People wait all week for friday, all year for summer, and all their lives for happiness.
That’s why I have a job where everyday is a friday, live in a city where every season is summer, and strive to be happy every day.
Your whole life will pass and you will have spent it waiting. Waiting for Friday, for summer, for tomorrow, for that special person, for those last 10 lbs to come off, for that winning lotto ticket, for that promotion, for that title, for the next big thing that’s sure to make you happy.
Stop waiting. Start doing. Start today. Enjoy the people and places and moments that are in your life right now, whether they will be around in 10 years or not. Go after the things you want, travel, meet new people, say what you want to say. Rather than treating it like a temporary obstacle to get to the next step, appreciate and relish this moment here and now. Every moment spent is one we will never get back. We all have somewhere else we want to go, something to aspire to. But in the meantime, as you wait to arrive, enjoy the journey. Because life waits for no one, and you owe it to yourself to not wait another minute to be happy.
I always choose to be the bigger person. I choose not to take vengeful action; I let karma handle the dirty work and forgive them instead. I choose to be kind, even when the other person chooses not to be. I choose to smile, even when it takes every ounce of energy I have in my body to bite my tongue or keep from punching someone square in the face. And this philosophy has always paid off for me. Maybe not at first, but in the end, it has always been the best decision I could have made.
This approach has its share of downfalls, I assure you. I am left vulnerable. I get taken advantage of. I get hurt. I don’t always get what I deserve or what is “fair” in a situation. But in the end, I always win. I don’t have a single enemy. Some people might not like me, sure. Lots of people think I am “too much” or even annoying (Hell, even I think that about myself sometimes). But even those people tell me I am magnetizing and that they are drawn to me and can’t explain why. So many people bare their souls to me, sometimes within hours of meeting me, and can’t understand why they would tell a perfect stranger things they’ve never told their closest friends. Even the people I have hurt in the past (because no one is perfect) still have some pretty wonderful things to say about me. I’ll tell you why: because in spite of my flaws, I have a damn good heart.
I am genuine, and loyal at any cost. I am honest to a fault: I will always tell you the truth— even when you don’t want to hear it, and even when it is not in my best interest to tell it. And—perhaps most important of all— I really, honestly, genuinely care about people. Even when it hurts. Even when they don’t care about me. Even when they don’t deserve it. Even when I would be better off leaving them behind. I help people whenever I can, just because I can. Not because of what they can do for me in return, or for any other selfish reasons. About 90% of the good deeds/favors I do for others are never returned. And that’s okay. Of course it would be nice to have someone treat me the same way, but the truth is I don’t expect it. People are generally flawed, and selfish. They almost always think of themselves first. It is human nature. I am the anomaly, especially in this currently growing culture of IDGAF and “Zero fucks given.” I care too much about others, and what they want, and what they think. I always put others first. Everyone tells me I’m stupid for it. But I think it’s what makes me a good person.
And this is why I don’t have enemies. Like anyone else, people come in and out of my life. Relationships break up, friendships dissipate, people just outgrow their relationships and move on. But hindsight is 20/20, and so eventually, everyone always figures it out. Who was good for them, and who wasn’t. The people they’re glad to be rid of and the ones they regret letting slip away. And no matter how the original relationship went, I tend to be the latter. I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have come back years later just to tell me: “You’re a really good person, you know that? There are not very many people like you in the world.” My response is always the same. Some version of “Yes, I know. Thank you.” Countless stories end this way, and while I am grateful just the same for their latent realization, truth be told, I wish that people would see it earlier. I wish that my kindness and good-hearted nature wouldn’t be taken for granted when it’s there, only to be appreciated in my absence.
Again, I am aware that my outlook on this may not be yours. I have had numerous conversations with numerous people and most of them cannot understand why I put others’ needs before my own, why I sacrifice my happiness for that of others, why I don’t get jealous, why I am still friends with my exes, why I continue to show love and kindness for people who have wronged me or loyalty to those who have betrayed me…The list goes on. To that I say: All I have in this world are my experiences and the relationships I make. They are the only thing I can take with me when I leave this earth. Why fill them with jealousy and hatred and spite, when I can fill them with love and kindness instead? Life is too short to hold onto grudges. They anchor you to the floor. Learn to forgive and you will see how much your heart soars. Malice in a heart can be crippling, but it only hurts the person who holds it.
It’s not always the easiest path, but I challenge you: Let go of your malice. Choose kindness. Choose love. Choose well wishes over grudges. Choose honest words over empty words. Choose to smile instead of fight. Choose to make others happy, as well as yourself. Choose to make friends not enemies. But most importantly, take a moment to make a note of the good hearts around you, and choose to appreciate them, before it’s too late. Choose to care. And make the world a better place by choosing to show it.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not." -Dr. Seuss
Something very strange is happening to me. I’m falling out of love with perfection.
Consequently, I am losing the desire to strive to be “perfect,” and am embracing my weirdness more than ever. The best way I could describe this is it feels like my imagination is exploding while my brain turns itself inside out, thereby making it kind of implode. I have all this… I don’t know what to call it. Energy perhaps? But not the physical kind. In fact I feel calmer than ever. And yet like there are millions of neurons firing all at once and I can make out only pieces of the chatter in the madness. It’s madness, of the best kind. I’m discovering a hidden part of me I never knew existed, deeper than all the rest. Is this crazy? Is this genius? Is this what it feels like to be on drugs? (I’m not, although it would explain a lot). Am I dreaming? Kind of feels that way.
Hold on to your seats, kids. It’s about to get weird.
I am genuinely touched by how many people liked my last post. Especially considering that I posted it at almost 3 am, and that most of you follow me for my photos. I was honestly just overwhelmed with emotion for a moment, and had to get it out. But writing it and the subsequent response made me realize I have not used my words in a long time. And that there are some things most people don’t know about me that perhaps they should.
I miss writing. It was my first love in the art world. Words have always come easily to me, as if they were implanted in my mind from birth. I didn’t have it crazy rough growing up, but even then, I never felt like I quite fit in. Instead of pouting in a corner, I made up my own world. I invented characters and gave them names, birthdays, a style, a reputation. I charted out their personalities: likes, dislikes, hobbies. I wrote from their perspectives and even developed handwritings that would characterize them. Many of them were based on the people in my real life, yet there was a little piece of me in all of them. I only began to draw because I wanted to bring to life the characters in the stories I would write.
I’m still doing that today. Except that now instead of drawing or writing about them on paper, I paint them into existence in my imagination. I tell their stories with my camera. It feels more real that way. I could have been happy being a screenwriter, or a novelist. But it wasn’t enough to just have the words. I wanted so desperately for this world I created to be the one I lived in. I still do.
People ask me why I got into photography. I usually tell them the story of how it happened, because that’s what they really want to know. It seemed to many such a random (and probably reckless) decision. I quit a stable job, threw away everything I had worked for for 6 years, to pursue this newfound passion, a passion that I honestly had never shown any outward interest in previously. But if you knew me, really REALLY knew the inner workings of my consciousness, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to you at all.
I am a storyteller. Whether with words or pictures, I want to take you on an adventure. And not just any adventure, the ones I live over and over everyday in my mind. The ones inspired by real events in my everyday life. I want to show you all the alternate endings I dream up, many better than the real thing. I want you to meet the incredible people I know that don’t have a voice. I want to tell you what they have to say. I want you to see what I see when I close my eyes. I want you to feel the things I feel when no one is looking. It is the only way anyone will truly ever know or understand me. And if you know me, being understood is paramount to my existence. It is the single greatest goal I have ever set and one I have yet to achieve.
I got into psychology originally because I wanted to understand people, myself included. I wanted to figure out what made them tick, what made them who they were. When I meet people, It’s not enough to know about them. Their hobbies, their jobs, their favorite color, it’s all trivial. What I want to know is WHY. I realize that I look for myself in others. I look for one of my characters. If none exists I strive to understand them, and I create a new one. One day I will write a book. All the main characters will be inspired by the people I have already met, by the relationships I have formed, by the way they have made me feel.
So when you see a photo that I post, don’t assume it is just a pretty picture of a pretty girl. There are thousands of unspoken words behind their non-smiles. Each photo is a story. Each girl is a character. She embodies who I am and everything that I have lived and loved and ever believed. My photos are raw negatives of my soul, bared and vulnerable. Listen to the words that they speak.
In life we have choices. We open some doors and close others, push through some and bypass others. Most of the time, once we cross a threshold we never know what’s going on on the other side. We don’t know what could have been. We just have to trust our gut that we made the right choices. But every now and again, some revolving door swings open long enough for you to get a glimpse of the other side. A tiny glimmer of the life you passed on. The things you would have had, the places you would have gone, the people you would have loved. And in that instant, you gain a special type of insight into yourself. Because you know. Whether your choice was right or not, you know. You feel something. Perhaps nostalgia, regret, or redemption, or solace. Or perhaps, as for me, you feel peace.
I should note that this was not expected. I question every decision I have ever made with ferocious intensity. I almost always act based on emotion rather than logic. I am no stranger to long insomnia-driven nights wondering what if. I am prone to nostalgic daydreams about the glory days of past. And as we all know, the grass always appears greener wherever we are not.
And yet, while it had its moments of wonderful, I do not miss my would-have-been life. I do not wish things would have turned out differently. I am at peace with the choices I have made. They have brought me to where I am now, and although all my once plans have unraveled and my current future is a mysterious adventure that has yet to reveal itself, I have no regrets. If I could go back, I would make the same decisions over again. I would live the adventure over again. Because in the end, it leads me to now. And now is perfect in it’s own imperfect way.
Everything turns out exactly as it should. I believe that now more than ever.