Unplugged in Jamaica, Discovering my View


Technology is an undeniable luxury and necessity in the world today, but sometimes, it is really nice to unplug from it. Recently, I went to Jamaica to photograph a friend’s wedding. While there, I removed myself from the demands of the world. No emails. No schedules. No tasks (outside of photographer duties that is). No phone calls.

Essentially, I put away my phone and my computer (other than to take or edit a few pictures here or there). It was refreshing to unwind, sleep in, and laugh with friends. We drank fruity drinks on the beach. We chilled out in the water. We enjoyed some local music and food. Overall, we all just got to relax and enjoy each other and the world around us.

For me, making and keeping those connections with friends is critical. The bride and the two bridesmaids were deployed to Iraq with me back in 2005-2006. We have stayed in contact over the years. Some years more. Some years less. Regardless, there is a bond and history between us.

As an added bonus, I brought my best friend from high school along as my plus one. Her and I have stayed close over the years as well. Again, some years we talk more. Some years, a bit less. Either way though, our chats start off like no time has passed at all.

Having these friends from different times in my life meet was such a blessing. It was like watching a sunset or sunrise. Two different times blending together, creating a powerful beauty. It was poetic too. For the one group of friends knew me as their fellow Soldier friend and the other knew me as the young woman full of dreams. Now, they were both seeing me, the combination of all those things now. Just like the pictures below, we are all made up of several elements (experiences), and it is those elements (experiences) that make the picture (who we are) – thus, creating the view we give others.

All of us have different facets to our personalities, but overall, those facets are just pieces of the total us. Without one element, the total picture would be different. Maybe it could be better. Or maybe it could be worse. That’s the thing. We can only guess how things would be if our lives were different. We could guess and guess, but meanwhile, nothing would change except for the fact that we wasted all that time wondering about the unchangeable past.

So as I reflect on my time in Jamaica, I see that my view is as it should be. My life has not been perfect and certainly not always pleasant. But, it is my life, no one elses. I can’t change my past. I can only change how I deal with my present. My experiences and how I have dealt with them make me who I am. My past does not define me, but adds elements to my life. It is up to me to make my life into the beautiful sunset I want.

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For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Travel.

iphone challenge

If you are not familiar with the challenge, make sure you check it out. Sally always has some great writing to go along with her stunning photos.

The Power of Love


Love has a power that lifts you above.
Making you believe in all you dreamed of.

Love has a grip that makes you strong.
Making you feel nothing is wrong.

Love has a hold that takes your breath.
Making you stay true until your death.

Love has a grace that inspires more.
Making you embrace, the one you adore.

Love, sweet love, allows us to endure it all,
Because someone is there when we fall.

Devoid of Energy


Life has been rather hectic lately. Not only has it been physically demanding trying to keep up, but its been emotionally draining at times as well.

Normally, I can juggle a lot and do it fairly well. But not now. I am tired and drained. I am not sure what exactly happened or when it did, but I can feel a difference. I feel like I have no energy and I just want to do nothing. In a way, I feel like a flower devoid of color. I am still going through the motions. I still go to work and take care of things, but I am not at my full capacity, my full color. I am there in form, but not showing an overwhelming amount of passion.

Today at work, I took a nap at lunch instead of my normal 2-mile walk. There is definitely something askew. It may just be that I merely exhausted from my manic schedule that had a family emergency thrown on top of it. Life doesn’t stop though. After my family emergency, I went straight into a working vacation, then right to my first job the next morning, then to my second job the next, and then today, back to my first. I have been going nonstop since April 27th and I am tired. However, I don’t have time for tired, lol. Who does really?

As busy as this all sounds, I don’t understand why I am this tired. I have done more in the past. I have survived three deployments that have surely been more taxing than a few weeks of running around. And my working vacation was in a tropical paradise (Jamaica). Sure, I had to take pictures, but I was at the beach with friends drinking fruity concoctions. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense that I am this drained.

It is what it is though…and I am beat. Meanwhile, I hope my employers and loved ones can appreciate my less passionate efforts. Like the black and white photos, I still have something to offer. It may not be intense color, but there is value nonetheless. And frankly, there is a beauty and elegance in the simplicity and purity of black and white. Which photo do you prefer and why?

So for now, I will embrace simplicity and try to recharge. But, I only have a few days to do that. For my upcoming four-day, holiday weekend is full of fun activities: kayaking, movies with my kids, photographing a wedding, biking some trails and horseback riding. Well, that is the plan anyway. I guess we will see if I live that all out in full color or maybe pull it back some to a subtle layer of black and white elegance.

Either way, it will be four days to embrace whatever I chose. 🙂

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For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White.

My Journey to My Prince


My journey started when I was just a girl,
Imagining a love that could make my head swirl.

My prince would save me from the life of mine.
He would make me happy as our lives intertwine.

He would romance me daily, making me smile.
His words and actions always graced in style.

He would never be mad and make me cry.
And never oh never, would he ever lie.

This dream prince of mine was perfect as can be.
But when I grew up, it became clear to see…

That if I wanted perfection, a life of enchantment,
I was only setting myself up for a lot of resentment.

For no prince can hold the keys to my life.
He can’t fill my voids just by calling me wife.

He can’t be the keeper of all of my delight
For that is an expectation that isn’t quite right.

If I want true happiness, it’s really up to me.
It can’t be someone else’s responsibility.

If I can’t be happy with who I am trying to be.
How can I expect a prince to want to love me?

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For the Daily Prompt ~ Journey