Hi! Remember me?
Didn’t think so….
I could go into justifying why I haven’t blogged like I do every other time I do my annual blog post, but you know what? You should know by now that this is how I roll…
I thought I’d split this big long update into three parts. This one, being the first will sort of outline my thoughts on Photography, this past Summer and my journey so far in photography. The next post I’ll write about my time in England, then the third and last Scotland.
So, off we go.
I’ve been one to say for as long as I can remember that I would travel the world, I was just that kind of person that had that kind of wanderlust inside of them. But I’ve never been the type of person to be able to pull the trigger. Like half of me says “see the world, who cares, go!” and the other half says, “No! wait, what about your job, how can you afford this, are you going by yourself?! What about this? Or what about that?!”
Can anyone relate to this? Literally being torn in half by a wanderlust sense of adventure and the other half an indecisive overthinker?
This summer I let my wanderlust side finally come out. In a month I booked and planned a two-week adventure in England and Scotland with a good friend of mine. And I feel like I’ve come back with a new sense of wonder and that I want to see the world, and let my wanderlust side out a little more, because she was kinda fun.
This year has been a bit of a whirlwind in that I thought that I had it figured out. That God had given me a tangible piece of information, and that I knew his plan. But it seems like I only tried to figure out one tiny piece of God’s puzzle that in the grand scheme of things isn’t really part of the big picture.
There way a guy.
A few years ago when I met him, I heard distinctly “there he is, your husband.” seeing as he was dating someone at the time, and I wasn’t even friends with him, I kind of ignored the call. But a year and a bit later, it seemed God had intended for him to be in my life. We became fast friends. He was the type of person that didn’t let anyone tell him how to act or how to be. He had a story of his own and he had his battles. He wasn’t perfect, he still isn’t but he never let anyone make him think he wasn’t worthy of God’s grace or love. I really admired and respected that about him.
We tended to be the type that would let each other be our true selves around each other. We always joked around and flirted, but the tricky thing with having friendships with males in the church is maintaining certain boundaries with each other, it’s hard when tensions arise that make us start to over think our relationships with the opposite sex.
I started to wonder after a few flirtatious situations that maybe the distinct voice I heard a year prior had some merit to it. I approached the situation with honesty and asked him. He in a sense shot me down, saying that we were just friends.
Fast forward to three months later, after countless conversations, and indiscretions. I’m back to thinking the distinct voice has no merit. or at least I’m trying to.
Why am I bringing this up when I should be talking about my trip? Well, getting away from him was the push I needed in booking my flights in the first place. And I had a big conversation with God in that if I didn’t meet anyone on my travels then His voice DID have some merit after all. I was at a cross roads where I had the urge that I really needed to do something different this year. That something big needed to happen, and that I had worked hard and needed to get away from it all.
The trip itself was exactly what I needed. I went to New York the previous March, and that was the last time in the last decade I had seen at least somewhat of a different culture (Ok , I know New York isn’t that different than Vancouver, but you catch my drift right?). My whole life I grew up with some sort of British pride seeing as I am a British citizen by descent and being proud that my mother had been born in Scotland. I had always wanted to go and see the town and country she called home for part of her life. The country I claim where I get half of my fiestiness from. I had always said that I would travel Europe, but for some reason it never worked out in my favour. But on June 21 I finally booked my plane ticket to London.
The next day Britexit happened.
To be honest, it really didn’t affect us, except for the pound dropping a few points which actually worked out in our favour.
On July 19 we boarded the plane and headed off to London. Our trip consisted of 3 days in London, and from there until the 25 we kind of winged it. I had never done any sort of flex traveling before, but was excited to try it out. I felt like this was the only beginning of trips like this. And most of all, I was so excited to get out and Photograph a city I had never been to. I packed my camera hoping some sort of creativity would come out and I was so happy it did.
I will admit, I can’t remember the last time I photographed. My camera sat in my closet and I couldn’t even find half my gear when it came to packing for the trip. I had nothing to give, but when I got out of the train station and stepped foot in the Kennsington area of town, I knew I had it in me still.
Do I still photograph with the same insecurities? Absolutly. I was traveling with one of them…
It was hard to push through over thinking it all. And in the end, as I go through them all that I have talent, that the photos I took put a huge smile on my face. I can’t be thinking about what other people think. Because most of the time they are acting on their own insecurities, trying to make themselves feel better.
If we’re being really honest here, I was traveling with someone as equally as self conscious as I am, but acts out more through their insecurities. A lot of the time I come away from this person feeling like I’m never worthy enough. But after years being in this persons life, and frankly growing up, I’ve learned it’s not that I’m unworthy, because I am, in every way, just as thee are. But there are some people who just feed thier own insecurities by tearing other people down so they can feel as though they are better. It’s something everyone is guilty of. I am even guilty of it in some aspects.
Moving on though…
I felt energized again, because I was traveling and photographing, which if you had to ask me what kind of photography do I love to do, it would be travel. To photograph a city in its urban landscape is exciting to me. I love capturing the sights and people of a city. That’s why I love Vancouver so much, is not only the sights and scenery, but the people you can photograph at any time. But like I said, I’ve never really had the opportunity to travel abroad much.
So now being home for 2 months now and back into the full swing of life and routine (especially with it being fall) I have made it a priority to take more pictures, even with just my phone (which I’m starting to wonder if it’s a better camera than my Nikon…) but to keep myself in that mind set of looking at things as if I was looking through a camera, to post more photos, to look into selling prints, making contacts. Things like that.
I want to believe that I have a talent in Photography, that God has instilled this talent and creativity in me for a reason, and I want to live it out. Being away and pushing myself not only by traveling and working out last minute details, decision making on the fly, and all other situations that arise when you travel, but also creatively. To photograph building that are thousands of years old, to people who live in a different culture than my own, and to see and capture current events being lived out right infront of me.
I want to be a part of that.
There comes a time when what you’ve been waiting for finally comes around, and while it’s exciting and encouraging that thing you’ve been wishing for finally is in your life, calling for you, all you can think about it running as far away from it as possible.
I’m now three months into a new job. A new job at the church I started attending last year out here in Vancouver. Every time I think about how I ended up in this position I have to give my head a shake, one because it’s just so funny how God works, and two at how silly I was when the opportunity came around.
For months while working out in my home town and living in Vancouver, I had hoped and prayed God would lead me into a new job, something different, something closer to Vancouver. Anything so I could finally move on, because having my feet in two different ponds was becoming too much to bare. And prayer is powerful, my friends and community group had been earnestly praying that something would come up. and it did.
A position at the church I new was calling home….wait what?
Yeah, that’s what I said.
A maternity position opened for an admistrator at the church. And I passed it up. For many reasons, now many foolish reasons. And as I explain it all it’s just a testimant of how sovergn God actually is when you try to argue with His will. And just how much He loves His foolish children.
I started out saying no immediatly. The very first reason was that it was a maturnity leave. I was fearful to apply for a job that could only guarantee me a year, i kept over thinking it all. The practical side of my was right, at my age, I should be striving for those five year plans, and I couldn’t afford to start a job, only to leave it in a year, especially the way the job market was.
The second was my apprehenstion for working in ministry. I loved my time at my old job, i loved the people, I loved working for a church. But the type of position I had made me wonder if I had the gifting to work in ministry at all. I still wonder that actually, but as I am learning from other minsitry leaders (REAL ministry leaders) they are too.
So I passed it up and kept convicning myself along with everyone around my why I wasn’t going to apply. Then the posting dissapeared. And that was that.
But it wasn’t. A few weeks later it popped up again and more and more people came out of the woodwork asking me why I wasn’t apply for the job. And Again, I was telling them the same story. But as I prayed more about it, I felt a nudging from God, I continued to fight it. More people came to me, they came to the girl who was going on leave. My name was being thrown around the office and I continued to fight.
But the more I fight the more God kept throwing my excuses back at me. Easing my fears about the 1 year gaurentee, about being in ministry. About my ability to do the job. It got to a point where I couldn’t ignore it. I applied. a few hours later I got a response asking if I could come in for an interview. It was that quick. And when I came in for the interview, one of the pastors first words were, “We’ve heard a lot about you! We were wondering if you were going to apply”
After two weeks I was hired, my apprehentions settled, and I am a little more affirmed that I am where I am supposed to be.
It hasn’t been an easy three months, entering in a new job with a bit of a learning curve, mixed in with a busy season. But I am loving it. I’m part of a ministry where I am valued, and that I am challanged. And even more affirmed that this church in Vancouver is where I am called to be right now.
It’s weird to think how this change all started, how difficult it was in the beginning as i made the transition. I’ve lost some pretty important people, I’ve moved to a different city, I’ve lost touch with a few friends, and I don’t get to see my family as much as I used to. But it’s part of His Sovergn plan. It’s pretty comforting.
I guess an update is long overdue, but I never made any promises about being an up-to-date blogger.
There are still a lot of emotions over the last few months, but I’ve started to attribute it all to the work I feel God is doing. It’s all part of this change I’ve asked for. And If I haven’t mentioned anything about praying for change, well let me tell you, this girl, who is afraid of any type of change imaginable prayed for change.
My heart was ready for it, and my heart needed it. And I was terrified, but I knew it had to happen. After that prayer was said, the ball began rolling. And so started the last 9 months, which included the deaths of three of my friends, me finding new community, and just recently a new home.
I wont rehash what happened with Taylor, Travis, and Todd; Hmm just realizing now that they’re all T’s… I digress
I’ve always had a deep love for the city while living in the burbs. At the drop of a hat I would be downtown wondering my own city with my camera in hand, or at a restaurant with a few friends grabbing a bite to eat. It didn’t matter what the reason, any reason i could think of to go down, I was down there. With that came finding a church in the city, and while I still call SDBC my home I felt the need for community as mine at my home church had moves starting new families or a new start somewhere else. I became starved for friends that were my age and still single. I still love my friends that are married and have little ones, but that experiential overlap begins to fade when you’re trying to have a conversation about bad dates with your friend who is a new mom and they are wiping up baby throw up….
It felt good to find people I could relate to again. But it’s been a little challenging trying to juggle my growing spheres of friendships, but it’s been good none the less. For someone who has trouble meeting new people, I’m doing just fine.
The other big change has been my new address. It was only a matter of time before I would find myself living in the city, and I’m loving it. While I’m a little bit of an odd location (which I wont disclose :)) I am adjusting just fine. For an only child that has loved at home until the age of 27 (try not to laugh too hard now…) With moving away from home comes a sense of freedom because while I thought I was always the independent type, I realize now just how independent I really am living on my own (well I do have a roommate..).
While all this change would have probably never occurred if I didn’t pray for it, as well as ask for God to mold my heart towards change. I’m happy with things. Sure there are the stresses every adult goes through, like how am I going to pay my bills, gas is ridiculously expensive when you have to commute back to the burbs for work, and how much for milk and eggs??
And with all of this is the hope that I will find that creative spark, that my heart will find enough courage to go out and shoot, to find things to photograph, and that I will be able to share them with the world. I know if I complained to Todd about my recent creative downfall, he would simply say grow a pair and get out there. Then let out a deep chuckle at the thought of me growing a pair then try and think of a better analogy to use..Those were Todd’s pep talks. As silly as they were, they always seemed to do the trick.
Next great photo is for you buddy.
The last few months have been a real tough time. God is at work somehow, and the beauty of it all is that we will never fully understand just what it is.
Since the end of February three people I knew have died. So when I say tough time, it’s a bit of an understatement…
On February 28 we found out our lead Pastor’s 21 year old son was killed while house sitting in Langley. While details on the case are still being worked out, I watched a family I love very much and respect, mourn the loss of their son while coming to grips on the situation. It’s horrible to think that a kid as young as Taylor was had to go through such a thing, and to leave this life so soon. I watch a man I look up to and follow, not only as an employer but as a leader in my church, mourn as well as mold into a different person because of it all. God is using him for something, and He used the death of Paul’s son as a catalyst to get the ball rolling. It’s hard to understand why God would go to such great lengths, but like I said, we will never fully grasp the greater plan in it all.
About a month and a half later, an old friend of mine lost his battle to Cancer. He was someone I met while I was a new Christian and was a good friend to me over the years. Travis wasn’t someone I saw a lot, only about once a year, but to hear his story, and hear his life, he was a man who loved God. He was blessed with a beautiful family a little later in life, and again, I find myself wondering why he too was taken so soon. Leaving his wife and young daughters.
And again, last weekend, I found out one of my best friends from high school was killed in a motorcycle accident. This one hit me pretty hard, really hard actually. Todd was something special. He had a way with people, and as we all gathered over the weekend to remember and pay tribute to him, we all really got to witness just how special he really was. So many people from all over came and shared how Todd had impacted their lives. It’s hard to think about these guys and try to understand why they all had to go at such young ages.
Over the last week, I feel that I’ve been rather selfish with dealing with Todd’s death. Keeping myself busy so I wouldn’t have to go through the motions. When really I didn’t want to stop and think about it because all I can really feel is anger. Why did HE have to be the one that died. But that is one of the stages of grief, I guess. Part of it all was the anticipation of his memorials, the two events have now come and gone, and there’s a certain finality to it all that’s disheartening. But it’s part of life, or so that’s what people are telling me. And it is, I’ll agree with them sooner or later, right now I just want to sit and try to dispel that theory, because right now I don’t think that’s part of life. I can’t, someone being murdered and killed in a motor accident, can’t be part of life. Not when they’re that young. Old age and sickness I can deal with, but not accidents like Todd and Taylor’s.
The slight comfort in it all is the fact that these three men loved Jesus. They were solidified in His grace and there is no doubt in my mind as to where they are now. That’s the beauty in God’s sacrifice, because of Jesus’ blood that was shed on the cross, the worst thing that could happen to us is that we die, and after we are entered into something so perfect and pure we will never be able to comprehend on earth.
The past week I’ve been trying to focus on getting back into my routine but it seems as though I’ve been suffering from a little post vacation depression. When all was said and done, and we had our bags and headed out of the baggage claim area and out into the terminal I saw two cruise ship reps waiting for passengers to take them to the Vancouver terminal. I actually stopped and asked them, “Can you take a stowaway? I’ll work for room and board” and in all honesty, I was being serious. I didn’t want to go back home!
I had to force myself to photograph, which was hard. Trying to figure out where and why I started to lose that creative edge has been a little disconcerting but it was good to at least get out there and photograph something different. The majority of my photos are from San Francisco though, because well, there was more to photograph there. The third day landed us in Santa Barbara where we met a friend of my parents who showed us around the city. That day was even harder to photograph for two reasons, one it was a rainy day, and two I had the worst sunburn I’d ever had. After laying on the deck the day before for only an hour while we set sail from San Francisco I had burnt my face and chest. It was a nice shade of purple is was so bad. So I spent most of it cringing in pain after every facial expression but still tried to take in the sights of the city. The week flew by, with Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada all the following three days. Catalina Island was such a beautiful little port town, the majority of its inhabitants drive around in golf carts because the town is so small. So mom and I rented one and bombed around for an hour, we went up to the Avalon Casino to take some photos and then looked at the little vacation houses. Oh, to be rich and have one of those. San Diego and Ensenada were slower days, we didn’t get around much in San Diego and we didn’t even get off the boat in Ensenada.
But after a week of work and getting over the fatigue I think I’m starting to snap out of it. Only because the realization that summer is approaching and I can’t wait. I’m hoping for a few more summer adventures than last year where I can force myself to get photographing again, maybe take another class or two. Heres hoping.
Just a few photos in no particular order. Enjoy.
After almost 4 years of University and working full-time I finally took a vacation. A real vacation that didn’t consist of work projects and noisy kids, or still kind of working by answering emails on my phone. Nope, I took a real vacation, where I turned off my phone and set sail along the California coast and escaped completely. It couldn’t have come at a better time, Easter stuff was over, VBS and Saltspring isn’t until the summer, and we got a great deal.
So last week, mom and I headed down to LA to catch the boat and headed down the California coast on a 7 day cruise that stopped at San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada. I had been on a cruise before, when I was 8 or 9 years old, but I was excited to experience it as an adult where I could appreciate it more. I was also able to visit 3 of the 5 cities for the first time and snap a few photos. So while I work away at a noisy Starbucks with the Postal Service on repeat, I’m trying to get through a few hundred photos to throw up while still smiling at the fun week we had, that saw the craziest bus driver showing us the sights of San Fran, a sun burn so bad I resembled a lobster for a few days, a reunion with a dear friend of mom’s in Santa Barbra, bombing around Catalina Island in a golf cart, an over competitive treasure hunt with fun English lads and ended up losing but still ended up with more champaign than the winning team.
It’s one of those holidays where the weather is so miserable you try to get as much accomplished in the shortest amount of time. Then you can have the rest of the day buried in a bed of blankets to stay warm. That’s me right now with an added cold. I bought this book while doing my errands because the synopsis spoke to me. Ill be under a bunch of blankets with something warm to drink reading this if anyone needs me.