Posts Tagged With: NSGP

Day 2548: Fortunate

Last night, before we were fortunate enough to see “Parasite” — an incredible movie about the fortunes of families from very different classes  — Michael and I got bubble-gum fortunes at a restaurant nearby.

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While I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a comic and fortune that was cut properly, Michael was.

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If I had been fortunate enough to get that fortune about being anxious to achieve something very important and succeeding, I would have greatly appreciated that view of such a fortunate future.

Earlier that morning, I was fortunate enough to capture the images of birds flying around and around our home, casting shadows on the blinds.

Are birds flying around and around  your home considered fortunate?  I was fortunate enough to find this online article about bird superstitions and myths.

Later in the day, I was fortunate enough to attend a beautiful memorial ceremony for my beloved colleague Deb Carmichael.

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I believe all of us at the memorial service felt fortunate to have the opportunity to write down on those index cards our thoughts about our good fortune in knowing Deb, so we could share those with Deb’s family.

I felt fortunate when one of the speakers at the memorial service quoted something I often say:

The pain of the loss is directly proportional to the importance of the connection.

We were all fortunate to hear a song that Deb had personally chosen to be sung at her memorial service by a member of our shared professional organization and home: The Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy.  While you won’t be fortunate enough to hear that rendition today, here is the song:

 

I feel fortunate that I can share my other photos from yesterday with you, here and now:

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Please be grateful for every fortunate moment we get to share together.

Love,

Your fortunate blogger

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2489: Good as hell

I’m feeling  good as hell today, because I’m facing a day that is full as hell of

  • group therapy,
  • individual therapy,
  • people I love, and
  • the first event of my 45th college reunion.

Yesterday, in a therapy group that was good as hell, our new good-as-hell social work intern revealed that she loves the music of Lizzo.

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I see that Lizzo is in the new movie Hustlers, which is  popular as hell.

Here‘s “Good as Hell” by Lizzo:

I love this good-as-hell comment about that video:

Chazz
1 week ago
I gotta start loving myself, I don’t wanna let Lizzo down

 
We gotta start loving ourselves; we don’t wanna let Lizzo down.

Here are other good-as-hell photos from yesterday:

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Oscar was good as hell last night at the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy board meeting.

Here are some good-as-hell revelations I’ve had this week:

  1. When you’re good as hell, some people (who probably feel bad as hell about themselves) might resent you for that, and
  2. You can reduce the power of people who make you feel bad as hell by imagining them as small and far-away-as-hell from you.

I’m looking forward to some good as hell comments and here’s some good as hell gratitude from me to YOU!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2426: Say YES to …

Yesterday morning, after saying YES to sharing another daily blog post, I looked at a previously published post, also titled “Messes,’ and found this:

I will tell you that I messily shared at the end of the group session my inspiration to make a new t-shirt that says, “Say YES to the mess.”

Over two years later, I am belatedly saying YES to that intention by designing and ordering this t-shirt:

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I said YES to that typestyle of “Say YES to the Mess” because it’s called “Unkempt.” YES!

Here on this blog, and also in my therapy groups, we often discuss how and when to say NO, but it’s equally important to know how and when to say YES.

Say YES to …

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… listening to music you love.

Say YES to …

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… being mindful and non-judgmental of your moods.

Say YES to …

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… observing what’s around you.

Say YES to …

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… long life by practicing good habits.

Say YES to …

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… the most valuable people in your life.

Say YES to …

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… creating your dreams, even if it’s just one.

Say YES to …

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… welcoming all.

Say YES to …

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… whimsey.

Say YES to …

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… the dress (I THINK that’s what that is).

Say YES to …

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… beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Say YES to …

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… staying in touch.

Say YES to …

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… curiosity, partnership, empathy, apology (when appropriate), reflection, legitimization, support, and wellness.

Say YES to …

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… sharing what’s important to you with other people.

Say YES to …

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… feelings.

Say YES to …

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… flowers.

Say YES to …

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… safety.

Say YES to …

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… love.

Say YES to …

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… healthy hearts, fewer worries, and good sleep!

Say YES to …

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… group support.

Say YES to …

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… taking the stairs.

Say YES to …

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… Yoko, a valued member of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy executive board, who says YES to fresh fruit in her drinks and who also says YES to sitting with Oscar.

What do YOU say YES to?

Here‘s “Ascent” by Lyle Mays (featured, yes, in this post).

I always say YES to gratitude at the end of these posts, so thanks to all who helped me create this one and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2394: A little bit different

Yesterday, when I was being a little bit different than anybody else I know, I noticed this:

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and I knew that “a little bit different” was a little bit different from any other blog title I’d used before in the past six-and-a-half years.

When I looked at all my other photos from yesterday …

 

 

 

…they were all a little bit different, so I knew I would use that title for today’s blog post.

This morning, I realized that this post might be a little bit different from most published today by not mentioning Father’s Day up front. And then, when I looked at my photos again with a little bit different perspective, I realized they all related to my father. I guess I see them that way because I’m related to my father and we are both a little bit different.

My late father was humble and kind.

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He cared much more about other people than he did about money …

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… but he worked very, very hard to be a good provider for his family.

He had a beautiful singing voice and was very musical. He bought us a piano when my sister and I were young.

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My father paid for piano lessons for his little-bit-different daughters but never learned to play himself. That calendar photo of the dog playing piano (which is a little bit different)  arrived yesterday in the mail from my wonderful cousin, Lani. Lani, like the rest of us, is a little bit different and she also loved my father.

Lani, and everybody else who knew my father, would say that my father was incredibly funny, although they might tell that story in a little bit different ways. My dad  told me he wrote little-bit-different rhymes for his high school year book, including this memorable one (which is a little bit different from totally kind):

Jerry is a drummer rare.

If he didn’t play, we wouldn’t care.

Perhaps you can see his influence in this little-bit-different certificate I’ll be presenting later this week to an exiting board member of my group therapy professional organization:

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When I was very young, my father moved us to a little-bit-different home which was a block away from the ocean, on the North Shore of Boston. I’m now living on the little-bit-different South Shore of Boston.

 

 

 

I think my father would have noticed the irony in that little-bit-different last photo in that sea-side montage.

My father was a life-long Democrat and so am I, although we were a little bit different in our politics.

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That very different photo reminds me of my father in several little bit different ways.  He brought home all the different magazines from the pharmacy he owned but never  ridiculous rags like The Globe or the National Enquirer. Also, he would sometimes ask my different friends this little question, “Are your parents still together?”  Leave it to my father to throw in little-bit-different conversation starters when talking to my friends.

My father really enjoyed our little-bit-different cat, Tuffy, who my parents got me when I was recovering from major heart surgery at age 10.

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Harley, pictured there,  reminds me a lot of Tuffy, in looks and in temperament although, of course, they’re a little bit different. My dad and I used to play a little-bit-different game with Tuffy, where we would sit on the floor in the kitchen and roll back and forth little-bit-different balls made of Challah bread,  with Tuffy trying to catch them. Tuffy, who was a little bit different in her taste in treats, would catch the bread balls and eat them.

My father was a married to a clean freak …

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… who was a little bit different from most clean freaks by letting us sit on the floor and toss bread balls back and forth with our cat. My father had this little-bit-different joke he used to tell about my mother:

I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and when I got back Weezie had made the bed.

Leave it my father to tell a joke that was a little-bit-different from the truth, even though he was impeccable with his word.

I took driver’s education in high school, but my memories of learning to drive are all of my father.

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My father was one of Boston’s safest drivers (which believe me, is not saying much) and because of him, I am a safe driver, too.

After my father retired, he and my mother travelled abroad …

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… but I don’t think they made it to Barcelona. My traveling has been a little bit different but I haven’t been to Barcelona, although I did travel to Spain with my beloved friend Jeanette.  I have memories of Jeanette and my father getting along really well, although they were a little bit different  from each other (but who isn’t?). Maybe someday I’ll make it to Barcelona, which I understand is a little bit different from the rest of Spain.

My father grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and so did I, although our upbringings were a little bit different.  Whenever we ate out, we only had fish or meatless dishes.

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My father was sensitive to other people’s feelings and was pretty sensitive himself.  We hurt each other a few times in our lives, but we always forgave each other, keeping the connection alive as long as he was.

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I only heard my father swear once, and that was when he was very angry about a young man who had hurt me when I was in my early 20’s.

My father took care of much of what grew on our property when I was growing up, as my little-bit-different boyfriend Michael does today.

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My father had a wonderful smile, which he did not keep to himself.

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Actually, neither of those animals really evoke my father, but this one does:

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I think my father and I were a little bit nuts, in a little bit different ways, but who isn’t?

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Also, I have vivid memories of my father on Saturdays eating pistachio nuts, which he was nuuuuuuuttssss about.

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My father had a wonderful zest for life, which I believe I’ve inherited.  Yay!

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I’ve tried to color in some details about my father in this little-bit-different post, which is not by the numbers and which attempts to capture the magic of  my Dad.  I hope it’s no mystery why I miss my father, every little-bit-different day.

Here‘s a song my father sang to my mother on a special anniversary (and he sounded a little bit different from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra):

I look forward to all your little-bit-different comments.

A little-bit-different thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU!

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Categories: love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2388: The black hole

Several times over the course of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy’s annual conference this past weekend, I heard people, in groups, refer to “the black hole” inside of them, which they were hesitant to reveal or explore.

That invoked, in me, memories of experiencing my own internal black hole, which I am trying to name, here and now.

My best guess is that the black hole is shame — the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

The black hole can feel huge.

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It can cause us to lose our balance, our tolerance, and our sense of cohesion.

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It can turn us into stress balls.

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It can isolate us even when we’re in a supportive group.

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It can interfere with our leadership.

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It can prevent us from diving in to new experiences and staying afloat.

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It can make us feel unwelcome even when all the signs are that we ARE welcomed.

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It can make us avoid parties and other social events.

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It can make us feel lost.

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It can make us want to duck and hide.

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The black hole of shame can blind us to our own self worth …

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… and blind us to the beauty all around us.

 

Here‘s “That Old Black Hole” by Dr. Dog.

 

The best we can do with our black holes is share them with each other and know that we are not alone.

Thanks to all who have helped me confront my own black holes over the years (especially the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy) and thanks to you, here and now.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2386: Have pride in who you are

Yesterday, I published the post Day 2385: What is the title of this post? in which I encouraged readers to propose a title for the day’s collection of photos.

I have pride in who my readers are, and those readers include wonderful WordPresser Mark Bialczak,who posted this comment:

Have Pride in Who You Are
… would be one alternative title, but you may also have used that one in your years of post wisdom, Ann!

I have pride in my answer to Mark:

I have not used that title before, Mark. Therefore, I shall use it for my next blog post! What would I do without you, my friend?

I have pride in using that title, here and now, because

 

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I have pride that Jocelyn Schur, LCSW, is attending the NSGP conference and also reads this blog!

Here‘s U2 with Pride (in the Name of Love):

Here‘s information about today’s Pride Parade in Boston:

 

Do you have pride in who you are? Please express your thoughts and feelings with pride in a comment, below.

I have pride that gratitude is a big part of who I am, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2348: Struck

I’m struck by how I’ve never used the word “struck” in a blog post title before.

I’m struck by how I’ve used the word “struck” in 13 previous blog posts, including Day 1966: Memorable linesDay 1875: Tipping Point, Day 1292: Seeing patients, Day 981: Righteous Numbers, Day 956: Never Give Up, Day 717: Interrupting, Day 463: Surprises, Day 367: Screen Shots, Day 364: What day is it?, Day 284: We never know how we affect people (The Ta-Da Pose),  Day 100: I Confess, Day 75: Things that make me go _____, and Day 58: Accelerated learning.

I’m struck by how …

  • long it takes me to do one of these “linking to old posts” openings,
  •  much my blog has changed over the years,
  • relevant some of those old post titles seem to me today,
  • many challenges I’ve been struck by (but not struck down by) over the years, and
  • many of my photos from yesterday connect with today’s title.

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I’m struck by how

  • long it takes me to make photo montages look right,
  • much I love being a group therapist,
  • many gates there are around Fenway Park, and
  • wonderful it is to live near the water.

Here’s the award-winning short film Struck:

 

What are you struck by, here and now?

As usual, I’m struck by gratitude for all who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2345: What would I do without you?

What would I do without you, my readers, who have supported and sustained me through 2,345 consecutive days of blogging?

What would I do without my iPhone and my eye for interesting images and connections all around me?

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What would I do without wonderful people like Ryan Gee, sales manager extraordinaire  for Boston Roofing and Gutters, who helped us quickly fix our leaky roof and also told us about the best local Thai Restaurant EVER (Thai Noodle Bar in Quincy, Massachusetts)?

What would I do without sustaining organizations like the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy  (see conference brochure pictured above) especially during challenging times like these?

What would I do without YouTube and music like Drew Holcomb And The Neighbors“What Would I Do Without You”?

What would I do without your comments?

What would I do without my daily chance to express gratitude here to all those who help me create these posts and — OF COURSE! — to YOU.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2331: ASK FOR HELP!

Last week, somebody who was joining my Coping and Healing groups said to me, “I have trouble asking for help.” I hope it helped when I replied, “You’re not alone.  Many other people in the groups also struggle with asking for help.”

Yesterday morning, when I was writing my second Letter from the President for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy (NSGP) newsletter, my boyfriend Michael started talking in his sleep.  Michael sometimes talks in his sleep in the mornings, but I can never hear what he’s saying. It doesn’t help that he mumbles while sleep-talking.  Yesterday, he said

Don’t (…unintelligible mumbling…)    ASK FOR HELP!!

“ASK FOR HELP!” was so loud and clear that it startled me and the cats. Inspired by that message from the sleeping Michael, I immediately sent my latest version of my Letter from the President to a helpful friend and NSGP board member, and asked for her help in reviewing what I’d written.  It really helped that I asked for help that way, because (1) she was very positive and helpful in her feedback and (2) this morning I restarted my computer and would have completely lost all my latest work if I hadn’t sent her that draft.

As Michael said, ASK FOR HELP!

I heard “ASK FOR HELP!” in my head yesterday  as I looked for helpful images to capture and share. You don’t have to ask me to include them here and now.

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Right before I took that last photo, I heard many cat noises coming from inside our house, so I asked for Michael’s help in identifying them.  Since I asked for help, he showed me this video:

Those hungry cats were asking for help, and they got it.

After our long walk near the seashore yesterday, I received an email about Open Mic’s around Boston.  Because it helps to practice my original songs, I asked for help in signing up for a slot tomorrow night.

Last night, Michael and I had dinner with my friend and co-worker Alice and her husband  (not pictured).  I said, “I think Alice and I have the female equivalent of a bromance.  I wonder what that’s called?” Later, I asked for help in identifying that term.  Would you like to ask for help in discovering what that word is?

It’s “womance.”

If you have trouble sharing your thoughts and feelings in a comment below, ASK FOR HELP!

Every day, I ask for help in expressing my gratitude to all those who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2297: Unconditional _________

I have an unconditional question: How would you unconditionally fill in the blank in today’s title?

In these conditions, I like to provide definitions, so here‘s one of “unconditional.”

unconditional  adjective
un·​con·​di·​tion·​al | \ ˌən-kən-ˈdish-nəl , -ˈdi-shə-nᵊl\
Definition of unconditional
not conditional or limited : ABSOLUTE, UNQUALIFIED
unconditional surrender
unconditional love

Yesterday, at a Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy Practice Development event — “Stealth Self-Care During the Therapeutic Hour with Doug Baker, LICSW” — I heard the terms “unconditional acceptance” and “unconditional well-being.”  I unconditionally accepted and appreciated learning  techniques — drawn from mindfulness and yoga — for accepting and improving the well-being of myself and also the people I work with.

I had unconditional acceptance for a helpful acronym somebody shared there — SLOW:

Soften face

Lower shoulders

Open heart and breath

Wilt fingers

I felt unconditional well-being after spending two hours softening my face, lowering my shoulders, opening my heart and breath, and wilting my fingers  in mindfulness practice yesterday, despite my conditional attitude towards Daylight Savings time changes.

I’m hoping for unconditional acceptance of the only two photos I took yesterday.

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Michael prepared those burritos in challenging conditions last night, because he had forgotten to buy the  Mexican cheese and beans he wanted to use.   Instead, he substituted parmesan cheese and cannellini beans and conditionally named them “Fusion Burritos.” I unconditionally accepted them but he was more conditional about them.

I’m usually not in great condition the first Monday after a clock time change, but I an unconditional in my eagerness to get to work this morning.

There are many “Unconditional” songs on YouTube. Here‘s one of them, by Matt Maeson:

 

Unconditional thanks to all who helped me create this “unconditional” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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