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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Letting go of "perfect" in exchange for unkempt magnificence

2397186709_d19727dde4_2 Silly, silly me.

I was so hoping to get the perfect Blogger Social picture in my "pretty girl" dress and gloves (with tons of hairspray to make sure my curls would stay, well, curly). Especially since it's not a three-hundred dollar look but a silly three-dollar Lady Liberty hat that people most enjoy. Go figure.

So here I am on the left trying my best to smile and pose perfectly for the camera. I'm trying so hard to look like I have it all together. And I distinctly2397101535_815c71c59c_3 remember saying to the photographer "Please hurry, I don't know how much longer I can keep this plastic smile on my face!"

And then as the photos are slowly being uploaded to our Flickr Photolog (be patient folks, there are hundreds of them to upload!), I find out the most peculiar thing.

My favorite photo doesn't have me looking anywhere near perfect. Nope. In fact I look in total disarray.

My favorite photo is one where my hair is a freakin' mess, I have camera redeye and I'm just bursting with emotion somewhere between laughter and tears.

And all of a sudden, perfectly posed pictures don't matter.

What matters is not how I looked but how I felt when I literally (!) flew to embrace Arun Rajagopal.

The back story on Arun is that he had to rally to get a visa from Oman to the United States  -- he had to go to the embassy with an official "Blogger Social" letter with a popping champagne cork for the letterhead! -- to make it halfway 'round the world to Social. And he did all this after having lost his mum just a few weeks ago. And yet he brought a chain to adorn my momma tree that he's been carrying for darn near a year.

What matters is that I am beyond grateful to have this moment in time forever captured. What matters is that it truly reflects not the "look" but the "feeling" of the moment...and the magic of the entire event.

2397142101_d621375c9f_3 And what really matters is that I had the opportunity to impress upon people not with the perfect outfit or glittery eye makeup but with getting to actually impress upon them with a hug...and even with a kiss.

Here's me kissing Connie Reece, who just happened to be--according to the excellent opinion that is me--the most beautiful woman in the room.

To hell with perfect poses.

2390846374_fe121b6e2b_2 Especially when I'm lifted by such perfectly beautiful people. Other lessons learned right here.

PS: Here is me hugging my good, good buddy David Reich while aboard the USS Blogger Social. David used to think blogging was a waste of time...but instead became a generous and important voice in this community.

What's more? His kindness.

He even turned his personal house into a veritable hotel to host not one, not two, but FOUR marketers so they could be at Social with us--none of which he'd 2399043236_42eacc33a2_2 actually 'met' before. And had a BLAST as a result.

PPS: Oh, wait, it occurs to me I should at least show my friend Arun's handsome face. Here is a shot of us smiling all pretty for the cameras. It's a wonderful posed picture...but nowhere near the candid above showing my overwhelming emotions.

Comments

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I crossed that line of forget-the-perfectly-posed-pictures when Lori Magno stuck that spiky green foam Lady Liberty thing on my head and Toby Bloomberg draped me in a pink boa. I look so crazy in those photos, and they are some of my favorites. But I especially cherish this picture of you and me, and the look on your face when you hugged Arun for the first time .... priceless!

I absolutely love the pic of you realizing Arun was at Blogger Social! If you could only show someone one pic to encapsulate what last weekend meant to everyone, that gets my vote.

This post sings to me. Beautiful! I'm glad @MackCollier pointed it out. :)

This post sings to me. Beautiful! I'm glad @MackCollier pointed it out. :)

from the heart with lots and lots hugs .. is how i will remember blogger social. and a few 'European kisses' thrown in for good measure.

Looks like a perfectly magnificent time,CK - and you got the pictures to prove letting go is worth it!

As I was looking over the photos (I'm one of several elves helping CK upload them) this one just jumped out at me. When they say "a picture is worth a thousand words" - this is the type of picture they were referring to.

with tons of fabulous pix now overloading Flickr's servers, I cannot imagine a better one to encapsulate the weekend than the Arun embrace. Love it!

What a wonderful time it looks like you all had, hair a-flying and all! You know, the best meetings are those where you don't have to be "plastic", but you can be yourself. Glad to see you all had that opportunity at the Social, and I can't wait to join you next year!

Rock on!

CK,

You got it wrong. You looked absolutely stunning and as Mary Poppins would say, positively perfect in every way.

It's not the clothes that make the woman or the woman's heart beautiful.

Drew

As a photographer, I prize those casual, unexpected poses that capture the essence of my subject.

When I do a photoshoot (I shoot actors & models), I often sneak in several shoots when the actor "isn't ready." Their body language, expressions, and poses are usually much more compelling than when they actually poses.

The great thing about digital is that you dont stop to think about the shot. With film, it costs money every time you push the shutter.

Anyway, I never have seen your blog before this. I actually saw the picture and wanted to know what it was all about. Why this person was hugging this other person. Thanks for sharing your image.

Buddy
wordspicturesweb.wordpress.com

So much fabulousness in the Flickr (and Blogger Social gene) pool. I'm going to keep that happy feeling washing over me for weeks looking at all the photos and reading everyone's posts. You are the best - thanks for making the event happen!

CK, I found the wonderful photo of you and Arun at Darryl Ohrt's http://www.brandflakesforbreakfast.com/ with the great post title "Stop Fixing Your Hair".

I already adored Arun after meeting him at Blogger Social. I really appreciate your sharing the story about him. I had the opportunity to catch up with the two Mom articles (I lost my Mom young as well and strongly sympathize).

As you know, I lived in Japan for a long time, I gain solace and a place to communicate with my Mom from a traditional Japanese shrine that is kept in the house.

CK!!! It was so amazing to meet you in person, and I'll echo what has already been said -- the Arun photograph really captures the spirit of the weekend. An energized, enthusiastic, real, fun, inspiring, out-of-this-world event -- I keep talking to people about it, and they are all blown away. 22 U.S. states and 10 countries -- all kindred spirits getting together through Internet connections.

The friends & family of mine who are not techy/online keep asking me how you and Drew got this event realized (they are blown away by the scope of it). For the first time, some of them are really seeing the benefits of blogging and online social activities -- it's the people who blog! Thank you so much for everything. :)

This is only for the blog owner I just want to thanks this guy because of it I get lots of information from it ….
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