When I started this project almost 3 years ago I took on the physical process of touring every street of the Capitol city. I had no idea where this process would lead me. I had some guesses that I would see parts of the city I had never gone to before. I figured I would meet new people interested in my task. I thought maybe one or two media sources might find this project interesting. Never, ever did I think that I would, through this project, become part of so many exciting groups (Lunch with a Purpose, #lovelansing, MarketLansing, Crazy Geeks with Cameras, CCFF, Ignite, TEDx, DirtyFeat, Lansing Marathon Committee, Lansing Dragon Boat Committee), meet so many exciting people (way too many to name), and be invited to do amazing things. Yesterday, because of my City Saunter project, I was invited to go on a private tour of Michigan’s Capitol. I climbed, with a group of nine other people, every level of the Capitol to the top most windowed area during a two and a half hour exclusive tour.
I recently read a post called “23 Things Every Woman should Stop Doing”. The second thing on the list was stop saying yes to everything. For whatever reason I had found that normally (pre City Saunter) I would say no to everything. I wanted to stay home and not exert too much energy. I turned down late night drives with my husband (too tired), going out with friends (too much work, too tired, cost money), I wouldn’t hang out without Pat (I feel bad when he can’t come out), or really anything fun. This project has completely changed my perspective. It forced me to go outside of my comfort zone in a way I had never done before. NEVER. I now talk to strangers. I smile at everyone. I say hello/bye to everyone I pass, all the time. I don’t even realize it anymore until I’m walking with someone and I am interrupting our conversation to smile and say hi to people we are passing. I’ve gone on radio stations and television stations. I’ve been on the upper floor of the Boji Tower. I climbed onto the roof of Kathie Dunbar’s van to get a photo of Art Attack and when that wasn’t good enough we went to the roof top of another tall building across the street to get the photo. I’ve been on top of the Knapp’s building at night. I paddled a Dragon Boat. I planned an event inside an airplane hangar. I created a new event for peace. I’ve walked 400 miles of city streets. Now, I’ve climbed to the top of the state Capitol building.
I don’t feel that I am anything special. Three years ago I was a stay at home mom with twins starting kindergarten and two sons in college. I was dabbling in photography and had a degree in psychology with neither landing me a full time career. I was wallowing in my situation; anticipating the sadness I would have with my kids all gone. Then this project came to me like a gift from God. I didn’t think I could do it but instead of saying no, I said let’s do this! For three years now I’ve walked, smiled, talked, interviewed, photographed, blogged, volunteered and journeyed through this city. Yesterday I was able to view it all from the tippy top of our Capitol building. What an amazing journey I have been on. And all of it began with a one mile trek around that very same Capitol almost three years ago.
I have more photos on my Flickr Account
And also on my website