As I was saying yesterday, last week did not go as I anticipated. In regards to this series I've been doing "on nostalgia, turning 23" I had intended to make two more posts, one with photographs from my years in college and one for self portraits, and to have them both up by my birthday last Sunday. Obv, that didn't happen. I won't lie and say I didn't have the time, I definitely did. It's that I got so frustrated with how poorly my weekend was going I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So I've decided to skip the post with photos from my college years, and to post some old self portraits.
That's what this is. Self portraits from the time I was very young to somewhat recently-ish.
Sometimes things just don't go the way you planned or wanted or thought they would. The last 5 days of my life have been a testament to that. My birthday was Sunday. I asked for Saturday and Sunday off work so that I could spend it with my family and boyfriend. But then Southern Virginia, where I live, got hit by a massive snow storm on Wednesday. We had two feet of snow at my house. 45 minutes away on top of a mountain, my boyfriend had nearly 30 inches. Under different circumstances the snow probably would have been really cool and a lot of fun, but instead it was just a pain the ass.
First of all, my house is on top of a very steep, windy, mile-long hill. I was driving home just as the storm started; it was so fast and accumulated so much that I couldn't make it up the hill just within the first 30 minutes of the storm starting, and ended up having to park at the very bottom and walk up the whole thing in the snow while hauling my camera bag around. That sucked.
The next two days, Thursday and Friday, I wasn't able to go into work because everything had shut down and I couldn't get to my car even if they were open. At first that was kind of nice but I really need the money. The store I work at is closing in a week and I haven't been able to find anything else, so I just lost about $150. Then, Valentines Day and my birthday rolled around, which I had been planning for, but my boyfriend was never able to dig his car out enough to make it in at all. That sucked. I didn't leave the house at all from Wednesday until Sunday, to go out for my birthday dinner, and the appetizer we ordered had a hair in it. That sucked.
My point is that you just can't count on a lot of things. Sometimes things just go wrong to no fault of your own, and sometimes that seems to happen all at once. For example, everything that happened this weekend, me losing a job that I had grown secure in because the store is closing. None of these things are in my control. None of it is happening because I did anything wrong, they just happened. That sounds like it should be comforting, but it can be hard to accept. I don't like the feeling of not being in control of my life, especially my ability to make money and be stable. You have to accept it, though, or you'll get stuck. So that's what I'm going to do. It might take me a while, but I'll do it.
At least in those couple of days I got to spend a lot of time with my cat, Little Bear, watch a lot of TV, with an indisputable excuse to be lazy for a while, before that while became way too long.
So I'm skipping over a few years, but those years were not my best. I am nostalgic for them in strange ways, and I have many many photos from this period, but they are not ones I wish to share.
These photos took place when I was turning 18 was one of my favorite periods of my life so far. I branched out a lot. Made a few of the best friends I've ever had. Got out of a bad relationship and into the one I am in now and have been for nearly 5 years. Also please excuse the absolutely terrible quality of these images. This was before I started scanning my photos properly, it's kind of embarrassing. Regardless, I love them.
Today I'm going to continue sharing some old photographs that hold the most nostalgia for me. I'm going to try and post them as chronologically as my memory will allow. These photos are primarily from ages 14 through 16 in my first two years of high school.
I am a nostalgia junkie. Always have been. I get really sentimental about my past and the past in general, and am sometimes the victim of golden age thinking. This type of inclination is strongest in periods of transition, which I am definitely in right now. But this month it is amplified even more, because it is the month of my birthday. On Sunday I am turning 23.
It is sometimes disheartening to think back to 16 or 17 year old me and about where I'd thought I'd be at this point in my life. There was so much I didn't understand about everything that is involved with growing up and how time really works. But then again, I may not have thought that far in advance. But when I remember myself in my adolescence, I like who I was. I like myself now, though I'm different, though I'm a little older, I can't help but feel I've lost something, some spark of sense of wonder, like I was always waiting. My mind has gotten more logical, it simply doesn't process things the same. I like who I am now. Still, I don't want to disappoint that girl I have in my mind sitting in her room, waiting for life to start, waiting for life to be beautiful like the photographs I spent most of my time gazing at.
One of my best friends and favorite people considers birthdays to be the true New Years. (Which only makes sense, right?) On my birthday she'd always say Happy New Year and encourage me to make resolutions then. I still am in that habit. This week I'm going to try and post photographs from the last many years that represent moments of my life that I am nostalgic for.
As an introduction, here is a terrible scan of the first polaroid I ever took. I was 14 or 15, I can't remember exactly. I don't think I have the original anymore. I gave it to someone who didn't deserve it. It was taken at my late grandfather's farm, with the pond in the background. I walked out into the yard and scared a bird out of one of the birdhouses my grandmother left on the fence posts. I managed to get this photo as it was flying away from me, probably frightened. I was proud of this.
When I was a junior in high school, when 2007 was turning into 2008 (I think, it may have been 2008 going into 2009, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.) I decided to make a soundtrack for the previous year. Twelve songs. One for each month. I've wanted to do it every year since then but I always forget, and it's really hard to go back and think of all of the songs for each month. I've decided to do it this year, month by month. This is for January.
I really like sundays. They feel clean to me. At least the first half of the day. The last few hours are usually stressful as I think about the upcoming week and all I have to do. I like the idea of Sundays. Even though I am not religious at all, I still think of it as a day of rest, as I'm sure most people do, whether they are religious or not. Even if I'm not at home in bed and drinking tea or coffee and watching netflix as I usually see people doing on Sundays, even if I'm alone at work bored out of my mind, I like the feeling of Sundays.
This is what I'm doing today: working. But I work a retail job in a store that no one really knows exists, and barely ever gets any customers. So this is what I'm actually doing right now.
I am writing this blog post while taking breaks to catch up on other blogs I read.
I am eating an Asiago Cheese Bagel from Panera (my favorite)
and drinking Orange Ginger Mint tea (wonderful).
I am once again Listening to Sky Ferreira's new album. I haven't really stopped since it came out. I love it a lot.
I am worried about a lot of things. I've got some photography assignments to do this week for my internship that I've been kind of putting off a little bit. I've got a possible "working interview" coming up at some point, I'm just not sure when.
I am trying to be excited about something. I am excited about getting a new job if this one pulls through, and potentially working full time at a job that actually pays me and being able to move out and get a place of my own/ with my boyfriend maybe.
I am looking like this.
I don't usually like posting photos of myself. But my face is almost cooperating right now. Work is boring.
I've actually kept up with posting regularly this past week. I still don't think anyone actually reads anything I post on here, but I'm going to try and stay more dedicated. I've got some ideas.
Oh look, two blog posts in one week. Sorry if these unrelated images bother anyone, I just feel like each post should have at least one picture, even if it has literally NOTHING to do with what I'm talking about.
So far every day this week has been, ultimately, exactly the same as the next. Monday and Tuesday, wake up at 8:30, get ready, get to work, work from 9:30 to 3:30, go home, re-watch Battlestar Galactica. (You really can't watch that show just once. There is so much to it). Yesterday was basically the same, except for after work I went to a job interview at 4 (not crossing my fingers), and when I got home, I watched Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Because, you know, sometimes you don't feel like watching something that's going to stimulate your "What is life" thinking too much (as BSG definitley does). More often than not, these days, I am in that mood.
One of the worst feelings in the world is when you are so busy, too busy to be doing any of the things you're truly passionate about, and you feel like all of this work is getting you nowhere. This is what my life has felt like, most of the time, since I graduated back in May. I'm not where I thought I'd be. I'm not sure where I thought I'd be, but this isn't it. I know I'm not alone in this. Life is hard for college grads right now. There simply aren't enough jobs. And when you're spending all your energy working odd jobs just to have a little bit of income (which isn't even enough to allow me to get another apartment and be on my own again), you barely have enough time left over to try and stride through all of the other stuff and get to do what you actually care about. And when you do actually have a free minute, hour, or, god forbid, a day, to do something other than your day-job, you're so tired, or you haven't seen any of your friends for weeks, so working creatively and getting anything done is ten times harder to do.