New Beginnings

Yep. That’s fifth-grade me.

Sometimes the first thing you do is make a list.

I’m a list maker by nature. My college roommate kind of got me hooked on it. Having a visual of what needed to be done and the utter satisfaction that ensued when your pen hatched a line through the task once complete — that’s a beautiful thing. Sometimes it really is the simple things in life that are worthwhile.

Whenever we embark on a new project/goal/dream, it all has to start somewhere. For me this website, this blog, certainly isn’t the first step. It wasn’t even when I got my first camera, a simple point-and-shoot that felt fancy in my hand, but it was as basic as they come. The joy I felt in capturing an image I loved, the thrill of seeing others like, share, use the images I took. It shocked me that what I did with my camera could be art, could be of value to someone else. But no. It started in the fifth grade when my teacher, Mrs. Nagel saw me writing in an old notebook. I liked to write, I liked art, I liked being creative, but in fifth grade, I wasn’t prepared to share that with anyone. There I was scratching at a poem (it rhymed, no doubt). Mrs. Nagel asked if she could read it. A simple question that frightened me to death. You know that kind of fear I’m talking about? When someone asks something personal and you somehow immediately start sweating and your heart pounds through your whole body you’re sure everyone can hear it. Yeah. That.

I shared it with her, though. It’s true, some of the best things you do will scare you. I shared it. About a week letter I found a gift in my desk. A hard cover journal and a Crunch candy bar. Mrs. Nagel was known for rewarding with candy, but this wasn’t the travel-sized candy she typically handed out in class. No, this was a king-sized bar. And inside the journal was a note that read, “Never give up on writing!” And that was my beginning. I needed a positive affirmation that, yes, you can do something artistic and others will approve, maybe even like it. Now, my poems weren’t great. But maybe they were good for a fifth-grader. I don’t know. But it took an encourager to make me feel good about doing something my friends around me weren’t doing.

I look at some of the pictures I first took and thought, phew, those really aren’t so great. But if I had that mentality when I first started, I never would’ve gone on to the next step or practiced any further. It would’ve been a never was, not a beginning at all but a stop. The same could be said about my fifth-grade teacher. If she read it and never commented on it or took the time to make me feel special, who knows if I ever would’ve tried anymore. I went on to major in journalism and work for a newspaper for three years before becoming a stay-at-home mom. I write, I paint, I draw, I photography, and it all began and transpired into something bigger.

I’ve wanted a place to store and share some of my work for a while. So from that beginning years ago, to today a lot has happened. I’ve married, had two kids, graduated university, moved to three different states, changed jobs, lost jobs, failed, succeeded. You know, regular life things transpired. All the while, I had my camera with me. It’s captured my life.

I hope you enjoy perusing my work. Maybe I will be working with you in the future, maybe not. But I hope an image makes you smile or feel something worthwhile. And if you follow my blog, it’s not a photography blog. I plan on writing about everything under the sun.