A year ago today I took my newly purchased costco mattress and plopped it down on the bare wood floors in my new and still empty bedroom. This was my new and first home in the three years. Three years where I slept on my parents couch, my friends extra mattresses, in countless airbnb’s, hostels, hotels. living out of a suitcase or with the same 5 outfits for months at a time. It earned me the nickname gypsy, countless stamps on my passport and memories that will keep my laughing to myself for a lifetime. I’m not done chasing my dreams or taking chances, but I am glad for the reprieve of space and the time to breathe and reprioritize what I want out of my “one wild and precious life”.
What I came up with is this – people. The people in my life, the people I meet when traveling, the people I get to interact with in a moment through a simple exchange and may never see again. More specifically, what that interaction looks like and what is the feeling I leave them with when I walk away.
As a wedding and portrait photographer for 10 years I have been commissioned to celebrate specific events in peoples lives with my camera in a beautiful way. It has been an honor to participate in these stories of triumph and love and even loss.
I want to celebrate people. I want to tell their story. I don’t consider myself a writer, it is something I typically run away from. My camera is my tool that I use. I strongly believe in the power of a photograph; What it is to be photographed, to see yourself, embrace yourself. To own your story. We all have a unique journey. I want to celebrate that.
My personal journey of the last 5 years has been transformative. It has given me the capacity of compassion and hopefully the ability to listen.
The most common heard question was “ where are you in the world? or “where are you going next? or my favorite “ you are so lucky” or even better, “I wish I could have your life.”
more on those later – but first I want to reflect on what it was like to have home, personal space and things again.
I’m still pretty gypsy despite having home. I honestly feel lazier now because the idea of staying in my bed as long as possible each morning is just so delightful. My space is bright, peaceful, calm and cozy. It brings me joy and reflects also the things that are me.
I have to work hard to maintain a routine and I’m still figuring what that looks and means for me and not anyone else.
I’m seeing a therapist, I prioritize my physical and mental health, I’m getting better at knowing my limits and I am drinking less. I am comfortable in my town, I know the good spots for food and drink and have a few friends that I can meet up with now and then.
This is my life and I am grateful.
I have plans for the future, hopes for the future, money in the bank, a car, a boyfriend (gasp), and freedom to be me.
I am grateful.