talk, to springboard, to just be there when the day starts to feel empty. We have our morning coffee together (see the image above... each of our mugs), keep in touch as time allows, and say goodnight at the end of the day.
I never thought that some of my closest relationships would be found online. I never thought I would trust people again. I definitely never thought I would trust so many people I have never met. But sharing so much has grown our relationships in such positive ways.
If you're reading this and you're one of my "Crazy Ladies" (Yes, that's what we call our tribe), I love you so much! If you're not in my crazy tribe, I hope you find a tribe that is as supportive and uplifting as the one to which I belong.
My phone dings... and hubby asks, "Is it the Crazies?"
Yes, my Love. My tribe is calling...
If you would like to meet these ladies for yourself, feel free to find them on Facebook!
Chantal van den Dool