Last week the fates smiled down upon me when Elle Moss randomly picked me as the winner of her 2000 fans contest on Facebook. She sent me a neat little envelope filled with photographic treasures, a few of which you can see in the photo above. They came in on Wednesday, and I was thrilled.
When I come face to face with art that moves me, whether it's a painting or a book or music or a photo (you get the idea), it often serves as a big reality check for me. What am I doing with my own talents? What am I doing that I feel passionately about? Obviously, my first priority is my family, but my own drive to create is not something I ever intend on neglecting.
I made myself a promise that this year was going to be the year that I stopped saying, "I want to get back to writing poetry again" or "I want to learn more about photography." It seems a little silly to keep saying those things when I have the tools (and the vision) at my disposal. Honestly, I think I compare myself too much to others and in doing so I forget that my journey is my own. I can never write or take photos or do anything else like anyone else. Because I'm me. Yes, that is an idea that is verging on corniness. Cheesy or not, it's still something I consider to be true.
Because the art that moves me always comes from a person who has a vision and has enough courage to chase it. And this week I kept getting reminders of it, not just through Elle Moss, but also through The Julie Project by Darcy Padilla, Photo of the Day by Jamie Livingston, and Nox by Anne Carson. Seriously powerful stuff, all of it. It reminded me that I've got my own powerful project that I've been working on here and there since 2003. It may be the best damn thing I've ever written, and yet it may never be read by a wide audience. But fuck it. Fulfillment comes through doing the work, not through accolades and critical acclaim. (I once thought being published would change my life forever. Surprise, surprise - it didn't. I was (am) still the same ol' insecure girl. Not to say I wouldn't gladly accept a Pulitzer...)
I think I'm at the point in my life where I've really realized that the writing career I've been wanting since I was a child may not be something that exists for me. Perhaps it sounds like I'm giving up, but this country lives and dies on the almighty dollar. And you know what? That's not something that is going to change anytime soon - but it's also not going to be the deciding factor in what I choose to do with my life. I'm going to keep on creating, and perhaps someone else will be inspired by what I do.
Yes, all of this did come from a pile of photographs on the floor.