All posts filed under: Growth

End of the Rainbow

Something wonderful happens when it rains here! I saw this ‘end of the rainbow’ a few weeks ago and thought it was a great image for this evening. I logged on a while ago and saw that I have 25 minutes to go until my sober anniversary. Woo! School is keeping me SUPER busy, and I rarely come up for air… but I’ve been thinking about everyone! Anyway, I added a lot of drama to this photo, just because. It was quite a dramatic feeling to walk out and see it in person. I never really knew if you could see the end of a rainbow until I actually saw it. And now I’ve hit my 3 year sobriety mark and life is fabulous. What’s funny is that I shared it on Facebook the day that I shot the image, and someone seemed adamant that it wasn’t real. I guess my Photoshop adventures have placed my photo shares in the “this image could be fake” category. BUT… it is real. That’s about all for now. …

Gratitude Hour

Time can be a little deceptive. It’s been two months since the fall semester ended, and—to be honest—it feels like it’s been a year. I’m grateful for the “down time,” don’t get me wrong, but that old familiar feeling… that it’s time to get moving… has taken hold, and Tuesday can’t come soon enough. It’s kind of like long, out of town vacations. They’re awesome! They’re fun, relaxing, and refreshing, but eventually you reach that point where you just want to go home. So… Daily Addiction’s word today is Inspire, and I’ve been thinking about that word quite a bit (burning the midnight oil again). In my pondering, I realized that one of the reasons my life, and this blog, have morphed and grown so much over the past couple of years is because so many of you have inspired me. Undoubtedly, I’ll be online much less once my classes start… so it seems like the perfect time to express my gratitude for that inspiration. To all the photographers out there, thank you for sharing. …

Go With the Flow

Late last night, as I pondered what to write about in my next post, the question “what are you trying to accomplish here?” came to mind. I thought about how my blog started—how I wanted to share the story of my recovery, and offer words of “hope” to other people who were still suffering—and then I thought about how the subject matter has twisted, turned, and evolved over time.   I wondered if certain words that I’ve written were (or were not) necessary; whether or not they conveyed anything “positive or uplifting” to the person they might reach, or if they were just “filler.” The bottom line is that I want to write words that matter, and I critique my words harshly… reprimanding myself at times for being hasty; not thinking things through carefully, or failing to do my very best. I think it boils down to two things: impatience and perfectionism. I always feel rushed—like there’s some ‘imaginary’ deadline I have to meet—so I zig zag around to get things done at warp speed …

Magical Makeovers

—A Page in My Journal My best friend went to cosmetology school when she was eighteen, and I was the brave subject of her very first “perm.” It looked pretty BAD, but eventually my hair grew out. Over the years that followed (or decades I should say), she became the extremely talented hairdresser that she is today. For many of those years, although she did exactly what I had asked her to do, I’d come away from her shop feeling slightly disappointed. Sometimes I wondered if it was just MY hair that never seemed to come out “just like” the pictures that I would bring her. I don’t know why it took her so many years to say it; but finally one day when we were discussing my dissatisfaction, she said that sometimes people come in believing that their new color or cut will make them look just like “the woman” in the photographs that they bring in, but that just isn’t the case. And it certainly isn’t a reality. All I can say is …

Introspection

Fear, like a giant boulder…Stays weighted at my feet.—Afraid I’ll miss the curtain call, I stay paralyzed…Gazing at the stage to find my cue. Impatience, like a cold wind…Sends me sailing into a flurry.—I shatter into pieces, chasing a million things…Until all that’s left are tiny shards. Reason, like a brilliant scientist…Wants to put me back together.—Like a puzzle to be solved, I inspect the fragments…But many of the pieces have been lost. Acceptance, like a soft embrace…Whispers I am enough.—The mystery becomes magical, and I feel love. But, Gratitude… Sweet, sweet Gratitude—Like a burning flame…She warms my soul. … Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Gratitude Today’s Accomplishment: Write a poem without a rhyme Dr. Seuss likes to whistle tunes to me when I even ‘think’ about poetry, so this was extremely hard for me. Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. —African Proverb

Playing the Game

Well, I never made it outside yesterday (Boooo). Honestly… it is freaking COLD here! Not as cold as so many places, but in California these recent “extremes” are quite shocking to some of us natives. Anyway, even though I made a silent vow to stay away from my archived photographs, this morning I remembered some images I took at the park some time ago, and this one seemed perfect for today’s thoughts. Par for the course, I played around in Photoshop to make it appear a little “dreamy.” I couldn’t help but wonder if this young boy was dreaming a little himself at that moment; feeling hopeful about his future in baseball. I don’t know if I mentioned it before… but this past summer I played coed slow-pitch softball. I’ve now joined a winter league, and this weekend is our first practice game. A friend of mine—who has never played before—has also signed up, and this past Sunday the two of us went to the batting cages. After showing her how to hold the bat, …

A Better Me

It’s always exciting to see a new year approaching, and the word goal really got me thinking today. Not about my goals for the year ahead, but about the goals I’ve already set—over the last couple of years—and how they have helped change, or shape me, in ways I never expected. In all honesty, sometimes I have NO idea where this journey is taking me. When I made the decision to go to college, I was SURE that Graphic Design was the path that was meant for me. When I decided to alter my course, and major in Psychology, it felt “perfectly natural.” And now—while I’m figuring out how to work English into the equation—I can’t help but wonder: “Will I ever get this right?”

Dream Chasers

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell In visiting some images from my past, I stumbled on this photograph I took of some of my friends taking surf lessons. I thought it was a good representation of my thoughts lately; about hard work and determination. One of our math assignments last week was to read an article by Carol S. Dweck—the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University—about fixed mindsets vs. growth mindsets. What’s interesting is that in doing so, I learned a little something about myself. A person with a fixed mindset believes that intelligence levels, talents, and abilities are fixed, that we inherently have what we have (basically what we are fortunate enough to be born with), and that’s it. A person with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that intelligence levels, talents, and abilities can be cultivated through effort and education; they are potentials that can be realized through learning and practice. I’ve always had a tendency to …

Bringing Out the Bold

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. Carl Jung It’s been a battle between intellect & creativity for me this week. Right brain vs. left. I needed to do something playful because I wasn’t having much fun with what I’ve been doing—still tweaking the blog. O.C.D. much?!? I know they don’t get seen much, but my intellect’s been telling me to delete the posts that are too irrelevant, remove old images that seem weird or boring, fix those accidental double line spaces, and edit some things I said in the past that now sound silly (Hey, this isn’t twitter! I can do a re-do, right?!) So, speaking of silly; I mentioned that looking back on my story was a great gratitude exercise for me, but there’s something else that I noticed that’s been really eye opening for me. In every other post—be it a story or an image—I was constantly explaining myself and …

There’s no “I” in Team

But there’s a “Me” in Mentor. First of all, I wanted to share at least one of my school projects here. I’ve butchered it now, but before I made the edits it was the backside of an album cover I created. I haven’t been too thrilled with many of my projects thus far, but the good news is that taking the classes helped me figure out that I needed to go in a completely different direction. And I’m so happy I did—so it’s all good! Secondly, I thought I would elaborate on my idea—my vision—about a program for people who are in recovery. My initial thoughts about it started when I was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my (sober) life. My passion for photography and art —or anything that entails creativity really—was where it all started. I imagined an art gallery of sorts, with walls covered in various pieces done by people who are new to recovery, who are trying to get their lives back in order, and are in …