With each new year comes the examination of the previous year. You know, every blog out there posts a year in review recap, top posts, top Instagram moments, and my personal favorite - the top Facebook moments VIDEOS (I lied. Not my favorite.) etc, so I know I'm not alone here. I'm definitely the type of person that is prone to nostalgia so looking into my past is nothing new for me. Instead, I'd like to take this first post of 2015 to turn towards this year and some of my thoughts lately.
I believe 2015 will bring incredible new things, new ventures for us. I think that we will close out this year with an entirely different direction in our lives. We've had a growing dream of a project for awhile and we're finally taking some very baby steps towards this, so I'm really excited about that. I can't stop thinking about it, in fact.
2014 for me felt like a year of mourning my dying creativity, not to be dramatic or anything. I think most creatives are tortured in this way of having on and off seasons. Not only did I feel like my creativity was totally dead, but I began feeling bitter and cynical towards anyone who was creating anything. 2015 is going to be the year I backtrack and figure out what went wrong, and how I can correct such destructive thinking, so I can keep moving forward!
2014 was the year that I thought I was finished with photography. I really did think I was going to give it up. I considered selling my camera. But out of the blue one day, one of the photographers I interned for when I was in photography school called me. He encouraged me and talked me through where I was a little bit, and I was relieved to hear that I'm not the only one that has rough spells. One phone conversation from someone who cared was enough to turn my heart back around, and I began to feel why I loved photography in the first place. Thank you for calling, Mike. So 2015 is the year I work to re-gain the love I had for taking photos, back before I brought money, clients, paying bills and responsibility into the picture.
Towards the end of last year I began questioning a lot. There was a lot of "What's the point?" going on in my head. (Like I said, my dying creativity yielded a lot of angsty dramatic thoughts. Stay with me.) For instance, why bother making my living room look pretty? I mean, I WANT it to look perfectly assembled, colorful, and inviting, but why? What is the point? Why bother spending money and time just for something that looks beautiful? What is inside of me that wants this, how is it helpful to anybody, how does it truly matter? How could this really be something that God has put inside of me, to create and make things look (to me) perfect? It gets depressing after awhile, all this questioning and feelings of meaninglessness. And then a friend posted some photos on Instagram and I was done questioning, and I remind myself of these photos daily, in fact. The photos posted were photographs taken by Hans Silvester (do a quick google image search of his name) of the Omo valley people of Ethiopia. These are people that have no access to Pinterest, fashion magazines, movies, etc., yet they still have something in them that wants to paint and make beautiful things out of nature and their bodies. It's incredible and inspiring. And even though it really didn't answer anything for me, it felt like an answer, that all of us are created to love and enjoy beautiful things. Maybe we don't have to have a reason. I think God wants us to be creative, to make beautiful things, so maybe we can enjoy the beautiful things that he creates, too. (My friend Laura so wisely pointed out, "Well... what's the point of a sunset?" as we talked about this one day.) In these simple photos of the decorated Ethiopian people I found something kindred.
So, this year, I want to ask "What's the point?" less - if at all. I choose to trust if God gave me desires, ideas, and talents that they are good and they are useful in some way, even if I don't immediately know why. And that maybe the best show of faith I can give is to pursue making things beautiful anyway.
That being said, I also really appreciate those of you who never, ever question why... Who know exactly what you want to do and don't think too far deeply into it. :) What a gift!
Hope you guys all are having a wonderful start to your year!