Finding My Tribe - I Was Never Good At Making Friends
I was never good at making friends or meeting new people.
I was always too awkward for the popular kids, too loud for the unpopular kids, not cool enough for the posh ones, too cool for the rough ones, not extreme enough for the ravers, too extreme for the conservatives.
I have tried to fit in and to find my tribe for a very long time and always struggled to get along with more than one person at the time.
People that I hanged out with normally never got on as a group. It was very much individual one -on - one friendships till the day I have met the Carmencita Film Lab team…
I left Ibiza for Valencia end of March 2016 to attend the Carmencita Meets Valencia hang out.
With absolutely no expectations, clear head and positive feeling I arrived at the Calle Del Mar where our shared apartment was.
People started to arrive. We started to chat. Laugh. Everything was going smooth and pretty.
All individuals, all unique, creative souls, united by their film lab which they love so so much.
Love for film photography and for the lab bonded us closely together.
No competition, no envy, no pretentiousness. The vibe was simply pure, young and fresh.
Like we went back in time to our teen years where freedom of expressing yourself and creating is as important as breathing. When you feel special but this special belongs with the others.
When you feel understood and accepted for who you are and what you do.
No judgement. No ego.
Because it was NOT a workshop, it was simply gathering of like-minded people, we felt free to say what we wanted without fear of being judged or misunderstood. There was no right and no wrong. Simply whatever we came up with.
No hierarchy and no comparison.
Everyone was on the same board, looking for the same thing, for finding their way of shooting, way of styling, way of communication with the client. Finding reason why to shoot or what to shoot.
All very individual but all so alike.
When you meet people who light you up it feels like nothing else matters. It feels like the connection you share in this moment in time is endless. It feels like you belong. Like your inner madness met a partner in crime.
Someone equally nuts!
Someone who stares at shadows, someone who looks up at the rooftops, someone who makes you laugh, someone who makes little noises when looking through a viewfinder of a camera, someone who fucks up their film roll by winding it the wrong side up…
It makes you feel more human.
For years I struggled with connecting with others because I was born a deep thinker.
I’ve always been asking too many questions.
When I was very young my constant questions and inquiries about life made a lot of people angry, bored and tired.
I would question everything and anything just to get into a debate. And preferably win it...
I questioned everything throughout my primary school, high school and than got finally some answers at the University in Plymouth, UK, where my tutors accepted and embraced me, letting me write my final dissertation titled “In Bed With Adorno” *title inspired by In Bed With Madonna… focusing on Theodor Adornos’s philosophy and trying to combine it into new educational system.
My madness continues. Only now I realise how detailed and focused I really am. In my personal life and in my work life.
I strive for perfection.
I go around wedding venues fixing chairs, straightening cutlery, hiding cables…
I watch the light, the shadows, patterns and textures.
I try to tell a story throughout my photographs.
I obsess with colour palettes. I love consistency, simplicity and beauty.
And it still drives most of the people I know (or work with) mad...
No matter how hard I try to suppress the need of moving the wedding cake to a better location, or an idea of bringing my own mini steamer to steam press the table cloths before each wedding shoot, I simply can’t stop myself. It’s deep inside me.
And I know if I don’t fix it, I will look at the photo later on and go crazy over it or simply delete it… Why would you keep anything off? Why wouldn't you just fix it even before shooting?
Finding my tribe in Valencia came as a blessing to me.
I watched Birgit Hart do her A-HA-HA-HA only to get a smile out of a model, I watched Michael Ferire lying flat on the floor in the Placate Echeveste shooting a lamp, I have seen Albert Roig dancing swing, I witnessed André Teixeira doing his signature moves…
For the first time in my life, I felt completely accepted and understood. I had found my soul tribe!
Now I can simply carry on being myself because I know that somewhere there (a phonecall or whatsapp away) are people who are as obsessive and special as I am… in their very own unique way.
I believe that once you start feeling good about who you are and you accept yourself your tribe shows up!
If you want to be surrounded by loving people, a tribe of like-minded souls that encourage and empower you, try feeling good in your own skin and letting them feel good in theirs.
We should feel happy with the way we are as there is no one on this planet that is the same as you.
So next time I will reach to fix the curtains and straighten something up I will be happy to embrace my weirdness. And I will think about my wonderful tribe of people who live, breathe and feel what they do and who they are everyday of their life.
Who express their creativity in whatever way comes naturally to them.
I hope every one of us will find their soul tribe one day!
It’s such a wonderful feeling of calm and easy…