May 26, 2009

I Can Cry and Still be Strong.

I've sat down at least 4 times to write this blog and it's been unbelievably difficult to tell this story.  
After an amazing wedding in Seattle this weekend, we (Sila and I) were robbed.  The police say that we were being followed or targeted from the time we arrived at the hotel.  We lost all of our equipment, not to mention a large portion of the pictures from the wedding.  I've been determined to stay positive and not give into the overwhelming feeling of discouragement hanging overhead, but tonight it finally caught up to me.  
Nick has been so sick since I got home.  The sickest he's been in 7 years of marriage.  He needed me, my kids needed me, the house needed me, the yard and garbage cans need me, the police needed me, the insurance companies needed me, and my business needed me....and all this before 11 a.m.  Top priority.  By the time I got my husband and the kids situated for the night, I was already feeling like a zombie.  I picked up one of the 100 pieces of popcorn on the living room floor and started to cry.  The weight felt so heavy on my shoulders in that moment, I  was physically forced to my knees in prayer, and the flood gates opened up.  
I want you all to know I'm not crying because I believe this shouldn't have happen to me, or that I'm giving up.  I have actually decided it is abnormal for me not to have cried yet.   If any of you have ever been heart broken, then you know how I'm feeling.  You know you need to get over it, that there is nothing you can do about it anymore and you need to move on with your life.  There is no going back, so you should just "get over it", but no matter how much you want to will yourself over "it", "it" inevitably takes time.  You have lost something and your life doesn't make sense to you for a bit.
Amidst all the crying, I feel incredibly blessed.  I know that THIS is my path.  THIS...is something that I need to learn and grow from.  THIS is all in the pursuit of a joyful life and my dreams.  There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: fear of failure (The Alchemist.)  I believe that all things, both good and bad are here to give us experience, teach us about ourselves and help us along our journeys.  I don't believe in failure.  Not for me, not for anyone.  I could spend my time feeling sorry for myself.  I could ask myself: Why this had to happen to me, or I can use my energy to start over, find solutions and realize there is something to be learned.  I choose the latter.  It's always a choice.  Your life is in your control. If there is something about it that you don't like.  Choose to change it.  
This experience has been a test for me.  A test I feel I have passed.  I frequently tell people that there is nothing to be afraid of, especially when in pursuit of dreams.  The worst thing I can think of is letting fear stop you from trying.  Yes, bad things can happen.  Yes, it can be a challenge.  Yes, it can make you cry.  Does it make me want to stop living my dream, or wish I hadn't tried in the first place.  NO!!  God doesn't promise to keep bad things from happening to us, but He does promise that if we rely on Him, He will make these burdens light, or He will strengthen us to carry them.    
I wanted to write about how positive I feel, how I know good things are coming, how strong I am in the middle of this.  I didn't want to admit I was hurt, and that it has been a painful, difficult few days for me.  I didn't want to cry over this.  I realize now that I can cry and still be strong.  
I wanted to thank Sila for being there the whole time.  I know it wasn't easy for you  Thank you for helping me find my strength and recognize how lucky we really were.  I also wanted to tell Rose, how much I love her and I that I will find a way to make this better.  Sepa, the thought of you, gave me the first glimmer of hope!  Last but not least, I wanted to thank my Dad for wanting to fly to Seattle for no good reason at all.  Heavenly Father won't always stop bad things from happening to us, but he can make sure your Dad is hanging around when it does.  

40 comments:

Maka said...

Wow Omi. I heard what happened, and I'm so sorry. I'm very impressed by your post and the feelings you shared! I know, for you, all will be well! Not many can handle all that you've been through recently, and still have a positive attitude. Thanks for always being a great example, not only with your talents and photography, but with life in general. I hope Nick starts to feel better soon! You're awesome!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Omi for sharing that. I am reading your blog right now, it is past midnight and I am just having a difficult time myself. I always check your blog often because I love the beauty of life you capture through the lenses. You really have a gift. And for some reason, at this very late hour, I clicked on your website that I have bookmarked :) And I happened upon this very inspirational message. Thank you Omi, I have always looked up to you as a big sister.
Much love and respect always to you and your beautiful family. I am sorry to hear of what happened but love your positivity about it.
Thank you.

Leti Purcell-YoungYen said...

Hi sis! Just know I haven't stopped thinking about you since after you called me with the news. I got to see Sila yesterday and I'm so happy you both are okay. Please know that I'm always here if you need anything. You've always been an inspiring and positive individual--I know you'll get through this. Remember, the value lies within YOU. I wish you the best week! Call me and I'll see you soon. I LOVE YOU!

Erin said...

I am so sorry to hear this! I hope that you can still make it to The Workshop. I dont have a lot of gear, but what I do have you are welcome to use!
Erin J

ma'elePHOTO said...

OMI!!! I can't even believe it. That is absolutely horrible. I wanted to cry for you when you were picking up the popcorn. I don't know what I can do, but let me know if I can help you in anyway. Hope that Nick picks up and feels better real soon, as well as the kids. And I love that your Dad was 'ready' to rescue you. Dad's are the best!!! Thank you for sharing this... maybe there is a lesson that all of us can learn, especially as we travel this summer. Love you girl!!! Keep us all posted!!!

tirb said...

What an ordeal! I am impressed you already have so much perspective. And it sounds like you have a wonderful Dad. He sounds a lot like mine. It is really great knowing you have someone to come to your rescue.

--Brittany (Shy's friend)

Hali said...

I am so sorry you had to go through this. We love you Omi and I am so very glad that my sister married into your family so I have the chance to know you! Your words are inspiring and you are a very strong and wonderful woman!
Love you
See you soon
Hali

ANNA BANANA said...

OMG that is soo horrible, I'm glad you are able to look at it positively!! Wow I would cry too. Crying is normal and I'm glad you get that. I know it won't stop you from doing what you love!! It is just a temporary set back! I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you can get better equipment, maybe at a better price too!! :) The Lord really does bless those who are going thru trials!! Be patient and watch him work!! Your dad is soo sweet! Always there when you need him huh!! Reminds me of mine! Good luck!! :)

Pri*Sila said...

Omi, I love you! You make me a better and stronger person! I'm so glad your dad was with us. I forgot to thank him for the beautiful prayer that touched my soul! Thank goodness for families and close friends to help us get through these rough spots! I can't wait to see what's in store for us next. I was down, but definately not out! Again, I love you! Thanks for all you do for me!

~Sila

Anne Elisabeth said...

Sweet sweet Naomi,
It's been a while since I wrote you(i'm the girl with the emails about wondering what you might think of it).. A lot since then happened, but every now and then i check your Blog & Beautiful most amazing photo's!
I was reading your blog with pain in my heart for you but then all of a sudden you showed your faith in God.. I was so happy to see that, because where would we be without him? Immediatly it explained to me why you are such a great possitive loving life person..
I Just wanted to say, keep trusting because He has always been there for me in my worst and best moments.. And He will also be there for you!

I'll keep you in my prayers,
Anne

Bud & Kim said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss but grateful for your strength and example. May today be better than yesterday. ;)

Alicia said...

Omi, you never cease to inspire me. Whether it's through your photography, or your optimism and zest and understanding of Life! I am so impressed with this post. I am sorry for your heartache, but as you well know a good cry can do wonders. Chin Up! :)

MaryElla said...

Oh my! I am so sorry! I am also very glad that you are okay!!! I always feel nervous when we are carrying all of the equipment around with us. It can be scary!
I can't help the feeling that I'd like to do something to help... I'll keep you in my prayers. You are an amazing woman.

Puanani said...

Omi, I have been thinking of you lots! Still have no voice, so a phone call probably wouldn't do any good, but I've been praying that something will turn up! Love you TONS!! It was so nice to see you this past weekend and meet Sila - you guys are amazing no matter what :)!

sanaejames photography said...

OMI!!! My heart hurts for you. Really. I don't know the whole story or even a little part of it--but just from what I got off of your blog I am sad, furious and comforted all at the same time. Can that be possible? Anyway...I know it's not much, but I got your back girl. If you need anything, I'm here for ya. You are AMAZING and I KNOW only GOOD THINGS will come from this. I just KNOW IT. You and your fams are in our prayers.

Dasl*it Photography said...

Omi words cant express how your post and your blog affect me.. I check it non stop. Your a true inspiration to me in so many ways you will never know. I know the Lord has big things planned for you, for the Lord only gives you the trials he knows you can pull through.. I love you Omi, thanks for all the things you have taught me and always being positive with me.. Let me know if I can help in anyway..
Loyann

Kayleen T. Photography said...

Omi I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you guys! Our car got broken in to once and you feel violated and mad like you just want to find out who did it and kick them! But it's great that you are staying positive through everything! If there's anything I can do to help, I have a 40d you can use!

sepa said...

i was thinking you should change the title of your post to "i can cry because i am strong."

since getting the seemingly bad news sunday morning, i've been endlessly mindful of our conversations regarding our projects, your business goals, the kind of photographer you want to be, and the kind of photography you want most to do. He hears you. the universe hears you.

one of my favorite quotes from the alchemist is "when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." (paulo coelho)

the circumstances weren't ideal, but, like it or not, you've been dealt your new beginning. even the thieves have had a hand in advancing you to new personal and professional heights.

you said it best: your business is not about your equipment, it's about you. and you will rise to this occasion because strong is who you are.

we love you and the family, and excitedly await all that your new beginnings will produce.

xox

p.s. thanks for letting me tag along with you and sila for the wedding shoot. i promise to bring my A game next time. :)

Ashley said...

Omi! I am so so sorry to hear about all of this. I know at times when I had things I didn't think I could bear in life God sent his angels to carry me through it and it sounds like your dad was your angel through it all. I know everything has a purpose and that somehow good will come out of this mess. Until then though I will keep you in my thoughts and my cameras in check (scary!)

oneshotbeyond said...

This is everybody's second worst nightmare. I think the 1st being bodily harm of any kind including illness. You are strong and will get through this. It is not going to be easy or fun, but it will be worth it.

I am so sorry to hear that you were robbed. To lose your possesions or have them stolen is one thing, but to be robbed had to be horrific.

I love the 1st quote Sepa mentioned. It's true and things will come back together for you in a way you cannot yet forsee. Keep that chin up!

Rina said...

Someone once told me that those who are strong--cry. It takes strength in letting others see your emotions.
Thanks for the great example. My first instinct was to tell you sorry...and I am for the loss of the "irreplaceable."
Shoot--and I'd been thinking of you this week but thought you were out of town.

ME said...

WOW...I'M GLAD NOTHING HAPPENED TO YOU AND SILA...SORRY ABOUT THE BS, BUT THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STRENGTH. LOVE YOU SISTER, KEEP SMILING.

OMI PHOTOGRAPHER said...

Thank you a million times over for all your thoughtful comments. Everyone of them has made my day! LOVE YOU ALL!! Just purchased my new body....did a bit of an upgrade! HOLLAAA! :-) and got a replacement for my trusty 50mm f1.2, loyalties have definitely been decided. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Pasifik S.E.A.S Entertainment said...

Dang sis, you can still inspire even with out your camera!! But congrats anyways on your new upgrade. Much luv..

Alvin

K-C Tohara said...

Love ya!

Kristy said...

I am so sorry Naomi. You are a strong women so go ahead and CRY! I would.

Nora said...

All round..this is such a disheartening situation. We admire your optimism, Omi..and it is strength (and loved ones *winks*) that inevitably surpasses all.

Our heart goes out to you and Sila for your equipment (and aftermath of facing it all), as well as to the bride and groom (Rose and Legi)...

~Alaiafune's

Leah T :) said...

Glad you and Sila are ok. And HOORAYYY on the upgrade. You truly are inspiring!!!

{nonu}6 said...

Thank you for sharing this! You are not only a gifted and talented photographer but a shining example of strength and vision! The way you handle yourself during trials is a true testiment of your character, and no one can take that from you. Glad to hear you and Sila were unharmed. You are in my prayers!

I'm Natalie. said...

Richie just ran into someone in the video store and they started talking, I guess they're friends of yours. They told richie that you had gotten beaten up really really badly. Richie's words "they said she totally got the crap beaten out of her!" I'm so relieved to see that that may not have been the case. I am however still so so sorry that this happened to you. Love you girl! If you need a thing you let me know.

N

OMI PHOTOGRAPHER said...

Oh WOW! Yeah, makes a good story, but I'm 100% un-beaten up! Didn't even see the robbers myself, but the business got a little beat down, she'll be fine though! LOVE YOU. Thanks for letting me know the word so I can clear it up!

OMI PHOTOGRAPHER said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristy and Trey said...

So sorry to hear what you went through. Thankfully, you and all of your loved ones are ok. I've always been inspired by what you do. You are an amazing photographer! I am even more inspired by you as a human being. Prayer is powerful and no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good to thank God for. You can focus on your problems, or you can focus on your purposes. I'm so inspired that you chose your purposes. Upgrade already? Yayee! That means our shoot will be with the upgrade! It's a domino effect. :) I pray that your wedding photos turn up or something better!

Much Love,
Kristy

Nia said...

so sorry to read what u went through, but u know the saying, "everything happens for a reason!" i know that not only u're an inspiration to me but u r also to many others. u r so gifted in what u do & what u love doing. it's such happiness to know that u're doing good after this experience. u're a strong, strong woman omi!! never lose that, ever!

kuaback said...

hold your head up high Omi,
There's nothing we can't concur and you're a strong woman so you will def. grow stronger from this ordeal.

All the best. I love your work

Suzy said...

Hi Naomi-i was reading the article i was going to do for visiting teaching in the ensign, right before I opened up your blog. My message was by President Monson-"May you have Courage" I was reading every word you wrote with tears in my eyes. I didnt get to respond yesterday b/c i had to go visit teach, but i have some time now. You are such a talented person. I remember being so excited to have you teach our Sunday school class at BYU-HI. Your so intelligent and charismatic, and beautiful. i was sad to hear of your loss, but from it has come another strength of yours-the "courage" to get through it all. Thankyou for sharing-that was very touching that your dad was there with you-he must be in tune! Here's to thinking of you from HI. take care and best of luck with everything! Suzy:0)

John Paul said...

Happy to read that you took it so well. I feel your pain. A while ago I had my camera bag stolen with my camera, laptop, lenses, flashes, and everything else. The worst part was the pictures that were lost on my laptop (the backup was in the bag). When people asked about it they were often surprised that I was not angry. It is just stuff. Stuff can be replaced (although I do really miss my Rollie).

btw, what did you upgrade to?
I waited a while and went with the 5D Mark II. I'm lovin it :)

Anne Elisabeth said...

Hey Naomi,
I saw this video on youtube and I thought of you instantly, i think this may be good for you to listen to through everything you've been through..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP0iyrPF_rU
also
I Just got a blogspot myself! So you can follow my devolopments and maybe comment every now and then with some PRO insight haha.

Love&Blessings,
Anne (Elisabeth)

Anonymous said...

i'm a big fan of your work and just wanted to say that your husband, kids, and friends, are sooo blessed to have you. i don't know you but you and your husband are a friend of my cousin :). as far as crying and still being strong...amen :) and well said i might add. wish you, your family, your business, and your dreams the best! take care

Sheri "Kiana" said...

Ok...so this comment comes very late but better late than never. I admire your strength and determination to move forward in the midst of such adversity. We all face trials...the difference is the individual who chooses to stand up again and...again and...again after they fall. There are few failures in life...only stepping stones...it is all in how we chose to look at things, how we chose to let them affect us and how we chose to learn from them. They say the Lord never gives us challenges that supersede our ability to overcome them...therefore if the Lord knows you have the power and strength to overcome adversity, you are merely underestimating your own abilities. Only those that are willing to stare adversity in the face and do so with faith and courage will reach their full potential in life. Not to be condescending but I know that mentally women have so much we have to deal with and juggle--often times our own needs are the last in line. However we still manage to find the strength to do what we do...every day! Keep up the good work girl!