This past week I’ve been thinking back about the past few years and all that has happened and what I believe I’m supposed to do. A lot. Such a large part of my heart was left in Texas when I moved back here to Cali and though I’m not one that likes to live in the past, I’m guilty of that when it comes to the relationships that I built there and the thoughts of what could have been seem to plague my mind quite a bit lately; and yes I do mean about a boy but not the way you would think.
I’ve always seemed to have a hard time finding someone who I just clicked with more on the emotional level than just personality. I have a few close friends who I see myself being friends with til the end and though they get me, they don’t at the same time and it makes it hard for them to comprehend what’s in my mind because of the way I process information.
As I was straightening some papers out on my desk this evening, I found an old journal that I had written all my random thoughts and ramblings in the first few months I was in Livingston; and I know I didn’t dig this journal out and to be honest, I forgot all about it and I still don’t know how it came to be on my desk…
As I was reading my entries I couldn’t help but laugh at myself a bit because they are written in a way that not many people would truly understand and as I came to the end of that first entry, I saw my buddy’s comment on it; and that just brought me to tears. You see, my buddy was the one who I hit it off with right off the bat and we became very close and he’s the one who understood my ramblings that no one else could. He had wanted to know what I was writing all the time so I made the journal and gave it to him; later that day he gave it back to me and he commented on every. single. entry. A few of the comments were fairly lengthy which was nice because I was able to see how his thinking is about a certain subject; but what many of them were about how they were him, how he thought, what he believed, and how he felt. When it came to sharing out testimony’s of how we came to know God, we talked for hours and not only did we realize we had a lot in common but we felt this comfort around each other and ended up sharing more details about certain things that we wouldn’t share with anyone else, and here we are acting as if we’ve been best friends all our lives when we’ve only known each other a few short weeks.
We still keep in touch though it can be difficult with the distance and time difference but when we do talk, it’s as if nothing has changed and I guess that was one thing that I was dreading about when I move back, “How much have things really changed between us?” when we’re face to face again. Life for the both of us has gone on and though our lives are much different; the more we talk we realize that we’re at the same cross-roads and we take comfort in knowing we aren’t alone and know that the other understands and will be there for the other.
Seeing his comment, “This IS me whether you meant it to be or not…” clarified for me that; even though a lot of time has passed and our lives have gone down separate paths, we’ll be there for one another and still understand each other like before and there is no greater comfort than that and knowing though we may not always say what’s on our minds, we don’t need to say anything because the other already knows.
Saturday I had the pleasure to shoot the Whittier Artists who have an exhibit at the Pomona Art Show on the Art Walk and I must say; their work is UH-MAZING! They are very talented, if I had the money and a place to put them, I would have most definitely have bought some of their pieces.
As I was walking around doing my thing I noticed this cute little girl named Maddi that one of the artists Lisa was holding; who happened to be her niece. She was so adorable! As the night went on and the wave of people coming in seemed to die down a bit I ended up doing a small shoot with her I guess you could say. Every time I’d take a picture she’d say “my turn!” and would want to look at what I took; it was too cute. If she had not been Lisa’s niece, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get the shots I did; so to Maddi’s family, thank you for letting me get some awesome shots of her.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
I have come to learn so many verses that are within the Bible and when I was living out in Texas it was amazing as to how much they would correlate with what was going on in my life and seeing them acted out so to speak. I loved that God was working things in my life and in ways that I was able to learn and understand that He is who He says He is.
Romans 8:28 is probably one of the few verses that I remind myself of quite often; especially when things seem to be going through a rough patch. Back in 2008 when I was guardian of my brover; it was a tough time for the both of us and my other ‘family’ would recite this verse to me, mainly Jeremiah, and I could not for the life of me understand what it was he was trying to say. Long story short, things happened and at that time it seemed like it was going to be the end of the world, but I kept reciting that verse to myself in the hopes that it would calm me down a bit and finally make sense to me. A few months down the road things seemed to be right again and though I still cringe at the thought of that one bad moment in my life, I still remember that it was that moment that helped us get to where we are today and I wouldn’t change it for the world and that’s when I learned what that verse was saying.
Last weekend was the reception for the “Wings” exhibition at the Whittier Art Gallery; which was also my first. It was an experience to say the least and though I was nervous as could be, I enjoyed seeing all the work that was a part of the show and meeting other artists. I ended up placing second for photography and it was an amazing feeling but it also hasn’t hit just yet.
I was talking to Vicki about the show the other day and while we were talking she had said that she remembered the other day about how I had come down with poison oak up at camp this past summer by a freak accident from a mattress mind you (and there is none up there what so ever). It ended up being bad enough that she had taken me up to Big Bear to get it checked out and while we were driving up there she had asked me what I did for myself since most of my time is spent taking care of family. I started telling her about how I was getting into photography and that’s when she asked me to take some photos for her when we got back down the mountain and everything kind of fell in line after that.
As we were talking about everything that verse came to mind and she was right, had I not come down with the poison oak she probably would have never known that I’m into photography and I wouldn’t have my work in this show or these other wonderful opportunities that are because of her. At the time I knew something good was going to come of this eventually but I honestly wasn’t really thinking much about it; I saw it more of a lesson learned and I’d go on with my life laughing how something like this would only happen to me.
I just love how certain people are brought into our lives and we don’t think much of it until certain events come together and that random piece that you remember and put in the “not so important” category, and God brings it back up to remind you that it is Him making this all happen and that we need to keep our eyes open and not take those small random things lightly because we never know when that one itty bitty thing can change our lives.
I have received many congratulations and compliments about my work and though it is nice to hear those; it wasn’t just me, it’s God that has blessed me with an inspiration and talent for photography and it was because of Him that I was able to win that award the other weekend and though I’d like to take credit for it, I can’t; all of my successes are and will be because of Him.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to take some pictures of my wonderful friend Vicki’s grandchildren. It was an honor to be asked to take some for her and a bit nerve wrecking as well because she’s an artist so she knows a bit about composition and everything, okay she knows a lot; and any photog can tell you there is a difference between someone asking you to take their pictures and an artist, let alone another photog. I’ve known Vicki for about a year now through camp and have known one of her daughters, Wendy since I was an itty bitty camper; so of course it was a bit intimidating because her family are artists so they know what’s good and what isn’t up to par so to speak; and I didn’t want to let them down. It ended up being an awesome shoot and her grandchildren are absolutely adorable.
As I was sitting in the hallway on the second floor watching the elevator doors open and close as people came and went, I couldn’t help but wonder what it is that these people must be going through, especially to visit this floor. You see, this floor is mainly for oncology but you would never guess by looking at the people who come and go by the smile that many of them have and if it weren’t for their beanies and scarves covering their heads, you would never know.
There seem to be many more women that come and go on a daily basis and as I wait for my grammers to finish up her treatment, I can’t help but notice how beautiful these women are, and yes I’m speaking of the ones that I have lost their hair. It wasn’t until today that I realized how much one’s hair takes away from the beauty of the face and it’s amazing how much we miss those features and can’t help but wonder, if we were to shave our heads; would anyone recognize us at first glance?
Yesterday morning there was a woman who I would guess to be in her early 30’s who brought in a lady who I can only assume to be her mother. She opened the door while trying to push her mother’s wheelchair through the opened door while carrying a large pink tote bag swung over her right shoulder towards the front of her chest that looked fairly heavy and you could tell that it was one of those days for her and it was taking every ounce of energy to not break down. She looks to be from out in the country somewhere by the way she dresses you can tell who works hard and seems to put off a strong persona though she’s about to crack; and you can see it in her eyes. I’ve never seen this lady nor her mother before so I’m assuming her mother was just recently diagnosed. As I was sitting there listening to my music, this lady comes back towards the elevator alone and she looks like she’s fine but once those doors started to close I could hear her let out all her frustrations and a loud cry; and I wanted nothing more than to comfort her; and I’d only wished that I had noticed her sooner so I could have been that stranger that could turned her day around even if it was only a tiny bit.
It is so easy to go on with our days and not say even a hello to someone, when that simple hello can brighten someone’s day. This past Wednesday I was told my dad was in the hospital and that they didn’t know if he was going to make it or not and all of a sudden, my world came crashing down; not only was there a possibility of loosing a parent but a possibility of loosing my only parent left and that is one of the worst feelings in the world. The next day as I was waiting for my bus home after visiting him, I was a wreck! I had barely composed myself when my aunt called and said those four words, “How are you doing?” Was she trying to upset me even more or what? Sure enough the water works started up again and it didn’t help that I didn’t have anyone to talk to that I knew who would understand even a bit. As I’m trying to compose myself so I didn’t look like a complete fool, a man who was fairly hard looking as if he were to belong to a gang or something similar, spoke up and asked if everything was alright and what was wrong. I didn’t know this guy so obviously I wasn’t going to spill my heart out to him but left it vague by telling him my dad was sick and left it at that. I didn’t seem like I wanted to talk and I know darn well I was very stand-offish but there was also the part of me that wanted him to dig deeper and ask questions so that way I knew someone actually cared. As his bus came up he stayed behind to be the last one to board and waited til I looked up so I could see him leave and all he did was smile and nod his head like he understood what I was going through and I could see it in his eyes that he actually cared and that meant more to me than anything else at that moment. That simple gesture of kindness was all it took to turn my day around, just to know that there are still people out there who care even though we many not know each other.
As I was waiting in my usual spot for my grammers to finish up, a lady in this long blue and pink flower printed dress with a magenta flower print scarf on her head who seemed just there waiting for the elevator when I remembered that man by the bus stop. I asked the lady how she was doing and all of a sudden her face lit up and it was amazing how her face glowed. I complimented on her dress and she went on to tell me why she wears bright colors on her visits, and it was to brighten the moods of others in this usually dreary room where many sit and stare at one another while the are receiving their chemo in the hopes that it will cure what they have. I thought it was amazingly wonderful and caring of this woman to do her small part in trying to brighten someone’s day.
Father’s Day, another photographer I’ve been following, Rebekah Tillotson, had the opportunity to photograph a wonderful little girl named Cheyenne who has cancer and it was because of her, that my eyes were opened to see something that I’ve been so blind to these past few months; and I thank her for that.
As I was sitting there thinking about everything and trying for it to sink all in, I realized that I can do so much more with my photography; I can bring joy to someone and help them feel beautiful again when their life may seem worthless so to speak (I can’t think of a better word). I don’t believe that I would have ever be able to realize this had it not been for God, I truly believe that He’s pointing me in a direction that I would have never thought to go and I can’t wait to see where He leads me.
To pass the time some more this morning while my grammers was on the second floor once more, Taylyn and I decided to have an actual photo shoot we planned out this time and I must say, she did an amazing job! And we had a blast doing it, and yes she’s wearing my boots so they look much too huge on her :)
It’s been a few months since I’ve seen my niece Taylyn and boy have I missed that turkey! While her mama and grandma were up visiting my dad this afternoon, we decided to have a small photo shoot to pass the time. It was awesome hanging out with her again and it was amazing how much she reminded me of myself when I was her age, she was so insecure about getting in trouble for taking pictures in a certain area and I couldn’t help but laugh because I couldn’t believe I was like that, but worse way back when. Either way, it was a blast and I can’t wait til later this week when we’ll have another one.
A few weeks back an old friend from camp asked me to take some head shots for him and his girlfriend and of course I was ecstatic! That totally made my day and of course it hadn’t really hit me until a few days ago that this was going to be my first real shoot so to speak and boy were my nerves getting the best of me! It’s one thing doing a small photo shoot with some friends when you’re asking them to help you out with gaining experience but when you’re asked to do it; that’s a whole other story…
Turns out I knew Manny’s girlfriend Nerissa from camp as well, it was great cause that helped put some of my nerves at ease a bit. My wonderful brover Danny was there at the beginning as well and that there meant a lot since he wasn’t feeling real well.
Now mind you, I usually do candid photography and know pretty much next to nothing about taking head shots and it was awesome working with Manny and Nerissa cause they were more than happy to help me learn more about taking that style of photo and because Nerissa has had head shots done before, she was able to help me out a bit and give me ideas.
Overall, it wasn’t the best nor was it the worst; though I had a lot of fun and I don’t think it could have gone any better for my first shoot. I just have to remember that I’m still learning this art and I just have to start with the basics and practice just as if it were anything new that I’d take up. If you know me well, you’ll know that I work hard to get where I want to be but I also hate the process of getting there…and this is one process I could care less for lol. I am so glad that I was able to get this one under my belt and begin this new journey of where I want to be. Onto the next!
Manny and Nerissa, thank you so much for today! It was a lot of fun and it was great catching up a bit since we hadn’t seen each other in ages.