So yesterday was an interesting day...I had all sorts of plans and ambitions. Buuuut, when you break your key off in the door and then proceed to lock yourself out, even the best laid plans can end up shoved to the back burner. This was the case with my poor boy's birthday slideshow. You may remember last years....awww, tear! Well, it's been another year, so I planned on publishing a new video yesterday. In the excitement, this project had to be put off til today. And because I didn't want to repeat the same baby/toddler pics as the last video, I just pulled my fave pics from this past year. So here we go:
5.75 years ago, I found out I would be a mommy in just a few short months. It was shocking news, as I hadn't planned on starting a family so early. But here I was...22 years old and spending 9 months preparing for something that would change my life forever. The day my little giant came into the world, I remember looking at his face (after I got over the shock of how big his hands were) and thinking..."For the rest of my life, I am someone else's mommy." If that doesn't affect you, I don't know what would. I have been trusted to care for, protect, and grow this perfect little human being. And while I may not have been completely ready, I was willing. He changed my life, and for that...for him...I am thankful. This little boy has spent the last 5 years being the best thing that ever happened to me. Often times it is those things we do not plan that shape our lives and carve our paths in the biggest way. I am anxious to see what this precious little boy will bring the world this next year...the next 5 years...the next 50 years.
Happy birthday (a day late), Malakai James!
Music by Ray Lamontagne
I'm happy it's Friday for a couple reasons...One, the weekend is upon us. And two, we get a Fix-It Friday challenge over at I Heart Faces. I ran several edits, making several different versions of this photo (which is not mine and belongs to the person who provided it for the challenge). I settled on these 3. I prefer the B/W conversion to the other two, mostly because of the lipstick on the little girl. I'm just not a fan. I used the sponge tool to absorb some of the color, but it's still more lip color on a kiddo than I personally care for. Plus, this girlie's eyes are pretty intense in B/W.
original SOOC shot
more traditional rendering
a fun little hazy/moody, almost painting-esque rendering
Screenshot of Angie's blog post today
She's at it again....inspiring everyone to succumb to the spirit of the evolution of self. Photography's Darling, Angie Warren, is invested in pushing artists to not only discover themselves but to actually CREATE their own identity as she pads along on her own journey of self discovery. Today, she offers a challenge. "Read this quote," she tells me, "I'd love to see what you come up with!"
And so I did.
I love some good introspection. It drives me. I crave it. (I'm weird...it's ok). Several times a day, a thought pops into my head and I find myself zoning out to ponder its greater meaning. So as I clicked over to Angie's site, I am excited to see for myself what thoughts arise. What images come forth from the corners of my mind. What emotions are evoked.
Wouldn't ya know. Nothing. It must be stage fright. So I chewed on it a while. Tried to force myself to think of something profound. "Oh this can't be happening!" But it was. After a while, I gave up and decided to sleep on it. (Let's see how many cliches I can use in one blog post, k?!)
So of course today, the quote has been swimming around my head. I attempted to google the words and see what images came up. Still nothing. Not a spark. How can I be so emotionless? So unattached? So unaffected? Surely I have SOME sort of thought on this.
After spending some time...too much time...on Pinterest, I starting getting the feeling. You know...the one where so many thoughts and images and emotions come flooding in. The spark. There it was. I believe they call it "inspiration." Or...perhaps "being moved." And just as a fire is ignited by spark, so too were my thoughts.
Do we truly know what we mean when we say "I was moved by something" or "It inspired me" or any of those other cliches?
Do we just mean "It made me cry" when we say these things?
Today I was moved. A simple quote on a graphic in Pinterest. It read "Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself." I realized I have spent so much time trying to FIND something that can't be found. In looking for something, it implies that it already exists. Someone else has created it. It means I have been seeking for a 'self' that has been defined by others. Why settle for a world of pre-created stuff I don't love? Why force myself into a box I don't fit in? Why attempt to be who I feel others want me to be? Why not create my own 'self' in my own world? It seems so simple, and yet it has taken my entire lifetime to achieve this 'aha!' moment.
And then...the clarity. What started with a simple spark came come full-circle in an all-out blaze. The quote. "Worlds blur at first light. All is real and imagined. Fantastical and true."
This is me. This is my thought process. This is my choice.
Worlds DO blur at first light. I have these 2 worlds. Most of the time they are separate. I have the life I live. The everyday. The real experiences. And then I have this fantastical, imagined, desired world I have created by dreaming and wishing over my 28 years. On occasion, as in today, these two worlds collide. I believe it is in within these collisions that inspiration occurs. This is where we are 'moved.'
It is here I begin to understand that my fantastical, imagined self and life CAN be my reality. I CAN and WILL be the 'self' i desire and wish for when I become motivated to create it. It's my choice. Each day I chose to continue to live the life I am in. I choose to remain the 'self' that is defined by others. I choose to look outward to discover who I am.
And on this very day, I choose to change that.
I choose to create myself. I choose to allow my two worlds to collide and create a swell of emotion and inspiration and movement. If I can dream it, it can be mine. It can be me. I can BE the artist I wish I was. My imagined can become real. And my fantastical and become true. Can I let what used to be a collision of two worlds become a dance instead?
Cell phone pics....Can you see the gorgeous light pouring through the trees?!
I admit...I have come to rely on my camera for memories. Often I catch myself separating myself from an experience using the "I'm taking pictures" excuse. In efforts to have a tangible memory, I lose out on the experience. I didn't realize I do this until this past Sunday when I was out in the woods and didn't have my camera. I was so upset that I couldn't capture the images I saw. I wanted so badly to remember the things I saw forever. After wrestling with myself for a while and allowing thoughts to ebb and flow, I finally came to a place of peace with the situation:
Campfire hotdogs and sun/lens flare make me one happy girl.
I stand. Angry. Completely with myself.
Regret is such a horrible emotion.
Why didn't I take 5 minutes?
Just a quick stop to get my camera...
Crisp January air breathes down my neck.
The buzz of chainsaws is deafening.
Vibrations underfoot keep me grounded in reality.
Wafts of freshly cut wood fragrance entertain my nose.
This low-angle winter light is amazing and I am missing it!
Missing it? Am I?
I have a moment of clarity as I watch a sea of tiny flecks of sawdust swarm around me in the golden beams reaching through the naked trees:
A photograph can give me an image.
Can Evoke a memory.
Can paint a picture.
But no camera, no image, no bit of technology can provide me with an experience such as this. I must live the experience for myself.
Tired boy passed out in the leaves wrapped in Daddy's coat. So sweet!
Life is mine. It belongs not to my camera, but to me.
I am meant to live it.