Sunday, October 16, 2016

Falling Forward

California Color

Where did the time go?
 2016 has seemingly slipped out of my control and threatens to come to an end soon. Seems like a blur and in reality, so much of this year was spent dealing with the fallout of the previous year,     

A backpacking accident  (the gift that keeps on giving) an unplanned career change after many years and subsequent new job with new digital  technology all that that entails and the adjustments therein made for a year that flew by and left me craving a much simpler and much quieter life.

As with many I'm sure, challenging times and circumstances in the end give way to a much clearer idea of what one wants out of life. I've limited my internet presence to simply showcasing recent explorations, personal observations of current events, share a passion or inspiration.  I no longer invest my time socially as I've learned too many times that on the other end of the connection circumstances aren't always ...well, for lack of a better word, real. Real life happens in real time and I'm a girl who prefers tangible interactions of substance. Nuff said about that.  I learned this year that it's important to keep my photography as my muse.  This art is a joyful passionate outlet for me and morphing it into a business is no longer something I entertain for numerous personal reasons. That being off the table, my focus is on my continued journey to refine and define my photographic voice. More importantly to search for a purpose.  I'll continue contributing, writing and sharing my personal experiences.  That decision alone felt like a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and lighter feels .... wonderful.

I tried to handle all that came with a sense of grace and patience. Always trying to keep in my mind that compared to others and in the big scheme of things, my life has been a gift and I try to find joy and humor even in the days that seem challenging. 

"If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all." Author unknown

I read the above once and thought about putting it all in perspective, compared to others, my travails are minimal. 

 Alas, I am human and I remember one day, in mid transition, I just didn't know how much change I could take and I needed to go sit under my beloved tree and just go think. It goes something like, take a deep breath, everyone survives stuff, I miss my mom. Now I made myself cry and wow that feels better.  Done crying, now think your way to a better place. Oh, and don't look back. Fall forward. 

No one hates change like I do, but these series of events, teach me that I have the emotional resources to take changes and even benefit from them. Makes the unknown much less scary, I think. 

I just didn't know that in time, my life would morph into something so different, so good. 

In a very short period of time, my life came full circle. 

New job, new digital technology at work, new friends and co-workers, new routines, new priorities.

 More freedom to travel and explore new landscapes.

I tell people it's as though, some energy came along and picked me up out of a bad place and dropped me down in a brand new life with  an optimistic vision. 

“The journey of reinvention is one of raw emotions emerging from dormancy.
Surprising as a paper cut, 
Overwhelming as a hailstorm, 
One part vulnerability, 
One part rage, 
One part surrender, 
Uncomfortable, Unfamiliar, Unsure, Fearful, Alone, Damaged, Broken
And finding a new Self...
Slowly, Different, Healing, Humble, Present, Open, Longing, 

With the new job, came the ability to schedule and plan time off. Something I hadn't been able to do for the past 6 years. So after my official 90 days to the day, I scheduled time off and I knew where and when I wanted to go. The Eastern Sierra Nevada in Autumn.  I studied photos and dates and had to hope that nature would be on a similar timeline as I booked my trip.  New job transitions can be stressful, but with the planning and detail work,  the impending fall adventure made it all tolerable. 

Finally, six months later the planning became a reality and on the road I went. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, the landscapes were more than I'd imagined and the color and timing had been nothing short of perfect.  I was able to relax and take my time. I explored the surrounding areas as well, Yosemite National Park (didn't take one photograph), Devils Postpile, Big Pine, Bishop, Mono Lake, Mammoth  Lakes.  I surveyed the breakfast joints in search of the best French Toast  and enjoyed the quaint small towns and coffee shops.  Rounding off the trip with a quiet and comfy visit with my family in Orange County. 

Another Autumn passes and the leaves fall to the ground as I edit my images and remininese fondly of the journey.  As the fleeting beauty transforms before my very eyes, it seems an inevitable part of the year to take inventory of my own transitions and prepare for the next season.

Most likely, I won't take another long trip while Halo is alive. I missed her terribly on this trip and I heard she cried while I was gone. Way to rip my heart out dog! She's 12 now and unable to travel with me on the longer trips. 

Leaving her behind this time was a bit heartbreaking.  I've decided to hold off and just enjoy my day to day time with her while I have it.  The weather is now perfect for our weekend hiking trips and I'm ALL ok with putting her first. 

New life, simplicity is key. Expectations low. Family and cherished friends (four-legged ones too)  come first. Work is honest, uncomplicated and pays the bills. Photography remains my love... As I continue to search for meaningful purposes.  Find joy in the day to day, stay grateful, humble and note those beautiful moments of incredible light and promise. 

Life is good.