“In 2010, I was asked by Yan Li, an international gallery owner, to be in a photography show in China.This was an amazing honor and opportunity and I felt both proud and nervous.The conflict for me was that I had been battling agoraphobia for 36 years of my adult life. Agoraphobia,is an anxiety disorder that manifests itself with a fear of leaving home – a fear of driving, traveling, fear of being trapped, i.e. on a plane, bus or escalator. This fear causes crippling and terrifying panic attacks. I suddenly developed this condition while living at home after working one year in California independently.
I suddenly could not even get out my house to get my mail! I was so fearful then, I couldn’t look up at an airplane, like the ones I once flew on so easily from coast to coast before. These panic attacks were so terrorizing that they left me feeling completely helpless.
So when I boarded that plane to China, chin firmly held high, in October of 2011, accompanied by my loving and supportive husband, Richard, I was full of hope. I started to feel nervousness giving way to strength. When I landed I was greeted by a young Chinese woman in a real, like I am not dreaming, airport in China. She was holding a “Jamie Gordon” sign, and I just started to cry and cry. The young woman said, “This is a happy day, why cry?” I smiled at her. I had a movie in my head running of everything I had gone through to get to this place in my life, all the work – the tremendous struggles, doubts, fears – the wonderful friends, it just kept going. I realized that despite my challenges I kept getting up….and I finally felt strong. So very STRONG! That day was a turning point in my life that I carry with me today. I will never forget that young woman smiling back at me as we walked towards the van, ready for the journey to begin.”