10 Day Breaks

I’ve discovered a tactic to be more balanced this year: Take week long breaks, at least once every month.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend several conferences this semester which have allowed me to travel outside of Athens quite frequently. It’s definitely nice to take mini vacations from school outside of just the major holidays.

Here are some of the awesome opportunities I’ve been able to enjoy so far:

August
AAJA National Convention, Philadelphia

September
NLGJA National Convention, Philadelphia
Women Photograph Workshop at Photoville, NYC

October
10 Day Magazine shoot, California

November
Atlanta Photojournalism Conference, Atlanta
Thanksgiving Break, Chicago

It’s definitely been a lot of travel. But it’s always nice to get a chance to stuff myself with Malaysian food and gluten free sandwiches, catch up with old friends, and get lots of awesome networking time and inspiration for cool photo speakers.

I’m hoping to keep this trend up for next semester and already have out of town conferences lined up for February and April. With spring break in March, I’ve got all my months covered!

Advertisements

Summer Road Trip #CaliforniaBound

IMG_2143.jpg

Staying at Thayer’s Parent’s House in Iowa. #friendsparentsarethebest

IMG_2151.jpg

We are too cool for school #roadtrip #somewhereintheUSA

IMG_2233.jpg

Most well dressed hikers I ever saw #ontopofarock #somewhereintheUSA

IMG_2282.jpg

Detour for documentation #mountains #somewhereintheUSA

IMG_2368.jpg

Sometimes depression hits at the most unexpected places #documentingdepression

IMG_2436.jpg

Hanging out on the biggest trees in the world #sequoianationalpark

IMG_2501.jpg

Climbing things #themeofourtrip #somewhereintheUSA #wherethebigtreesare

IMG_2690.jpg

More Mashups! #experimentalart #expressionism

IMG_2694.jpg

Mashups are so fun! Great trip with great friends. And my car survived the 3,000 miles. 

 

 

 

A Year in Selfies (Part 2)

 

IMG_0771.jpg

Semester 2 began with a fun non-literal photo project. #stilldepressedtho

IMG_0827.jpg

Some days were harder than others. #documentingdepression

IMG_0859.jpg

What the button says. #newpronouns #theythem #pronounsmatter

IMG_0956.jpg

Started working on a new documentary art project. #gonnabemymastersproject

IMG_0973.jpg

Carrying around all the photo equipment #forthenewproject #foundmyniche

IMG_1010.jpg

Went to Chicago for an LGBTQ College Conference. #queer #outandproud

IMG_1068.jpg

#documentingdepression

IMG_1174.jpg

That time Pete Souza came to town and I got to frame all his photos. #photorolemodel

IMG_1281.jpg

First time on a tractor! #thatmudtho

IMG_1371.jpg

#documentingdepression

IMG_1397.jpg

Did I mention about my new pronouns? #theythem

IMG_1417.jpg

Fresh haircut #arttherapy #shadowselfie

IMG_1475.jpg

Having fun at a photo shoot. #newdocumentaryartproject #masterprojectinprogress

IMG_1498.jpg

A photo of me taking a photo of a photo of someone’s door, hanging on their door. #meta #inception

IMG_1526.jpg

That time I flew home for a weekend wedding, when I thought I might be failing out of school #ididn’tfailtho

IMG_1540.jpg

Best wedding ever! #highschoolreunion

IMG_1552.jpg

Walk with Dad and the Dog #newfoundappriciationformydogafterhunting

IMG_1573.jpg

Another shadow selfie #arttherapy

IMG_1598.jpg

That time I came out of a meeting determining my future at school. #stressful

IMG_1826.jpg

One of my favorite photos from the semester when I started to experiment with mashups.

IMG_1851.jpg

Birthday Mashup

IMG_1947.jpg

That time I bonded with my room mate by running down the street barefoot to catch the sunset. #cooplife #friendshiphump

IMG_1976.jpg

That time school was almost over but I wasn’t quite done yet. #doesiteverend

IMG_2030.jpg

A view of the awesome zen tangle mural on my living room ceiling. #arttherapy #cooplife

IMG_2051.jpg

That time someone smashed my car but my housemates were there for moral support. #selfiesmakeeverythingbetter

IMG_2063.jpg

Final Mashup of the semester. One step closer to living my dreams. #arttherapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Year in Selfies (Part 1)

IMG_0006.jpg

Started Grad School in Ohio

IMG_0086.jpg

Golden Hour selfie with the cohort buddies

IMG_0124.jpg

Road trip to Geek Fest in D.C. #gradschoolisaboutthecarrides

IMG_0315.jpg

Lived in a co-op

IMG_0352.jpg

Went to A’s wedding in D.C.! #kindergartenfriends #madeitjustintime

IMG_0370.jpg

Favorite Fancy Shoes

IMG_0374.jpg

#Bowtiesarecool

IMG_0379.jpg

Bought a bike before I bought a car. #ofcourseidid

IMG_0458.jpg

Rest Stop on the way home from Thanksgiving Break with S. and K. on the East Coast. #friends

IMG_0476.jpg

Started anti-depressants. #documentingdepression

IMG_0518.jpg

Spent a lot of time being depressed because #gradschool so decided to start taking pictures of the experience. #documentingdepression

IMG_0587.jpg

Finally Bought a car. Walk home after taking it to the shop for repairs. #arttherapy

IMG_0648.jpg

End of Semester 1 with a day at the art museum #designtherapy

IMG_0692.jpg

Winterbreak in S.F. with the Dad. #Ileftmyheartinuniqlo

Why is Rumi just soooo good?

Throw away the passion, envy, and grudges from the heart. Change your bad behavior and bad thoughts. Denying everything harms you, deny little. Affirmation is, on the other hand, useful. Increase your affirmation.

~Rumi

Why is it that often Eastern and Middle Eastern texts are just so much easier to read than Western texts? I’m talking about Rumi. I’m talking about Thich Nhat Hanh. Their words are just so simple and concise. Their words pierce my soul and vibrate like piano strings in my heart.

Sometimes western texts are just too wordy. It’s ironic because in the west we are raised on the western texts. We are raised on white authors, white philosophers, and white theologians. But sometimes their words bore me and I just can’t get through the stuff.

But give me a Rumi poem. I could read it over and over and over again. And never stop smiling. There’s a reason his words get memed all over Facebook with pretty pictures. His stuff sticks.

I’ve recently begun this path of minimalism. And I have a theory that the reason the non-western guys are so good with words is because they’ve got the minimalism thing down. Less is more.

I think there’s also another element. Sometimes I feel like they’ve connected with their heart more. There’s a feeling that comes through their words that is often lacking in the western texts. It’s like in the west everyone is too wrapped up in their heads to really feel with their heart. And poetry isn’t an intellectual exercise. #halfthoughts

New Year, New Semester

It’s the start of a new semester in Ohio. I’m taking a more manageable load this semester, so that I can really focus on my most intense photo class and still have time to breathe. Here are some other changes I’ve implemented to help myself have a fresh start:

-I moved rooms in my co-op.

-I rented a locker in the gym.

-I don’t have any classes that start before 10:30am.

-We are painting a giant zen tangle art therapy mural on the living room ceiling.

-Oh, and I finally took a self portrait today. I haven’t taken one in a while.

_dsc8297_w

Alternate Path. Self Portrait. #withoutdisguise

Everything is Fixable

This week, I finally began taking antidepressants. I’d been thinking of starting them for the last 6 months, but it took a while to get an appointment with the psychiatrist.

I also kept going back and forth on committing to starting. I would have a few weeks where I felt fine-ish and think, maybe I’m getting better? But then I’d dip again or have a panic attack and think, nope I was wrong.

I waffled back and forth like this for  several weeks after returning to the states, before I finally committed to making that first psychiatrist appointment. And then when I finally made a decision, it took another month before my doctor had an opening.

They say that it usually takes several weeks for antidepressants to kick in and up to a few months to figure out the right dose and find the medication that works for you. Some people claim they start working from day one. I’m convinced I’m one of those people.

The first few days after starting I felt somewhat lighter. I caught myself smiling more throughout the day and during conversations. I found myself saying hello to my roommates and classmates just a tad perkier than usual.

But I know depression doesn’t go away completely with one pill. And I still have days where I sleep most of the day, or am unmotivated to do work, or have bouts of crying for seemingly mundane reasons.

On the first day I got my prescription, I had an anxiety attack in class, noticeable enough that my professor checked on me after class to ask if I was ok. The first thing she said to me was, “Everything is fixable.”

I had a chat with her in her office and revealed that I’d been struggling with depression. And she was very supportive. She said not to worry about classes and deadlines. I can always finish assignments later, even if it has to be after the semester is over.

It’s good to know that I won’t fail. That’s one less thing to worry about.

Tagged , ,