I looked at my calendar to know whatís going in my life, and I realized that today, November 19th, 2010 is the 10th anniversary of this journal.
I looked back at some of my early entries to get a feel of who I was back then, because that was a TOTALLY different person... kinda. I liked a couple of girls, but I didnít have the confidence to ask them out. Today Iím with this wonderful girl that I love very much. Back then I was still about a year away from buying my first digital camera and starting this now ongoing project to photograph the things I find beautiful.
I know that I wasnít very confident back then. I wasnít as cynical. I was definitely girl-crazy, but I never made the move for fear that I would be rejected. My Grandmother was still alive. My mother had been gone for nearly four years. And I was in what seemed like a perpetual purgatory of school.
Itís funny to look back a decade, or even half a decade, and find that the person you were isnít exactly the person you are right now. I canít say Iíve completely changed, no one does that. But certain things have changed. Iím no where near as shy as I was back then. Iím definitely more confident. I buckled down and got my English degree. Iím in a relationship, really the most meaningful relationship Iíve ever experienced. And I think I know myself better. Iím certainly more cynical, and sometimes less hopeful that things will come out for the best.
I canít seem to focus on any one thing that I was back then. I feel like I was some formless thing, ready to be turned into something. Here is it ten years later, formed into something. What, I donít really know. Iím certainly an artist now. The thing that has been grounding, and central in my life for nine of the last ten years has been my photography. It is the through line of the past decade. Iíve been able to focus so much of my energy into photography that itís now my best attribute.
Back then I wanted to write a novel. Iíve yet to do it. I went to school to learn how to do it, but I havenít done it yet. Itís not easy to write a novel. Despite me hating certain books out there, and certain authors, because I think theyíre hacks. I have to still admire then for actually finishing a novel. Let alone getting it published. Iím not going to say that in the next decade Iíll have finally written that novel. I hope to. I know photography will still be a big part of my life. How big remains to be seen. Perhaps Iíll burn out on it. Perhaps it will be the only thing I care about. Time will tell, huh?
Back then I know I never thought I would find someone. I liked a lot of girls, but none of them stayed on the radar long enough. And even if they did I never had the courage to ask them out. Iím glad Megan reached out or I might still be in the same situation now. Back then I was seeing Talia, my serious girlfriend. I meet her at school, and was another girl that reached out to me. I asked her for her phone number minutes after meeting her. I thought she was so pretty. I still call her to this day. Weíre friends.
Today I work at two libraries. I thought of becoming a librarian, but that idea went soured. It wasnít really for me. I like my jobs, but Iíve grown tired of the people I have to deal with on a daily basis. I want to get away, but debts are holding me back. I dream of having my photos in a museum. Perhaps that will take me another decade to accomplish. Today Iím in love. A couple of days ago I looked at Megan, told her that I loved everything about her, even her snot (an inside joke between us), and had a perfect moment of clarity and happiness.
Nearly fourteen years ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Nearly six years ago my Grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Those two events, and their subsiquent deaths were the two most traumatic events of my life. Those events shaped who I was back then, and who I have become. Their lives were hard. And in the end they suffered. Those were the moments that I knew this world was completely unfair. And that good doesnít always win. That is when I got on the road to becoming a cynic. Thatís when my doubts of a God existing turned into absolutely knowledge that he didnít exist.
Iím a better person for leaving those things in the past. Iím not a child. I see things how they are, harsh, horrible, unfair, but also absolutely beautiful, and for a moment, perfect.