So, I must admit, after doing the teen group of the women’s project I felt very…well…unsure.
Don’t get me wrong…it was emotional and felt beneficial at the time, but I walked away not knowing if it had really made any sort of impact on any of those girls. Even my OWN DAUGHTER. The conversation afterward went something like this…
Me: “So, what did you think?”
Her: “It was cool.”
Me: “Yeah? Did you come away learning anything new? Do you feel any different?”
Her: “I dunno. It was cool, though.”
Me: “Do you think I should keep doing the project with other teen girls?”
Her: “Yeah, fersure.”
I don’t know if you know this, but, teen girls are very good at trivializing things and hiding how they really feel…you know, which is why so many of us women are REALLY good at it.
In any case, I’ve meant to do follow-up interviews with all of the participants in the project so far and have not gotten around to it yet. I did receive quite a few responses from many of the women from the first group, volunteering how they felt after, so, that’s been awesome and super motivational. But, nothing from the teen girls. I’ve been REALLY in the dark as to the effect on that group.
Today, my mail made me cry.
Really great happy tears.
Cassandra, who, while job shadowing me had participated in the teen group, sent me a beautiful card and a copy of the article she wrote for her school paper. The card reads like this:
Thank you once again for letting me job shadow you and participate in your project. Doing so had played a big part in helping me graduate. Besides the required job shadow, it also gave me more to talk about in my senior presentation and it made a good story for my newspaper, which I heard quite a few girls liked. I hope you like the article, there was so much more I wanted to write but it already had taken up so much room.
Also, ever since I job shadowed you, I’ve been slowly getting better with my anxiety and I’m starting to be able to do things that I should have already been able to do years ago. It might not be a big deal to most people, but, to me, it’s quite an accomplishment. I hope that I can grow to be a little more strong and brave each day…
You’ve actually helped me a lot more than you know, outside of my graduating high school. I hope to grow to be a woman similar to you. I know I’ve only met you once, but I already know so many of your good qualities. There’s so much more that I want to say, but I’ve already rambled enough.
Thank you again for everything. I wish you happiness and success.
….Okay, I may be crying again…and if I knew how to put hearts in a blog without them just looking like arrows and 3s, there would be a whole string of them….
Here is Cassie’s article…
(p.s. I think I need to steal her title to use whenever anyone asks me what the project is about…)
(to see the teen version of the project, including Cassie’s story, go here: https://alanatphotography.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/teen-version-women-raw-honest-loved/)