A Break


Sunrise in the Mirror Semester has been killer, y’all. In all honesty, this academic year has been killer.

But, I’m making progress.

We have 49 days left and I can’t wait to be done.

For now, though, I am heading to Omaha. I rented a little space for the weekend, and I have packed all of my dissertation materials. I am finishing my proposal and turning it in on Monday. It feels insane and scary, but it’s all necessary and awesome. And then I am going to celebrate with a little wine.

I can’t wait to get away. I can’t wait to be somewhere else where my little introverted heart can recharge and recuperate after this intensely extroverted season.

Happy Spring Break, y’all.

Contentment

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Lao Tzu

My word for 2011 was Gentle.

I held that word in my heart as I navigated school and work. I meditated on it as I slipped between consciousness. I attempted to keep it at the forefront of my mind when I would start my anxiety spirals.

And it was lovely.

I was dubious of this experience. I thought that it was grand to have a word in your head but how would it actually translate into real life? But it did. As I look back over the year, I am impressed at how that simple word, carried in my heart, affected me.

So, as 2012 rolled around, I thought about what word did I want to help define my year. I knew I was walking into a year which would be challenging. I am at a turning point in my program, getting closer to finishing. I am also feeling more protective of my relationships, and less open to change (though that change is a tricky beast). I am also working on my life list, specifically thinking about our finances.

It’s a big year with changes and excitement as well as sadness and challenges.

Thus, when I was cycling through words in my mind and heart, contentment jumped out at me. It truly spoke to me, stating that this was my word.

Contentment, defined, means: the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.

I like contentment because of the action sound it has. The fact that it seems as if this is a decision which me make, to be content. To live in a state of contentment, rather than just being.

I’m working it out. I roll this word around in my head most days and try to understand what this even means, because it’s not as simple as being gentle with myself. It’s a challenge to find contentment, but one which I am happy to begin.

Here we go again

Hello!

I’ve clearly moved.

My wonderful mister convinced me to set up my own website and try my hand at blogging again.

So. Here we are.

I’ve been racking my mind for something wonderful to start out with that didn’t involve apologizing for an absence, which led me to about 10 different ideas which froze me in my place and then I thought I should just get on with it and start somewhere, right?

Right.

This morning, I woke up, I went to work (I even got here early… wha?!), and was working away when I noticed that APW had a new blog up and it was written by Meg (my favorite kind!). I have a special relationship with APW that begins back in 2008 when Meg opened the lovely website. I have not stopped reading since. I’ve even been published there a couple of times.  Anyway, today she shared her thoughts on working for herself for one year which, after reading, left me a weepy mess at my desk.

I recommend you read it all, but these two pieces really hit me:

“Success is some of the most terrifying shit I’ve ever experienced. And I never saw it coming.”

“We keep changing, and we keep pushing through the fear. Beyond that barrier, the world is totally open to us. Life gets better, but it sure as hell doesn’t get easier. Which is how it should be.”

Which is what all this is, right?

All of it — the work, the school, the writing, the dancing, the growing up, the making decisions, the eating, the laughing, the sobbing, the reading… it’s life. It’s changing, scary shit that is also unbelievably amazing.

So, welcome back to me and you. Happy 2012. Let’s keep going.

 

An Engagment!

I don’t know if you recall or not, but I have a Life List. You can take a gander at it here.
And on that Life List is “be asked to take photos of an event.” I added this about 3 months ago as a sincere wish that someone would recognize my photography and perhaps give me a chance to photograph their event.
This brings me to this past weekend. One of my friends recently became engaged, and she had asked me if I would be willing to shoot their engagements and possibly their wedding.
Woah.
First, it felt wonderful to feel recognized. I think at the core of everything, as humans we all want someone to see us. Really and truly see us and our passions and hopes and our dreams. And while photographing their love may not fulfill my hopes and dreams and passions, I defintely felt recognized.
Yet, I struggled with it. My heart was saying, “yes, yes! you’re wonderful and you are a good photographer. do it.” But my brain, oh that rascal, was replying, “huh. you’re a student. and not an art student at that. you can’t do this. they won’t turn out well, because you don’t know what you’re doing. Only real photographers can do that.” And that last comment is the crux of it isn’t it? Well, after debating, I finally told my brain to stop. Seriously, stop. If they don’t like the engagements, then we will find another photographer. It’s okay.
So, last Sunday, I met with Mary and Shawn at the place where they were engaged and I had the honor to photograph snippets of their love. And I have never experienced something quite as great as that.
Below are a couple of my favorites, but you can see all of them on my flickr page.
So doing this as brought up some pretty significant thoughts in my heart and my head.
And I owe it to Mary, for recognizing me.
(I would love to hear your thoughts about the photos – you can comment here or on any of the images on flickr!)