Closing 2013

2013 draws to a close. I feel like I’m in a weird space right now. This year was a mixed bag for me in many ways. Negative cycles, the decision to let TTC go, culminating with an ablation that permanently closed that door for me, all while watching others “get there” has been exceedingly difficult. The actual ablation itself was physically fairly easy, albeit extremely painful on the day of the procedure. Emotionally, I know I haven’t managed to process it all yet.

Yet, 2013 was pretty amazing in its own right. I started and finished two half marathons, and ran my second 5k. While I haven’t been running much since the second half marathon in October, I’m gearing up to get back on the treadmill in January to hopefully be ready to run my third in March. The kids started 2nd grade, and J started gymnastics and even had her first competition. N played his first season of soccer and loved it as much as he loves all things sports.

Probably the biggest shift for me occurred at the end of the year when I made the decision to take on a 365 Photo project. Photography has always been something I’ve enjoyed. I think I was 10 the year I got my first camera, a little Vivitar 110. For a while my mom was really into SLR photography, and there’s an old Canon AE-1 floating around in my garage somewhere with a broken hotshoe. I really wanted to work on the yearbook in high school, but I was already in too many things and there were only so many hours in the day. Photography fell by the wayside with swim team and a host of other things I loved but couldn’t fit into my packed high school schedule.

When I met my first girlfriend, I helped her build her photography business. I acted as investor, assistant, light meter reader, dog wrangler (she specialized in animal photography), and business manager. I started taking classes at the same community college where she was taking them, and used her camera equipment since I didn’t really have my own other than the AE-1. I learned to process black and white film and print in the darkroom.

As soon as I started to photograph again, I started to realize where my creativity has been. I’ve always loved film but digital photography and the editing process and that feeling you get when you nail a shot has made me realize I’m a fool for ever putting the camera down. There’s so much to learn and I feel so far behind. The internet has made learning new things about my camera so much easier, and I could spend hours and days just tinkering with settings, trying them out, and then trying again. Being behind the camera gives me insight into who I am, what moves me, and maybe gives others a glimpse of how I see the world.

My goals for next year? Photograph. As much as possible. And by the end of the year have a portfolio of things I’m proud of.

Run. To run. Not necessarily for anything other than health and the occasional race.

Eat better. Less crap, more real food.

Be the best I can be for my family. Yell less, hug more. Savor, even through frustration. Say “hurry up” less often. Never go to bed without “I love you.”

Find beauty. In every space, in every face, in every day. Capture it. Teach my kids to see it. And to breathe it in.

I’m ready to say goodbye to 2013, and walk my path for 2014. Happy New Year to you and yours.

20131214-_dsc0270