moving forward; looking back

It seems almost cliche to write a “year in review” post, especially since my writing has been so sparse, but that’s not going to stop me! I’m ready to say goodbye to what’s quite possibly the most densely packed year I’ve ever experienced, for better or worse.

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For me, at least, 2012 was a year of change. The End of an Era. (many eras!) It was a year of loss. The close of a chapter. I graduated from college (the end of the “formal education” era) with my BA in Communications and Political Science. I also lost several people very close to me, or the ones I love, as well as my two dear pets, throughout the year.

But the year also presented me with many opportunities. I found a job that really excites me and constantly keeps me on my toes. I’ve reignited old friendships and discovered new ones. I’ve started drinking brewed coffee and beer! I’ve traveled (a cruise to Cozumel and a trip to Boston/Mt. Washington for a wedding)! I got a new iPhone AND an iPad!

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The best part? I’ve learned a lot from 2012.

For many reasons, 2013 is the start of something new. It’s the Chinese Year of the Snake (hell yeah!). It’s my first year on my own-ish (it still counts, despite having moved back home). Last year was a year en flux; I never really seemed to catch my footing. It was hard to find my rhythm, hard to know who I was or what any of it meant. But I’m taking owning this opportunity for new. And a very large part of that is how I engage with photography.

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I’ll say it: I took myself too seriously. I took my photography too seriously. (I took a lot too seriously.) And much of my 2012 was spent grappling with the conundrum of many a photographer: where does “capturing the world” end, and “experiencing the world” begin. I’m still working to figure that out, but this time, I’m not going to deny myself of my camera (yeah, I actually did that) unless I have a “shooting assignment.” But all of that is about to change.

Good morning, 2013!


neglecting passion

The last few months have been… hectic, to say the least. Or, maybe, ‘frustrating artistically’ is a better turn of phrase.

Those last few weeks of spring semester, I worked diligently on my Sherman. Still Life. series, yet I wasn’t granted a Senior Galleried Show. While I was understandably frustrated (I gave up auditioning for the final show of the theatre season and my college career, but such is life.), I ate my pint of ice cream and pressed on. I really poured over the things said in my last few critiques and produced some large-scale prints I was really quite proud of.  So there was that. But then I moved out of my spacious little dorm room (no, really.), and my digital portfolio with my photography from the entire semester disappeared before I could post much of it online! Including thousands of shots documenting our production of You Can’t Take It With You.

Once I got settled in at home, the transition didn’t really take and I was pretty consistently blue. I had no photography to focus on, no people to surround myself with, a good friend in the theatre passed, my littlest dog passed without warning, and the job I applied for passed me up without an interview. Then, a little over a month ago, I got a call about a job interview that I hadn’t even known to apply for. It was everything I was looking for and never thought I’d find so soon after graduation. Almost immediately after, my dad took me on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico for graduation! It was a curious experience; took so many photographs and used my time away to reflect on the first half of the year and muse on things to come. During the drive north, I got the job offer I hoping for. I started the day after Independence Day and have been humming along ever since.

I think that, because of everything that’s transpired these last few months, it was really difficult to sit here and type it out. Nearly a month has passed since the cruise and I’ve only just looked at my photos and uploaded them to my various portfolios.

I’m hoping that, with this entry, I’ll start to strike a more comfortable balance between existence and passion.


deja vu.

So the spring semester has come and gone – so many things have changed! Thinking back on the month I spent abroad (January 2010) , it feels like a year has passed.

Probably the most fascinating thing about traveling on JanTerm was how familiar London felt. I don’t mean to say it was familiar in the sense that it’s the backdrop for so many movies/books/tv shows I have fallen in love with. There were certain individuals I interacted with in London that I remembered. People I had never met. I had the strangest feeling that I had known them. Particularly a certain group of posh Londoners I encountered standing in line for the Vampire Weekend Contra – Release Party. They would certainly cringe at my assessment of them as ‘posh’ because they drunkenly tried to convince me that they were anything but. As we stood in line together, comparing my world to theirs, I felt like I knew each one of them.

I get the strong feeling that London isn’t done with me, which is all well and good. I’m not done with London, myself.

surprisingly homesick

I am having a terrific time abroad right now, but I really miss home. I miss my people. terribly. I am fortunate enough to have a dear friend and a handful of new friends to help keep me sane, but I miss my momma.
I was walking through London’s National Gallery the other day and realized how much I would love to view these magnificent works of art with my mother, an artist. Surat, Degas, etc. I then happened upon a particular painting that, to my knowledge, I had never seen before. It was an exotic still life. The colors suddenly reminded me very much of my mom and I fell to pieces.

I also miss the food back home.
It’s funny. Going to college in my hometown ensures that I almost constantly am surrounded by the same food. I spent much of last semester completely burnt-out on the local fare. When I get home, I will have to pace my eating out. Or have someone pace me.
I miss good southern cookin. The KFC in London, while faithfully serving orginal recipe, does not serve slaw, biscuits, or mashed potatoes and gravy. That hurts. The Big Macs are bland and only have a nickle-sized dollop of special sauce. It isn’t a Big Mac without the special sauce!
When I get back, don’t be surprised if I attempt to consume my weight in biscuits and gravy.
Yeah. I miss it that much.

Me and George go way back.

Me and George go way back.

Originally uploaded by elizabolt

For some reason, I got it into my head that someone needed a picture in the lap of some statue, any statue. At the end of a long day of visiting monuments and memorials, we stumbled upon ole George Mason and my prof. calls out, “Hey, you can sit in his lap!”
Of course I jumped at the opportunity… and several hilarious photos resulted.

(I walked over 5 miles.)

first impressions

It’s really cold right now. It’s supposed to be really cold in the northeast this time of year, but not in one’s hotel room. Not to the point that they must doze in their street clothes. This month should be interesting.
A full day of traveling today has taken it out of me. Navigating a tumultuous highway system to a security check at the airport, standing in the cold for an hour waiting for a bus, taking said bus to the underground and switching lines at rushour.. all of this is very new to me and very taxing. I’m very thankful that our travel-days are spaced out over a month.
I’m exhausted on day one. This should be fun.