I got one of the best compliments from a stranger yesterday.
Henry, Jeremy and I went to the drag-strip last night - something I haven't done since Henry was in my belly and something Henry hasn't ever experienced at all. It was KilKare's 'Night of Fire' so essentially - they had some big stuff that blew big flames and that scared the crap out of both myself and Henry.
We arrived around 6:30 and watched car after car go down the track. Around 8 Henry got bored, which is understandable. It was hot, it was humid, and sitting in wooden bleachers with no protection and nothing else to do but watch cars for 1.5 hours is bound to get boring for a 2 year old. So, we decided to walk around and see what else we could see.
Jeremy has friends (old teachers) who had brought a funny-car to this event, so we knew that there were people out there that we knew. We walked up and down the grounds and out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy smiling and waving at us. I definitely didn't recognize him so I nudged Jeremy and said 'hey, do you know that guy?'
The answer was two-fold: "Not really, but I know who he is. He's the only teacher I didn't have in my program at Sinclair.'
So, we walked over to talk to the guy that I had never met and Jeremy just sort of knew and he immediately put all his attention on me: "I just had to stop you and tell you how much I love your pictures, you have to be the best photographer I've ever seen."
My heart stopped.
Wait? What? How many photographers has this guy even seen? And how? Where is he even seeing my pictures?
Of course I thanked him and we laughed about how much it helps that I have the BEST subject in the entire world. Then he went on to talk to Jeremy about cars and work and how the program at Sinclair was changing and evolving...and I just stood there, kinda stunned and kind of in awe.
It was the last place in the world that I would ever expect to receive such a compliment.
I definitely don't consider myself the 'best' at anything photography related but to hear someone, a complete stranger to me, compliment something I am so passionate about and working so hard to grow, well...that was priceless.
And while I refuse to let it go to my head, I really needed to hear that other people see me, and that they know what I'm doing and that they appreciate and admire my work. It's what keeps me pushing so hard to make this dream reality.
If you're working towards a dream - keep at it. It may seem like no one else in the world notices how hard you are trying but they do. It just may take running into a complete stranger in order to realize the impression you've made.