briana soler

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Hayden and I spent our four year anniversary together the way we know best; roadtrippin. We went to Marfa, Texas for a night, did a photoshoot and then went to Big Bend the next day, did another photoshoot, then traveled to Midland, Texas to spend some time with Haydens sister, Hannah. It was a wonderful […]

more than one more day

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I have just finished Joan Didions’ nonfiction book, “The year of magical thinking”. She is writing about the grief of when her husband passed away. At the time I picked up the book to purchase, I honestly had no idea what it was about but knew I wanted to dive into Didions’ work as she had been on my radar on who to read next. It is beautifully written and terribly sad, it shakes the reader into an unwanted reality of death; that it is present and true for everyone. An absolute must read for everybody on this planet, especially to those that have ever lost someone dear to them, although we all will eventually. As her husband John would say, “it all evens out in the end”.

This book talks about grief like never before and puts into words what is often difficult to do for those who have lost someone – suddenly or not. It gives you a look into someone, if not all’s life after we lose someone. I think especially your spouse, or significant other. Finishing the book, and even throughout reading it, it painfully brought me to the truth that one day, i hope long and far from now, but one day I will not have Hayden with me, or my mother, father, brother and sister and even Gordy. Thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes. This book is solely about her husbands passing and the habits and comfort that passes along with him. Maybe all wont take it the same or think of the same person, of course. Maybe some will think of some other relatives or friends in their life. Maybe I think of Hayden because he is the closest i’ve ever been with another human being and I cherish our relationship deeply. As he is, just as John in Joan’s life was, my partner in life. Who I share all my ideas with, my dreams, my stories, my thoughts. Who I laugh deeply with, and cry fiercely with – letting all my guards down and being completely vulnerable with. Who will go to Goodwill with me, run errands with me, scout locations with me, and entertain all of my however silly or outlandish ideas they are. Who encourages me, reads my writing, edits my writing, and gives me solid advice. Who looks and admires my hard work in photography and believes in me wholeheartedly.

I am in shock of the pain of just thinking about losing him one day, and everyone I hold close to my heart. This book made me see the everlasting beauty in marriage, in family, and in loving the life you create together. It points directly away from everything this society and day and age says about love, life and relationships. I fell in love with Joan Didions’ writings after this book. She writes how I think; open and candid, raw and unapologetic. But she does so with great understanding, and an ease to it. A book to keep in everyone’s home and to reread it often and in times of some leaning one. A great writer she was, an absolute classic.. and now I am off to read the rest of her work.

Houston, Texas

It’s been about four months since I’ve written anything on here.. so much has happened i don’t even know where to begin. I guess I’ve been waiting to write something until my life has settled, but what I’m starting to realize is that maybe life never really does settle. 

Hayden and I moved back from Boston to Houston in August. He graduated from Berklee College of Music! We spoke about where to move to after he graduated for awhile and we decided the best option was for us to move back to Houston.. for now anyway. 

To be completely honest, coming back to Houston has been extremely hard. Houston (or what i associated with what Houston was; really just Sugar Land) is sort of where I left all my disappointments. Actually, thinking about it now, I left a lot of things here that I never really learned to deal with. I sort of just dropped everything here and ran away to Boston, forgetting my problems and leaving them in the dust of Houston. I really never thought I would be back.

But during this last year in Boston, something was sitting heavy on my heart telling me to go back to Houston because there were things here I needed to address.. with myself. And I was right. 

Hayden & I and Gordy drove all the way back from Boston in a Penske truck filled with all of our belongings from the past 3-4 years. It was the most wonderful road trip I have ever taken.. despite how awful it might sound. The whole time we drove all we did was talk.. talk about life, art, politics, beauty, God, and the whole world around us. It was a great closure and good time we needed before we actually hit Houston. I don’t know about Hayden but i definitely needed that road trip.. i needed time to muster up some courage to return to the place where I associated everything bad that ever happened to me. 

Since returning to Houston, it’s been extremely difficult to adjust. Coming from living with my boyfriend and my bby pup Gordy to living with my parents again is a stark contrast to say the least. We are still in the process of looking for an apartment (although I think we just found the one!). I guess in my head I thought transitioning would be a lot more easy and glamorous, I didn’t think so many mixed feelings would come with it. 

In Boston I was used to doing real estate part time and doing my photography full time. In Houston, I needed to get a job.. and I didn’t necessarily want to transfer my real estate license here because it’s basically a completely different job altogether. (And its not what I want my career to be anyhow.) In Boston, I was finally getting recognition for all my hard work in photography and I was starting to build a reputation. But in Houston, no one knows or cares about my photography. 

I got in a really bad funk during all of this. I found a good paying job as a leasing professional, and I do enjoy it. But it felt like I was giving up on my other dreams. I started to reconsider photography because I didn’t want a job that was superficial. I “quit” Instagram so to speak… I still have it, I just deleted it off of my iPhone screen so Im not tempted to go back on it for awhile. I won’t get into that on this post, because I have way too much to say about it, but It was starting to conflict with certain views I was realizing. 

I am coming around though. For starters I am realizing Houston is completely different than Sugar Land (lol). Its amazing seeing all the different parts of Houston I didn’t even know existed. I am slowing getting back into photography. I am slowly starting to write again. And I think I decided I want to go back to school for psychology. 

I guess what I’ve been realizing is, life is ongoing and forever changing. There is no “perfect” state of life.. and your life will never always be put together like you once dreamed it. We have to embrace change and all the unknown and imperfections that come with it. I was afraid to not have everything put together in Houston because I was afraid of what people would think of me, of us. I was afraid they would all think I am a failure or that I didn’t make it. But who are “they”? And who are they to judge anyway? 

I don’t regret going to Boston, in fact I cherish it. And I don’t regret coming back to Houston because I know God put it in my heart to come back here for a reason and slowly i am starting to understand. There are things here that I need to see, and uncover and understand. 

Sometimes I get tied up in what other people will make of my life and I think a lot of that is because I am always critiquing my life and am so hard on myself. I hold myself to an impossible standard that I don’t hold anyone else to. I had this idea in my head that I would write all my posts with accomplishments like, “Hayden and I just moved back from Houston and bought a house!” Or “We just moved back and I am living out my dream job!!” Or i don’t even know what. But the point is I think we all want to put our accomplishments first, and we want the world to see we have our life together. But.. we don’t. And thats more real and relatable than anything else, isn’t it? 

So no, I don’t have my life together.. maybe I thought I did, but life will always throw you curve balls. This is just my ongoing life.. filled with small steps, U-turns, detours and journeys to get to my destination. 

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New York, New York my love. This was about a day or two before we left Boston… I went to NYC with my sister, I’ll see you soon east coast.

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Boston, MA right before we left

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The road back home (pitt stop in Knoxville, Tennessee)

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rest of the road trip to Houston

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You can check out the rest of my photos at http://www.brianasoler.com

Also if you are interested in buying any of these photos or any on my website please email me at brianasolerphotography@gmail.com

I am an artist

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“Art is not a thing, it is a way.”

-Elbert Hubbard

While growing up, I was always unsure of what I wanted to do when I “get older.” I was always switching from different professions like teacher, lawyer, judge, therapist, etc. I never seemed to be able to settle on one career and was gradually feeling like there was something wrong with me. Even worse, maybe there was no career for me at all! I know that sounds absurd but I truly felt this way, I thought “God, what on earth am I supposed to do with the rest of my life!?” Not having an immediate answer frustrated me for years and brought me down spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 

This year I have been diligently trying to understand more about myself, God, and what I am meant to do. It says in James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Its amazing how transparent that scripture truly is but I always somehow thought it was impossible for me to attain. I thought I had to pray a certain way (one that I thought I could never seem to figure out) for God to bless me with His wisdom. But it turns out, all I had to do was simply ask and seek for it. As I have been pursuing what’s in my heart and what’s truly in God’s heart, He has given me wisdom so freely and effortlessly. So many questions have been answered.

As I said before, I deeply struggled with the grand concept of “what I am meant to do”. I literally have had a countless number of jobs from a very wide spectrum – some I loved, some I hated. While I am fortunate to have had so much experience in such a short amount of time that shaped me into a better, more well rounded individual, I really never felt alive working any of those jobs. I have been doing photography and writing pretty consistently now for 3 years, and I am in love with it. It gives me so much inspiration and life but yet I still had this nagging feeling that I needed something more of a “real” job. Growing up in public school, I was left with the understanding that art was something people just had or did as a hobby. Public school never encouraged the idea that you could be an artist, or that some people are born artists. Everything was geared towards focusing on a more “core” styled education. The core classes (math, english, history, and science) took ultimate triumph over everything else.…unless you were a jock. Art was seen only as an elective and could easily be cut out as it was not thought of as mandatory or even necessary to one’s education. I knew I always loved dance, and writing, and for a period I really loved theatre, but as the public school and ignorant people around me so told me, I viewed this as just a hobby and something I could never do for a career… and certainly never make a living off of it. So that left me in a box with no options to stimulate my creative mind.

I tried going to school for psychology once I graduated high school, and soon hated it. While I do think psychology is fascinating, I don’t think I was meant to become a therapist or a psychologist. I stopped going to school and sort of gave up on the traditional ‘academic’ way of living – as it had not worked for me my entire life.

I think in my heart I always knew I was an artist. Recently, it finally became clear that’s what I am meant to do. While expressing my excitement and new revelation to Hayden, he was surprised but in an odd way. He said, “you didn’t already know that?” I didn’t. As we talked further into it (as we always do) I realized why this realization was so masked and hard for me to see. Society and especially public school had such a deep effect on this subject – it manipulated me, to be frank, into believing there is only one way to live, only one sort of way to have a career that being academic and only one way to achieve that, being college.

Truth be told, if I had never met Hayden I feel like I might still be struggling. There is no doubt in my mind that God sent him to me, not only so we can be together, but so he could help me and let me see and understand that not only is there is a world outside of standard academics, but I am meant to live in it.

Hayden went to public elementary and middle school, but he always had a strong focus in drumming. He thought of himself more than just a drummer or even a musician though, he viewed himself as an artist. He auditioned for HSPVA (High School for the Performing & Visual Arts) in Houston, and naturally, got in. I’ll save his story for him to tell – but long story short, that school played a major part in his life, his art, his mind, everything. After HSPVA he auditioned for Berklee College of Music in Boston and naturally, again, got in on a full presidential scholarship.

Before Hayden, I had never met anyone like him. I had never met anyone who was so enriched in art and dripping with creativity. Hayden was bored by the “typical” idea of being a Berklee performance major and decided instead to study music business, a major that oddly enough is viewed by his peers as “stale” and “uncreative”.  He being who he is, he challenged himself to  pursue entrepreneurial endeavors as if they are art, with such creativity it blows me away. But anyways, I could go on forever about him.

What I am saying is Hayden opened me up to the idea and understanding that art is just as much of a valid path to take as an academic one. Hearing his great experiences going to an art high school and what it did for him at such a crucial age in life made me reflect and realize what a poor job public school does for all future artists. And it made me realize thats why for so long I put myself in this box that was only setting me up for failure.

Figuring all of this out clicked and made perfect sense; That I am an artist, with every aspect of my being. Not only in my photography and my writing but in the way I dress, the way I decorate, the way I think, the way I talk, the way I am. I am an artist. There is no way around that. I am so over the moon with this awareness that I have now. Because now I can really give myself and my art everything I have to offer. Whereas before I would hold back, almost saving bits of myself for this academic future that I am never going to have.

And I know, what the skeptics and the critics are thinking. Being an artist is hard, there is no doubt about that. I know it often doesn’t pay well, and that nothing is given to you. I know that the world caters easier to the academics and to the artists we are left with scraps. But I am okay with that. I don’t think I could live any other way. Because with art, for me, it goes so much deeper than money ever will. While the world on the surface caters to the academic, it is the art that makes the world go round. I have no question that this road is a challenging one, it already has been, but it has also already been a more rewarding road for me as well.

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun.”

-Pablo Picasso

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(photos taken by me with my film camera)

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me taken by hayden on iphone 6

I am proud of you

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience life in the way they have been told to”

-Alan Knightly

Looking back on the first half of this year, I realized it has been a path of recovery for my body and soul. For something that sounds tranquil and anti-climatic, it has surprisingly been exciting and invigorating. Tidal waves of positivity and peace sweep over me as I am finally able to see from a life of continual unmitigated chaos, a path is beginning to form.  So far, my life’s journey has not been one that lines up with what is considered as conventional. I know all too well about what people think I should or shouldn’t do with my life and what steps it takes to get there. Really, this has always been frustrating to hear. Apart from being discouraging, it repeatedly clouded my judgement, making my own path nearly impossible to see. Nonetheless, this route has been a rewarding one. I have always been more interested in taking the road less traveled, and I have been damn stubborn enough to stick to it.

Growing up, I was always in ballet and pointe. It kept me skinny, but I never saw dance as a way to exercise. I only thought of it as a way to express myself. Because I didn’t realize that it was the 4+ hour long dance classes keeping me in shape, I had the mentality that I would stay “naturally thin” forever. With this mentality, I thought I could eat literally anything and everything I wanted. That diet basically consisted of coca cola, tons of fast food, and an untold amount of Hot Cheetos. I thought that I could keep this diet and never need to exercise or eat “right” because I wasn’t overweight.

I continued to dance for two years after highschool until I moved to Boston. I have lived here for 3 years now. Throughout that time, I did no proper form of physical activity. Living in Boston requires a lot of walking, but while walking is good for the health, it really can’t compare to a true workout.  I have always loathed working out. I thought it was dumb, annoying and pointless. I didn’t understand why I needed to work out if I wasn’t fat. On the contrary though, while I was not overweight I was definitely not in shape either. Coming from always doing at least 1-3 hours of physical activity per day with dance to now doing nothing was a shock to my body that I was unfamiliar with. I was eating terribly, watching endless hours of Netflix, and drinking pretty regularly. My bad diet that used to never cause me any problems was beginning to catch up with me. It didn’t take long before I began to feel extremely unhealthy, mentally and physically.

I could feel my body becoming sluggish which started to really affect my mind. My thoughts became clogged with negativity, making it difficult to do anything positive and proactive for my future. Words like “failure, disappointment, scared, loser” began floating through my head. I would occasionally think that I could fix this by working out, but I would always give myself a list of excuses about why I shouldn’t join a gym: ”its too much money”, “its a waste of time”  “I can work out at home” “I don’t like the gym” “I don’t even know how to workout”, etc.

For the next couple of summers, beach trips became uncomfortable. I began feeling self conscious about my body. I felt uncomfortable with how large my breasts had become and I really didn’t like the attention it attracted. Also, where there once was a perky bubble butt there was now the opposite. I looked in the mirror and was not pleased with what I saw.

For the first time in my life, I actually looked out of shape. Somehow I was able to get by with the mental effects of not working out for so long, but when I saw them turn into physical I said enough was enough and I joined a gym. Everyone who knows me and my negative views of gyms was pretty shocked that I actually joined one, and especially with my own money. Thankfully I have the most well rounded boyfriend to ever walk the earth (you hit the jackpot when you created this one God). Along with everything else that he helps me with, he also had the knowledge, experience and skill to successfully train me. And so we began our routine.

At first I didn’t really notice any difference but slowly over the weeks I gradually began to feel more level-headed and positive. It’s now been almost three months of consistent working out and I feel amazing. I initially went into working out because I wanted to look good again, but now that I am in the routine of actually doing it, I have fallen in love with being healthy and taking care of my body. While it is a bonus that our bodies began to show all the hard work we put in, I think what is an even greater benefit from working out is the positive work it does on your mind.

For me, working out and seeing results has made fear more tangible. It has shown me fear is not all it’s cracked up to be. It has taught me that I am not a quitter. It has taught me that when I really want something I work pretty damn hard to achieve it; that I can set goals, and surpass them. I love going to gym but even on the days where I don’t want to go (I am human after all), I still go and end up loving it. I love seeing that I am stronger than I was yesterday, last week, last month, last year. I love knowing that I am doing my body a favor. And now, i’m actually conscious of what I put into my body. If you would’ve told me I would love all these things 6 months ago I would’ve laughed in your face. But there is a God, and miracles do happen.

Working out has let me see how my mind was at a standstill, or if it was moving it was moving at the speed of a snail. I have never been more clear headed in my life than I am now. I have never tried harder in my life. I have never dreamed this big and I have never accomplished as much as I have these past few months. I never even thought I could dream of the things I am working towards now. I have a clear idea for my future and am now working proactively towards it everyday.

I have never been happier or more proud of myself than I am now. It feels so good to being doing something for me that helps me.

Some may not understand the thread that connects working out with my mental strength to finally being on the right track to my future, but for me, it correlates side by side. I don’t know exactly what God’s plan is and how He decides to time everything but as it turned out for me, He planned for all of this to go hand in hand.

Over time, I have learned that there is no “one” way to do something. There is no “one” path to success in life. Sure there may be a “normal” path or a “common” one, but mine has been neither. Maybe you are not where you want to be yet, physically or mentally, or in general terms: life but even slow progress is still progress. Through this process of working out I have learned to tell myself : “I support you, I am rooting for you, and I am proud of you.” The gym has become the place where I am able to reflect on my life most and I have come to realize that I don’t have the biggest vocal cheerleaders in my life. In fact, it often feels like I have none.

Working out has shown me I can be my own damn cheerleader. It has taken me a long time to be okay with the fact that I only have a few people that support me. As long as I am one of them.

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On Being A Dog Momma

Last year around August, we got our baby pup Gordy. Pretty spur of the moment too, Hayden just turned to me one night and said “do you want to get a dog?” and of course I said yes. Although to be honest i thought he was half kidding and then two weeks later we had the cutest little itty bitty baby pup you could imagine.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a dog. My mother is not super fond on having animals and especially when we were growing up because she knew she or my dad would have to be stuck caring for it. But you know my dad had to try ha! He came home with two different puppies on two different occasions during my childhood. Both times were some of the best times.. to have a puppy, wow! Our first pup Smokey, was part german Shepard part chow part something else. He was super protective of his family (us) and ended up biting someones hand at my dads work one day, so sadly we had to give him away. We had smokey for a couple of months (from what I remember). The biggest memory I have of smokey was his size, he was huge! Me, my brother and sister would walk him across the street to our elementary school park. All i remember is Smokey literally dragging my brother all the way there!!!!! Haha he was great.

The second pup we only had for like 2 weeks. His or her? I can’t even remember anymore was named sunny.

Anyways, so i told myself growing up (after countless times trying to convince my mom to let us get a dog and keep it) that I would have a dog as SOON as i moved out!

I have lived on my own now for about 2 1/2 or 3 years (who’s counting?) So i guess it was fitting we got Gordy after all.

As a kid, and even until the moment we had Gordy in our arms, you really underestimate the amount of work it is to take after another living creature. I thought yeah sure, the expenses : food, vet, shots, toys, etc etc. But what you really don’t account for is the amount of love you will have for such a little furry animal and the amount of responsibility you feel to make sure they have the safest, healthiest, funnest environment.

To non dog owners it will be hard to understand this, “its just a dog”…  While i know it is no where near to having a real life baby, and I can’t wait until that day (far away) comes, for now this is a great alternative. Besides, being a dog momma is special all on its own.

Why do you think the movies always say when a woman wants a baby to get her a puppy ?

Since getting Gordy, my life has changed drastically. Knowing that we are his whole world really changes a lot in my life. Every time i leave my apartment I think about things that i have never in my life thought. Like, “what if he jumps out of the window?” (Goes back inside room to close the windows and just leave them cracked instead). Or how about before I leave I make sure theres nothing he can choke on while i’m gone or the wires and cables are out of the way. (He is after all only 10 months old) And i even think really crazy thoughts like, what if the apartment burns down??? (making sure to move all lamps that i think could fall and sometime light on fire???) Once, I woke up at like 5 A.M to the sound of the fire alarm in my building going off (it goes off pretty often and is never an actual fire) but since I was dead asleep and woke up to it, I jumped out of bed, scrambled to get Gordys harness/leash on and leave when I opened the door and saw the firemen in my hallway turning it off due to a ceiling leak that caused it to go off in the first place.

Ever since Gordy i no longer work 9-10hr shifts, and thankfully i switched to doing real estate full time so I am able to work at home most times and only leave for a couple hours at a time. Ever since Gordy, I can’t just leave or plan a trip on a whim. I have to either include him in my trips or find someone who will watch him.. and don’t even get me started on that! To be able to trust someone with my baby pup is so stressful.. and also because of how much energy this lil guy has and how much of a menace he is! (i’ve probably spoiled him for the worst)

But, I love him. And I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Since getting Gordy, I have felt what its like to love something so much you feel responsible for everything they do. Gordy has taught me to be (somewhat) selfless. He has taught me that naturally we are really selfish… which is fine i suppose but when you have someone or something to care for you become second. He has taught me absolute unconditional love. No matter what, I know Gordy will be there excited to see me, and give me kisses. Even if I didn’t get to walk him that day or if I left him alone longer than I would have liked.. it doesn’t matter to him as soon as I come home, and that makes all the difference. To have a living breathing creature pick up on what you are feeling is amazing. Whenever I am sad and cry, Gordy is always there to literally lick the tears away and cuddle with me. He protects me against all vicious little dogs (lol) and mean people, and stays extra close to me on days where he wants a little more attention. I have learned the pain to have to discipline a baby creature, when they stare up at you with those sad eyes of “i didnt mean it, honest” and I have learned the satisfaction of when you get your dog to learn a new trick, or in our case to get him to learn how to walk calmly by our side. I am happiest when we are walking Gordy because thats when I know he is happiest. And my favorite is talking to him because somehow I know he knows I am speaking to him with all the love in my heart. Or how comforting it is to walk around the apartment and have a little guy just follow you around wherever you go, even though when I am cooking it can be annoying cause I always end up bumping into him.

This is my first dog. My first dog that I have been able to care for and truly call mine (and haydens). To have so much love and energy come from one little furry rascal is so amazing. I know God created dogs to be exactly what they are, mans best friend.

to some this may seem irrational or bizarre. To those people I say… Get a dog.

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants”

Here are some pics of Gordy: (iphone only)

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Saved the best photo for last lol Hayden made this.. its supposed to represent his farts.

living in boston

*disclaimer: i did not reread this so there is probably a ton of mistakes/ it may not make sense.. do ur best.*

 

i have been living in Boston for about 3 years now? wow, 3 years… where does the time go? I still feel like I just got here.

living in a city 2,000 miles away from home is different to say the least.. especially when you didnt leave home to go to school but to be with your boyfriend. Haha, you should see some of the reactions I get when people asked me why I moved up here.. “oh, my boyfriend brought me up here” *panic ensues* Haha, some people have such little faith, no?

But yes, i moved up here for Hayden after only knowing each other for 6 months. Honestly, i didn’t think twice when he asked me to move up here with him.. im not sure why either. i feel like the natural response would be to freak out and think about it, but i was all aboard the instant he asked me. My dream was to always go to NYC, and i thought boston is close enough. Plus, my aunt lived there for a little bit and I always did want to visit her here. Funny how God works.. its really crazy. Anyway, so my time here has been interesting to say the least.

When I first moved here, it struck me that well my family and friends and chickfila was 2,000 miles away. I got over that after like a week or so, thanks to hayden, and then came the next challenge. How in the world do I make friends in a city with basically only students and i dont go to school……?!?!?! I felt like i was in kindergarten again, where you would tap on someones shoulders and ask if they wanted to be friends.. ah, the simple days. Unfortunately, society has it if i did that i would be a weird-o.

I got a job after 2 weeks of moving here, and met a friend. Her name is Julie A. She was a spunky breath of fresh air who loved jesus (although at the time was struggling with some things) I thought thank you God for sending me a friend.

Julie left that summer, and I was left alone again. Of course I had Hayden but, he also has his own life and friends and well I didnt want to seem like a total pathetic loser.

I was doing photography so that was fun, and meeting models and what not. But still, i was lonely in a city where everyone had friends chattering on the corners of streets. I tell ya, you never realize how alone you are in a city until you pass by a chatty group of girls. I was bummed to be honest. I wanted my friends back home, I didn’t want to feel alone anymore.

and i guess i didn’t realize what your family and friends hides you from. I had never been fully alone until I came to Boston. theres nothing really worse than feeling like you cant connect or talk to anyone in the city… except for your boyfriend.

I had/have awful roommates who are not my friends.

I met Anna, gosh i don’t even remember when. After Julie A. I was working on a photo shoot with her. She’s from paris, and instantly we clicked. Ah! How great it was to have a friend you can just call up, “hey wanna get lunch” or “hey wanna come over?” and just shoot the shit with. I didn’t have that  up here. So we became good friends, but she also went back to Paris .. and so I was left alone again.

I met Natalie last year while working in retail.. she is from Australia and was here on a little school  break. We clicked and had so much, she reminded me to just be simple and carefree.. to drink with friends and experience silly little things together like the freedom trial walk. She moved back to Australia though and here i am again.

I have a few other friends here, and by few I mean like 3. Or 2. LOL and they are fun to hangout with but, they have their set of friends here and again I am left alone. but i guess what i miss most is having people to rely on, having friends you know wont always bail on you.

At first, it really bothered me. I started to do things alone. Like walk, go on the T, explore, go shopping, go grocery shopping, get food, work, yadda yadda yadda. For me, being alone made me really uncomfortable for some reason. I guess because I was used to always having or knowing someone. In my town, I basically know everyone.. or everyones known of everyone and you really take that for granted while you have it. I know I did. i hated knowing everyone. But its not so bad, to know and see people that you’ve grown up with your [almost] entire life. (starting in 6th grade for me)

I don’t know, I think it’s just Boston because its such a small city and its literally just FILLED with schools and students and well i am neither a student nor do I go to school here so I feel a bit of an outcast, plus new englanders are just so… bleh. Flat and judgmental with only one style… and if you don’t fit that box you feel like an outcast.. or at least I did.

When I went to New York, and every time I go there still, i feel at home in the big apple. Weird huh?

I am coming up on my 23 birthday, and to be honest, i feel like a woman. I feel like an actual adult mature woman. Ha, i know that may sound silly but its kind of exciting. I pay for my own bills now, and my own rent (with help from Hayden bless him) i pay for my groceries, and clothes, and whatever else I want. I cook… delicious meals in fact, WHO KNEW!!! i always had a fear of cooking, and i cook really well!! I do my own laundry, get my own mail, deal with adult issues. I have a 9 month old baby pup who i take care of. I have an extremely adult well paying job.. and I know what i want to do with the rest of my life… sure i may not have all the details together in my life that i’m still sorting through.. but who doesn’t!! I am starting to finally become comfortable in my own skin.. little by little, day by day. I am becoming comfortable with my body, face, hair, everything. I am no longer concerned with what people think, if they stare, if they judge etc etc. It’s kind of an awesome feeling. I know i have many years ahead and I may still seem “young” to some, and maybe I am but who cares? I feel like a woman. And I think that is something that should be celebrated.

I am still alone, with my little family, but i know whats important now. i am no longer uncomfortable being alone. I know i will always have my friends and family back home and i know God will bring beautiful friends into my life at certain points in my life when i need them most. i know this is all a process and a path and that we all have our own.. and sometimes i just like to think of it all and think how beautiful it is. the imperfections and the struggles of my life are sometimes my favorite because i see what strength and beauty comes out of them.. i love growing older every day, i know for some people it scares them but for me it is so beautiful to see where i have come and how far i have come, growing is beautiful you get to see yourself and others develop and mold into the person they are going / continue to grow to be. we should cherish all ages and gladly bring the next.

here is a photo shoot i did of myself from today where i got this revelation.. i think thats why i love self portraits so much because it is a timeline of myself in different places of my life where i can physically see my growth.

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“i have no way of portraying the lives of others. I portray my own.”