It Was You
National Suicide Prevention Week

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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It was you

The first time I believed tomorrow needed me

That I deserved a tomorrow. 

You had no idea

You didn't know I cried myself to sleep every night

You didn't know how badly I wanted to die. How I wished for it. Dwelt on it

You helped me believe I had worth, a purpose, that life was richer with me in it

And while my struggles didn't end there, your words stuck with me all these fifteen years, telling me I was a beautiful gift and tomorrow needed me.

"...but people more than anything else..."
National Suicide Prevention Week

Monday, September 10, 2018

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“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”
(Jamie Tworkowski)

So often I was told not to need other people. But at every step of the way, it has been people that kept me okay. That helped me in dark times. That got things going in my mind that would lead to discovering parts of myself I didn't know about, which would lead to further growth.

It's been people.

And I keep forgetting it's okay to depend on people. It's okay to need people.

On Going Alone

Monday, August 27, 2018

Looking back, I missed out on so many opportunities, and so many beautiful things, because I didn't think I could go alone. In my later teens I only went out if I could get my boyfriend to go (and it really wasn't his thing). And then for four years in LaGrange, Georgia I spent going nowhere. I lived four years in Colorado and only went on a handful of hiking trips waiting for someone to go with me. I can't pinpoint one specific reason it was this way, but I do know part of it was it had been impressed upon me that it wasn't safe to go anywhere alone (except the store or something). Even though I never really felt scared that I can recall, I just always thought to myself, "I can't go alone, what if something happens?" But I think the rest might have had something to do with the fact that I wasn't fully comfortable being alone with myself. I never did alone very well.

I had taken a few drives over the years, all near to home, to scout out good places to take photos, and a couple places a few miles away I had gotten out and taken photos. But the first time I actually went adventuring alone, not near home, and actually got out of my car, was when I was twenty-five years old. It was 2013, and I was living in Centennial, Colorado (I miss that place!). A work friend had told me about an area in or around Parker where you could often see bison that time of year, so on that particular weekend, I decided to just get in my car and go.

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I don't remember why, but I never made it to the intended location. I just went south on Santa Fe, and I just enjoyed the sights. I listened to my music. My cameras were in the front seat beside me. I stopped and snapped a few shots of a fence, and just stood outside a while. I drove all over, having no clue where I was, and not caring. I took a bunch of different streets, I drove with the windows down, enjoying that cool, mountain air. I drove and drove and as the sun began to set, I just took whatever roads took me north, and I remember how good it felt to be alone with myself, and have the mountains at my side. I remember feeling content, joyful, clear.

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But I just kept getting caught up in that feeling someone needed to be with me and I couldn't go places alone.

When I moved to north Denver, I did start taking Sandey to the dog park. It was an absolutely beautiful place, and there was a hill to the northwest that if you went all the way to the top of, it was like you were in a different place. The mountains were so close, so beautiful, and I always enjoyed the windmills that were out there. I could just sit out there, just think, just be with Sandey (hardly anyone came up there).

And then in 2015 I went to my first concert by myself. I really thought it wasn't going to be as fun alone, but Matt Nathanson was playing more intimate shows at smaller venues and was doing meet and greets, and...I just had to. I was living in Greeley by then and I drove to downtown Denver to the Larimer Lounge (one of my favourite venues, it's pure awesome). It turned out to be the most amazing time! I didn't feel at all weird or strange or out of place like I thought I would. I laughed so much, took a slew of photos (even though it's way late, maybe I should post those?), and I got to meet this man whose music has changed my life, and he is so awesome (and gives really good hugs). I enjoyed myself so much.

In 2016, I went to see Howie Day, he actually came to Greeley and played at the Moxi, so it was just right down the street, and it was incredible show. Hardly anyone was there, so I could literally walk around, go right up to the stage, whatever. I got some pretty good photos there, too, and had a great time. I also got to chat with him afterwards. When he was done playing, he just hopped off the stage to mingle. He also picked at me for being short and took a few photos of us on my phone. Again, totally amazing experience by myself. (Maybe I should post these photos, too.)

Each time, I have felt so exhilarated. There is something about doing things that you think you need a group or friend for, all alone.

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When I moved back to Alabama in 2017, I knew I was going to be doing a lot of things either alone, or just me and Marion (doing things alone with your small child is a whole different thing though, and I posted a little about that here.). When I went to Colorado in March, I thought I was going to be taking a bus to RMNP and hiking alone and I was totally fine with it (but the company I had was absolutely amazing!). It feels normal now, but I think to most people (or people I know), it still isn't.

So, from an incredibly anxious and cautious and worst-case-scenario kind of person: go do something by yourself that you normally wouldn't. Whether it's hiking or a concert, or going to see a movie, or maybe you never grocery shop alone, just get out there and do it. Decide on it, prepare (especially when hiking, tell someone where you're going!), and do it. There's a difference in being alone with yourself at home, and being alone with yourself in a different setting.
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Currently

Thursday, August 23, 2018

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listening | the new songs for Matt Nathanson's upcoming album Sings His Sad Heart...they're amazing!
making | a house sweater...I hope it comes out this time!
reading | Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, slowly, and with delight.
watching | the entire Shameless series...again...don't judge me.
quote that is really speaking to me | I think the hardest work we do is unbraiding ourselves from habits that don't work for us anymore and clearing space in our lives to just enjoy the moments we're in. (Matt Nathanson)
something i am particularly enjoying right now | organising my life, in so many different ways.


Film Photography
Nikon EM with Kodak BW400CN

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

And two months later...here is the other roll of film I took last summer...

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000479810004 000479810005 000479810006 000479810007 000479810008 Shooting this fast-moving subject is a challenge at times...
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000479810017 000479810018 000479810019 I am almost certain that was Marion's arm...flailed right into frame as I took the photo. And I'm pretty sure I sighed and said, "Girl!" But I kind of like the way it looks.

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I constantly kick myself for not doing more photography, and I keep saying I am, and then I never do... But then I look at stuff like this, even though this was a test roll I didn't try much on, and I wonder how I don't pursue it more, because I really love it (especially film). 

Film Photography
Nikon EM with Ilford HP5 Plus

Saturday, May 19, 2018

It's been a month and a half since I've been here. I honestly wrote a few posts, but then decided they weren't shareable for a few reasons, so this space remained empty.

If you read my last post, my April goals, then you know I was wanting to get two rolls of film developed. Guess what? I did it!

I have a wonderful Nikon EM from 1978 that I adore with all my heart. It had a broken piece on it, and it was causing the film to not advance, so I shot three or four rolls, hoping I had resolved the issue, only to find they were blank. After further research I discovered the piece was more vital than I initially thought, and I found a video (finally!) that helped me replace the piece. And then I kicked myself repeatedly for avoiding fixing it for so long.

I shot this roll just after fixing it last summer, and then forgot to develop it (I'll post the other roll soon). The end of summer and fall got really bad for me emotionally and I didn't hardly pick my camera up at all.

It is clear I need to work on shooting with film, but what is important here is that my camera is working!

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I almost didn't post all of these, because a lot of them are kind of awful, but that's okay. I captured fun moments, I experimented, and those things are important, too.

Also, I'm open to any suggestions and feedback on these photos and exposure.