So there was this party a few weeks ago. My party. A party where people came to a restaurant to see my photographs and hang out. My opening party.
I worried for weeks. What if nobody came? What if too many came and there wasn’t enough food? What if my dress was wrong or I looked weird? What if people really didn’t like my photos? And what if they actually told me? A constant flutter of worries.
These things would wake me up in the middle of night. Silly things.
Silly because it was such an amazing experience.
Two weeks ago I was standing in the restaurant, waiting breathlessly for that first person to arrive to my show. Wondering who it would be, who would follow. Within moments people started to arrive. First it was one person — someone I once worked with — and then two couples: friends and former workmates. And then suddenly the room was vibrating with people: the love of my life, friends, colleagues, my mom and brother. The lovely woman who cuts my hair and her lovely partner. My spinning instructor. Gym friends. The drinking crew. And people I haven’t seen in years — all in one room. A microcosm of my life, mixing and talking and laughing with each other. All there to support me.
It was more than overwhelming, more than heart-bursting, more than exhilarating.
Time passed like viscous liquid, with moments slowly descending and suspending. Words bubbling underwater. If only I could have captured them all before they dissolved.
People telling me which photographs they liked, sharing their interpretations, trying to guess where a photo was taken. Asking me which ones I liked best (and there are some).
(And I even sold three photographs — curiously, the three that I almost didn’t include in the collection. And one is one of my favourites.)
As the evening evaporated, and the great lives in my life trickled out the door, I downed a big glass of wine and smiled. One of the most genuine smiles that have cracked my face.
And then it was over. But there are no photos to prove it. The irony. I didn’t think to take any photos at my photo party.