I want to introduce you to Vika, but more importantly I want to open your hearts.
Vika and I spent time together shooting photos for our online store last week. In the car, Vika and I were talking about her life here in Colorado and if she missed home. Vika and her family moved from Belarus to Colorado last year. She went on to describe how the political and economic climates were extremely difficult back home and she was grateful to be in the US. Then she mentioned the one thing she did miss, her friends and community in Belarus. Vika described the American culture as isolating and that we keep to ourselves here. We don’t readily invite people into our inner circles and like to keep our distances.
As most of you know (or are getting to know), I’m an incredibly sensitive fish (pisces)...so you can imagine how hard this hit me. I’ve gotten to know Vika over the past few months and have observed an incredibly talented, creative, kind, wicked smart and courageous woman. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to pick up and move across the world, leave everything that is familiar and start over...in your 20’s.
I started CAYA with the desire to take a swing at our culture of isolation. To help people connect to themselves so they can be more readily available and willing to connect with others. To strangers. To people that are different from them.
Today, try to open your heart to someone that looks, sounds, dresses or loves different from you. I write this with tears in my eyes, with incredible love and compassion for those that feel like they don’t belong, feel isolated or different. We all belong and there is room in this world for all our differences. Let someone in today, even if it feels uncomfortable. Take the time to get to know them, learn their story and most importantly, see them.