Two years ago, I moved from Alaska back to Texas. My sister and I took a complete road trip from Seattle to Dallas. It is one of the highlighted moments of my life. Something I'll never forget. I swore I would write a huge blog post describing the trip. I tried and failed. I just didn't want to. I feel like the pictures do the job for me. On this trip, I confirmed to myself that I am a mountain girl. I just adore the mountains. North Texas, I love you but my heart belongs in the mountains :)
Mt. Shasta in California
My sister finding one of many condoms we would find on our drive home.
San Francisco, California
The Golden Gate bridge was one of the most beautiful, majestic structures I have ever seen. I will never, ever forget the moment we drove underneath that bridge. The feeling that overcame me was indescribable. Was the exact same feeling I had when seeing mountains & the Northern Lights for the first time. The previous day, we were driving through Sacramento & my sister and I decided to make a detour out of the way to see the city we had always wanted to see. Was THE BEST decision we made on that entire trip.
China Town in Los Angeles
Eating real Ramen at Orochon Ramen in Little Tokyo, LA
Somewhere in Arizona. One of my favorite photos from the trip. After we hit Arizona, we visited my sisters in-laws. From there, I really stopped taking pictures with my camera & more with my phone. It was nothing but desert anyway until we got to Wichita Falls, Tx.
Overall: B E S T T R I P E V E R
When I become overwhelmed, I feel like it's an outer body experience. So much energy & emotion shoots through my body that it becomes uncontrollable. Years ago, I would just sit on my bed and cry. Cry and cry until it all came out. These days, I'm very in touch with my emotions. I know how to control them. I know what to do when I feel out of control. I breathe.
A lot of times I go into my closet, turn off the light and lay there. I concentrate on my breathing the entire time. If I'm cold, I'll cover up but I will stay in that closet, in the dark. It lasts about 20-30 minutes but it helps so much. I honestly think I need to do it at least once a week, in the early morning if possible. Or even every morning to start off my day. I wonder if what I do is meditation? I've never even thought about that until now.
One time, I did something different. I got overwhelmed but for reasons a woman just can't control ;) So I drove. I listened to the radio & I drove. I stumbled across a graveyard. I hadn't been to a graveyard in almost 10 years. I entered the area and felt a sudden sense of calm. I spent the next 30 minutes walking around and thinking about all the people down below and what kind of lives they must have led. What they might tell a person like me who was trying to find peace among the dead.
"Be grateful for the life you have now. It's the only one you'll ever get. Be happy."
That was the voice that overcame me. It wasn't anyone elses voice speaking to me. It was my own. As I looked at my feet, I imagined the many souls that lay around me. There must be hundreds. Hundreds of cold, whittled bodies lay under me that once lived promising and bountiful lives or maybe even dreadful lives. Whatever the case, it sent me into a calm, comforting place within myself.
It was something I needed.
The past few months, my job situation has not been great. I work in retail & it's hard enough to find childcare as it is. I've felt so much pressure to give more of myself & my time then ever before. I've given all that I possibly can & it's caused an unbalanced shift in my life. All my time for mere dollars? It seems so cruel to work such crazy hours & make for two weeks what some people make in a few days. But I did what I had to do in order to pay keep a roof over our head, food in our bellies and the bills paid. At least I had a job, I would tell myself. Then the hours at the store started to get cut. And here I am, off more than I usually am & angry. I am angry I allowed myself to settle for this when I know I am so valuable. I made a resume & have been consistently applying for jobs. In a few months, my child will be going to school & I'll be damned if I don't try my hardest to get a job that will allow me to see him when he gets out. Where I don't have to send him off on weekends to family because I can't afford a babysitter that weekend. Where I don't have to work nights most days of the week. I've had a few interviews and are looking forward to more until someone can see the capabilities in me & decide to take the chance. I already enrolled in school & I'm hoping to take some classes when my son is away on vacation this summer. Not hoping, I AM going to take classes. I have no choice but to better myself to help get myself and my family out of this life that we don't really want.
I will always be grateful for my job but I cannot afford to work there anymore. As a libra, if my balance is shifted and I don't have any family time, I am completely thrown off. I am a sign of balance and that couldn't be more true.
When you throw me out of whack, I'll get all Mommy Dearest on you. We don't want that now, do we? Because personally, I like nice, loving Jennifer. I don't want to hiss at everyone I come into contact with because I think they are out to hurt me. It's too much energy & emotion to give out & quite frankly, I'd rather give my time & energy to my family & myself. Be mad? Ain't nobody got time fo dat!
The other day my best friend, who just got married, asked me to take a few pictures of her and her husband because they were going to use them on their invitations. They eloped & are having a wedding in the near future. I really don't like taking pictures of people in groups because I'm not that good but I obviously told her yes. When we finally decided to do them, the sun had already started to set and it was pretty dark. Not to mention, it was really gloomy & there were clouds everywhere. Nonetheless, I told her I would do what I could with what I had because I know she was eager to have them now. We actually got about 6 good pictures out of those 10 minutes and 1 would have been good enough for us. These pictures look a bit more gritty online than the actual files do on my computer & I was working with a Rebel Xsi & very little sunlight. I even tried to warm the pictures up, like below:
but it just didn't feel right. I plan to take more of them again. I have a few more good shots but I'd rather not post them because it's of her family as a whole & I'm not comfortable showing those online at the moment. Anyway, I'm so happy for my best friend, the newlywed. Her husband is a good man and I know that she's really happy. Cannot wait to be in her wedding in months to come.