I don't know about you, but nothing seemed to go my way in 2013. I was so ready for 2013 to be MY year, afterall, 13 is my lucky number. Oh how wrong I was there. I can say I have never experienced a more emotionally draining year to be honest. I learned there are several types of pain, aside from the physical kind. Anything that could of gone wrong did. For the first time in my life, I started off the year reduced to an insecure, doubtful, and overall sad person. But, with every dark there is a light. As I gained momentum with my photography, my confidence and passion came back. I let go of those negative emotions and people, taking any sort of lingering feelings of hurt and throwing them into my work. I have, and will always be an emotional artist, deriving many ideas from the current places I am mentally.
While I was looking back on this past year, I realized through the emotional highs and lows, I learned quite a few things. So I thought I'd share my Top 13 Realizations of 2013 both personally and photographically:
1. You can avoid the past, but you can never completely forget it. At one point or another, it all comes back.
2. Opportunities do not just roll in when you are sedentary.
3. Weekends are not an excuse for putting off that email you've been meaning to respond to.
4. People will dislike you for a reason that will escape you. But there will always be people that will love you no matter what.
5. Gentlemen, aka the ones who will take you out to dinner as well as take the time to make plans with you, do still exist. Just keep searching.
6. Learning when to forgive and when to let go is still a very difficult line to determine.
7. Getting up at 8:30, instead of 9:00, can make a great world of difference mentally.
8. You will fall in love several times throughout your life, so that does not mean you need to stick with the one that is more trouble than it's worth.
9. Physically, you can push yourself to do things you would of never believed possible at one point. You just have to have the right mindset and creativity to get yourself there.
10. Take the time to look the person you're speaking to in the eye. Compliment a stranger on their handmade necklace. Have a conversation with the barista while you're waiting for your receipt. Averted eyes and drink grab do not have the same effect on a person as a simple, "Thank you, Amy".
11. Jealousy typically never has to do with the other person.
12. No matter how exhausted you are, do a lighting test the night before so you don't have to spend the next day swearing quietly behind the backdrop when no one is looking.
13. If you love someone, speak up. If you miss someone, let them know. Don't assume they've forgotten or simply do not care. Because chances are, they haven't and still do. Life is too short to be filled with what if's. Bottom line, make the call you've been meaning to dial.
Although I've seen many people doubt the power of writing a new year onto your next check, I find the idea of a new year to be a new beginning. It can be hard to tell yourself on a Tuesday that you will be a better person. I know it's possible, but sometimes there are mornings where nothing, not even the promise of a new day, can get you to lift yourself out of bed. It can be hard to "seize the day" when you can't seem to get a grasp on your own life. So, instead of making any sort of resolutions, I made myself a promise. That I will utilize every single day for the next year to further myself with my passion. For the past year, my excuses outweighed my actual work. So whether you give yourself a fresh start at the hint of spring, the release of the September issue, or the start of the new year, at least you've realized there is a need for change, I know I certainly need/want/deserve one.
This was taken around this time last year. The space of time in between shooting and posting is grand due to the fact I never found it to be good enough. This image, as well as that feeling, carried with me throughout the year. And only just recently did I begin to let go. One of the many steps along the way was finally deciding to release this image.
I see what needs to be fixed and how I could of made it better. To me it's messy. But so is life. I can spend hours over-analyzing the image as well as my life, or I can choose to let go and learn from it.
So I'm making today, the last day of the year, to be my day to leave a lot of negative emotions behind. I don't expect it to be smooth sailing from here on out, but I know I won't be hiding under the deck this time around. 2014, tomorrow, the day I realized, or whatever the hell I want to decide to call my moment of decided change, is going to be a good one.