December 12, 2016

Exactly As We See It

As I was browsing instagram yesterday (instead of doing something productive) I came across a photo that caught my eye. When I went to read the caption, I found myself typing out a response before I had a moment to really think about the reason she had posted it. Jenni is a blogger that I followed even before I created a blog of my own. I got to meet her once when I helped our friend Shay capture the wedding of a sweet couple in Austin and have truly loved following along as her sweet daughter Pippa has come into her life and grown over the past year. 

Jenni posted a photo of balloons from sweet Pippa's birthday party and captioned it with this "This afternoon as I was playing in the living room with Pippa, I glanced over to the entry foyer where yesterday's helium balloons still floated at the ceiling. I noticed that the first of the balloons was giving up and slowly drifting to the floor, and it was one of those odd moments in life where you see one thing but it feels so representative of something else. I sat on the floor there and cried as I watched that little blush balloon sinking in mid air, and I was reminded that beautiful things usually have a life cycle and don't last forever- which is often part of what makes them so beautiful. Babies grow up, special days end, relationships fizzle, people or animals we love die... the list goes on. Watching that balloon made me so sad as it meant the end of something that brought me great happiness, but as they say...every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. There is hope for tomorrow, and good stuff to come." 

Pretty powerful, don't you agree? I saw her picture and was captivated by what she wrote. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I quickly hit reply and said this "I absolutely love little moments like that. They make you stop and think about so much more than what the moment really is. I hate that it brought you sadness but it makes me wonder what all the balloons that are still afloat represent. Perhaps the things or people that stick around longer than others or will fight hard against the elements to stay exactly as they are?".  Jenni was so gracious to write me a sweet comment back but ever since then, I can't stop thinking about Jenni's take on the balloons and my own. 

From her perspective, she saw the balloons as they pertained to that moment in her life. Whether it was the fact that she had just celebrated the 1 year birthday of her sweet baby girl and that first year was coming to a close, or maybe it was that people or animals that she had loved weren't there to help her celebrate, or maybe it was representative of the relationships in her life. That's the great thing about social media is that sometimes, in midst of all the beautiful white filled photos, people are posting images that mean so much more than what we see. 

From my outsider view, I was able to look at the balloons and see the other balloons still holding strong to their stance on the ceiling. I didn't have the emotions or connection to that one balloon so my first instinct was to say "hey wait, what about all the other balloons". I feel like sometimes I look at the situations that people are in and wonder why they can't see the good through the fog of the bad. But Jenni's post made me realize it's because I don't have the connection with the whole picture. I only see the side of it that has not emotion or attachment. I was able to be optimistic because my view wasn't clouded by the raw emotion of what it meant to her. 
Take this picture for example. If I asked you to name the first thing that you see in it, or tell me what it means to you, would you say the clouds, the sky, the water, the way the sun is reflecting on the water? We would have totally different views from any one who comments because of our emotion attached to it. Whether it's more emotion because of what the waves at the beach represent or because we have little emotion based on the fact that we see the beach each day.  It was a nice reminder that the pictures that we post on social media, or even or blogs, will touch people in a way that we may never have even meant for them to or known that they would. Each picture is truly exactly as we see it. 


  1. One of my favourite things about photography is noticing the small details and actively deciding what to focus on. Is it the clouds? the water? the reflection of the clouds in the water? If you survey ten people you're likely to get 10 different answers influenced by what's happening in their minds at that very moment.

  2. I love this! And I love how we all have a unique perspective and how we are all created so differently. God is so creative in His design. Great thoughts friend.

  3. Yes! I thought the same thing when I read her post but I also saw her side of it too. I love to see everyone's perspective on something because it really forces me to think about what other people see!