I've been mulling a lot lately. I've been overwhelmed. I've been stressed. It's not like you all know me as a stress-free, anxiety-free person. Oh no, that would be too easy and too in a perfect world. But sometimes the sea is calm with small, lapping waves. The water is cold and I feel it in my body but it's nothing I can't handle. And sometimes the waves knock me down over and over and over. Sometimes something new happens and all of my buried issues rise to the surface of the sea.
I should tell you our secret. Our big news. I've hinted at it but never fully said it. We're in the process of buying a house. We haven't closed yet but if all goes well, we will very soon. It's a fabulous house on a fabulous street in a fabulous town in a fabulous state. Things are progressing, easier than I'd have expected. I'm not saying we don't still have hoops to jump through. Oh, we have many. But we've been meeting and working with some pretty exemplary people. It's inspiring, really. If we have this house, when we have this house, I will post photos galore of the process and the moving and the glorious house itself. Think modern rustic. Think comfortable ski lodge with children's area. Think funky, photography, science-fiction, movie prop decor. Think "Happy Family Lives Here." I can't wait to share it with you all. I can't wait to write about this new chapter.
Puppies, chickens, sheep? Probably, definitely, maybe. Alpacas? In my perfect world. Outdoor hot tub? Hey, anything can happen. Which brings me to my stress levels. The time to act and make more money and be my own superhero is...now. It was probably yesterday and last year too, and maybe the year before that and even before that, but...no. The past is past. I have had a delicious time raising my child. She is polite and bright and fun and belly laughter-inducing and wise, wise, so wise beyond her years. I will never regret devoting my time to her. I never emotionally feel otherwise than what I'm doing is so important. However, my bank account disagrees. I'm getting closer than I ever thought possible. I'm learning a lot. I'm networking. I'm thinking. I'm not worthless. I'm not paralyzed. I have a family to think about. Somewhere out there, in the other world, not yet fully formed in my imagination or in the universe, there is another child for me to give birth to or adopt.
That child can only come to be if I figure things the %#$% out.
So I've been thinking. I've been mulling. I've been looking at old photos from my life. Photos from my 35mm camera. Photos that are in my mind today because they show all the places I have been. All the places I may go. Appropriate memories, past moving, animals, love. Every picture tells a story and there is a time when it all began. And a time I knew there was something there - that I had inherited my family's art/writing genes. That there was something I could do. Maybe well.
That there was something that I'd want to do.
Not technically perfect, and maybe I'll rarely think any photo ever is because sometimes life is happening faster than your hands can reach the right settings...but here are some photos that show me that even 10-15 years ago, I was trying and sometimes succeeding in capturing the same things. Raw. Candid. Trapped. Wild. Love. Pain. Life. Uncensored.
My childhood dog. We lost her around the same time we lost the childhood house, my grandmother and my grandfather. I remember telling an ex-boyfriend, "I know I'm probably wrong but I feel like I'll never be happy again. I couldn't possibly find joy after this pain." He said he hoped I was wrong. I was.
A blurry moose in a blurry background on a blurry morning in Wyoming.
My parent's dog, Cody. You can tell this is from when I liked him because the picture shows him as gentle and beautiful. I see him as neither of those things now.
An awkward pre-teen or tween moose.
The reflection of palm trees against smooth ocean at the crack of dawn in Islamorada, Florida.
Sheep in Blairstown, NJ.
This photo was one of two that I've taken that have gone on to become album covers for musicians. An honor, really.
Somewhere outside Vancouver from a helicopter.
Several years ago I went with a platonic friend to San Diego because the flights were insanely cheap - $150 per person roundtrip. It was supposed to be platonic but one night after beer (him) and potato pizza (me), it wasn't. I was mourning an old love while falling in love with someone new who wasn't this friend. My current husband is one of those three guys but not the most obvious choice. I was confused and a bit sad. We went to the San Diego Zoo and I wandered off and leaned my head against the glass, staring at this orangutan for awhile. He never stared back. To this day, not one person has ever complimented this photo. It never mattered. I was there. I can compare the memory to the orangutan. It is a good photo.
A cat I once knew.
Another cat I still know.
A dog I once lived with.
Zebras in a row.
A lone elk in Montana.
Oh, I've had some times. And there will be more. And maybe, just maybe, I'll photograph your times.
Kickstart me. Here I am trying to grow. I raised a child for two years. I made a blog and poured my heart into it. I bought a professional camera and have learned how to use it. I know what I want for beyond this current life. I can. I can. I can.
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