It takes time for me to process the See Her Story event, y’all. So many wonderful things happen for this event, at this event and because of this event. Blows my mind. You can read all about what this event is, how last year’s went and other stories from last year’s event on the blog (click here). While you all raised lots of money, collected hundreds of items and even signed up to volunteer, you also decided to be brave and let Rebecca and I take your picture. Sometimes it’s hard as women to let ourselves been seen that way… because isn’t that what taking your picture is? A moment of vulnerability when someone stops to really SEE you, creating this image of you that could be seen for many years to come. And some times we don’t want to be seen, whether it’s because of how we see ourselves, or don’t see ourselves. But we are healthiest and our BEST selves when we are present in our bodies. I want that for us, ladies. Me and you.
Before I share some of the images with you, I do want to share one woman’s story who was at the event that wants to share with you but remain anonymous:
“I grew up in a home where violence was the norm. Abuse was the primary form of communication from my father towards my mother, my younger brother, and myself. At a few points, my parents separated under a DVO (domestic violence order) and my mom sought out resources from our local emergency DV shelter. I know the full weight of what Interact means to our community, because I am one of those numbers, I am one of the stories that lives in the statistics. I survived and I intentionally live a life today that has space to love and pour out for others all of the love I received in those hard, painful years. I have survived much of my life on the love and grace of ordinary people who cared enough to help and walk alongside me on this journey.” – Anonymous
Now I want to share with you a few women’s words about what this event meant to them, followed by their picture from the evening…
“Tuesday was the 12th anniversary of Mom’s death. She never liked having pictures taken of her and rarely volunteered to be in front of the camera. So the number of pictures I have of her is less that what I would like. At the same time, I get it. I don’t like having pictures taken of myself either.
But you encourage quite the opposite. So that we capture stories and memories and moments in time that our people can revisit through these images. And my people may always love my image more than I do. For sure they love me fiercely. And so at the end of a long day of work, on a day that is filled with mixed emotions, with parts of me I’m continually working to embrace, I knew I could sit on that porch and trust that you would work your magic. You have always made me feel more comfortable in front of a camera, which then allows you to capture the real-ness of me at that moment in life.
Women are fierce. Mom was fierce. I am fierce. The women I got to spend time with and catch up with are fierce. The women who are supported through InterAct are fierce. Our stories and our images can tell the world that truth. We just have to be willing to let it be captured from time to time.” – Mary
“I saw the See Her Story event on Facebook and it couldn’t have been more perfect timing. I had recently gone through my closet and started pulling items to donate. I searched for local non-profits online and found Interact and thought they were the perfect group to donate to. I loved what they stand for, and think it’s awesome that they help women and children in the local area. I can’t imagine feeling scared, unsafe or uncomfortable in my own home and I wish I could do more to help than just donate!
The event was a really fun experience, at a great venue (to die for!) with wonderful food and people. I am always looking for different things to do and it was a great night to get together with a few girlfriends from work and a charity (Models for charity) that I’m part of. Getting an awesome headshot was an added bonus! Thanks again for all of your effort in making this event a success. As an event planner, I enjoy attending events that I don’t have to plan, but especially ones that run so fluidly and host engaging, sweet people.” – Vanessa