Friday, July 24, 2009

Stay Together for the Kids

My boss Lindsay (though I hate to refer to her as a "boss") and I went to Kiddieland today with her soon-to-be two-year-old son Odin. We just went for the hell of it. I would take this opportunity to, in a detailed fashion, report the various tasks associated with my job as a commercial photographer's intern, but they are sort of all over the place. I have to say, I prefer it this way.

Kiddieland is an amusement park that will soon be no more. I suppose an amusement park is a prime location for interesting photos. Photojournalists would drool at the opportunity... so many great little scenes. But, I sort of mulled around with my camera in my incognito outfit, feeling like a detached, disinterested spectator with no family, no little ones to entertain... and I didn't really have much motivation to get close to anyone or reproduce intimate moments. I wasn't up to the challenge. Early on, I sat down at a picnic table and realized that I just didn't fit in. I walked away with a few desolate frames that serve to mimic how I felt... a child stuck in a teenager's body stuck in an adult's life.

And then tonight, after attending a social event for local artists with Lindsay, I realized that I face the same sort of detachment when thinking about myself as a photographer. Where do I fit in? I always wanted to be an artist of some sort, from the time I was young... but now I find myself in an field that can often be much more about socializing properly than about establishing a creative voice. I don't want to produce work that looks and feels so synthetic. I don't have the vision or skill to be a storyteller in the serious sense. I just want to create images that are personal and meaningful.

Maybe I just need to exist and let the rest of the pieces fall where they may.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Running to Stand Still

I went for a walk yesterday. It was the first time I had been outdoors in over 48 hours.

I have been a bit of a hermit, much to my dismay. It makes me angry with myself. I am disappointed with my lack of energy, but I've been terribly lonely. I suppose I should allow myself to feel that loneliness without scolding myself for it. I hate the guilt that comes with taking time out for yourself... time to melt into the covers of your bed to shut out the sights and sounds of the world. But it does feel nice when you come out on the other side. That isn't to say that my loneliness has dissipated completely, but it is hard to feel alone sitting along Lake Michigan, watching the hustle and bustle of the happy waves... and there is some benevolent force... just this feeling of relief from the universe... like everything is okay.

Like there aren't enough silly little pictures to illustrate what I really see.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lines of Influence

Another week down in the Chi, residing in the building pictured first. I've battled loneliness, boredom, heat, hunger, exhaustion, frustration, insomnia, and paranoia. All in low to moderate doses. Resulting in a draw toward images like the last. Last week was my slump, but I seem to have come out of it.

That is, despite discovering that I accidentally overwrote portfolio and personal work from fall and winter of this past school year. Poof. Gone from my external hard drive. Gone forever. I tried, for the past twenty-four hours, to recover the lost goods, but to no avail. I might have spent $99 doing so. What a waste. Such things always make my heart heavy. But I suppose there's nothing to do but move on, and keep moving, and keep moving...

Today was sort of a "pivotal" day in my petty young life three years ago. I always stop for a moment to respectively pay homage to the past. I could give you more of an elaboration, but, instead, I'll maintain my allure by avoiding specifics. I will say that I often refer to Oasis's "Champagne Supernova" when revisiting memories of former fondness. "How many special people change, how many lives are living strange?"

Maybe those words are more about me than they are about anyone from my past.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Via Chicago

So, now that the dust has settled, I have been in Chicago for officially a week. Charles helped me move in and stayed with me to help me adjust. I have always thought of myself as a strong-willed, independent lady, but I really needed him to be here. It was an emotional and exhausting experience, coming into the city to live and work for the summer, and I don't really know if I would've managed very well without his support. We had a beautiful time.

I've thrived in small towns my entire life. I've always been a big fish in a little sea. That isn't to say that this is the first time I've felt humbled by my surroundings.

Charles left today to go back home, and, at first, I didn't think it would be very difficult. After we said our goodbyes, and he pulled away from the parking lot, I came back upstairs to my lonely, dorm-sized apartment, and I felt a little lost. Then the tears came. I guess this is suppose to be the point when I realize what a great opportunity I've been given. I have to slap myself out of sadness and coach myself to focus on the positive. So, I will.

I know I am not the only one, but I grew up modestly. I come from a lower-class family in mid-Ohio. When I was little, I became accustomed to my father's frequent bouts of unemployment. Pancakes and grilled cheese for dinner. Thousands and thousands of dollars in credit card debt and bankruptcies and foreclosures. Quaint birthday celebrations. I didn't have friends over very often for fear of their judgement. I have never wanted anyone to look at me as the poor, disadvantaged girl. Luckily, despite their vast irresponsibility, I have completely loving, completely naive parents. I have worked very hard throughout my educational career to ensure some sort of foundation for myself. As an independent, I struggle financially all the time, but I hope that all this discipline leads to some sort light at the end of the tunnel.

At the same time, walking around the city, I realize how I have been so privileged to experience the comforts of family, education, and love. There are so many wounded souls on these streets. So many individuals with all the hope in the world, though they have nothing but the clothes on their backs. They say "God Bless" even if you refuse their pleas for spare change. And when you scrounge for a mere dollar, they are so grateful for your generosity. I guess this post is turning into something rather cliché and mushy. I am sort of lost as to what I originally intended to say.

This journal will be the first of many detailing my thoughts and feelings about living alone in the city this summer. My emotions are pulled in so many different directions. At the end of the day, I am, for the first time, a little homesick, but so, so hopeful.