Growth

Almost two years have gone by since I moved to Los Angeles. On one hand that makes perfect sense; on the other hand, what the hell. Who what where when why how.

As Gretchen Rubin says, "The days are long, but the years are short".

Almost as if summoned by my pending two-year anniversary with this city, I've been on the receiving end of multiple moments of clarity lately. Flashbacks and epiphanies. Tiny little sparks of realization.Wow, I've found myself saying a lot, I really have grown. 

I've been spending a fair amount of time traveling between my two homes this summer. If you're my Facebook friend, you've probably seen more of my MSP --> LAX, LAX --> MSP status updates than you'd care for. In bouncing back and forth between the place I come from and the place I now reside, it's been easy to get glimpses of, and compare and contrast, the Me I was and the Me I am. There are plenty of things that have remained the same of course, but for the first time in my life, the changes I have undergone are so visible to me that I can almost reach out and touch them. They are changes that I doubt many other people would recognize, but I know myself well, and they are there.

I could write you a neat, bulleted List of Changes and expound the details of each, but I'm not really in the mood for that. Some are so nuanced and subtle that I don't even know if I would be able to put them into words. There are the more noticeable ones (pointed out to me by friends and family): I'm more aggressive when I drive. I am more sure of myself and what I want to do with my life (sometimes). I now call myself a photographer instead of meekly saying that I'm "trying" to do photography. 

And then there are the hidden ones to which only I am privy. I trust my photography skills more. I've started to say yes, even if what I'm saying yes to scares the shit out of me. I've learned that anxiety is not the same as intuition, and I'm learning (slowly, slowly) to lean into discomfort and embrace it as a necessary part of life. 

And so many more. 

People are always growing. We can't help it. We age, we learn life lessons, we mature, we find ourselves. What's amazing is how vivid it is to me right now, how it's almost like my internal organs have shifted in a way that created a newer version of myself. Right now, I'm suspended in flux. It's exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. There are moments when I want to go back to being ten years old and sink back into family traditions of camping and visiting friends and going to the cabin; sometimes I ache for these with appalling intensity. But then there are the moments when the only choice is to continue scrambling onward and upward, getting covered with the messy dirt and muck of it all but feeling oddly cleansed by the whole process. I've learned that the times when I want to shut my brain down the most are usually the times when it's most vital to push through. 

Or something. 

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The photos above are unedited glimpses of my time at home in Minnesota last weekend. I've been inspired a lot by McKenzie's blog lately; her photos are gorgeous and real in a way that is rarely seen these days, now that everyone is a photographer and has access to some kind of editing program. I've been paying more attention to what my photos look like before I touch them, and I've noticed that I tend to shoot dark, which is interesting, because I used to overexpose everything. I'm not sure when that shifted, but I didn't even realize it until I took the time to examine my photos instead of just importing them into Lightroom and laying on the edits. Sometimes growth means figuring out where you're at right now. 

I hope everyone's week was wonderful! Mine was over in the blink of an eye.

Happy weekending, friends.