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I hoped to share some lovely new pics from my lovely new Canon 6d and three lovely new lenses. I received the lenses and flash a few days ago, and have been patiently waiting for my camera to arrive.

It arrived today. I could hardly wait to open the box! So much planning went into my selection of the camera, lenses, and flash, and I couldn’t believe the day had finally come when I could hold it in my hands and feel the smooth shutter release under my finger, just waiting for me to press it.

I pulled all contents from the box, carefully removed the plastic and unwrapped the manuals, looking for the quick start guide. And there it was, sandwiched between two manuals, the sight of it filling me with excitement at the thought of what – or whom – would be the subject of my first photograph.

Step 1 – insert battery (check!)
Step 2 – insert SD card…

Dang. Guess I should have ordered one of those.

More to come soon 🙂


Photo-free 2012 Year-in-Review

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I’ve been a little light on posts lately, opting instead to start 2013 with a bit more book learnin’ and shutter snapping. I have been taking photos almost every day, but on top of my self-imposed reading assignments, I have been learning new software which has slowed me down considerably. Additionally, I have been having some fun with my creative writing again and reviewing my 2012/making new goals for 2013.

2012 was an incredible eye-opening, freedom-inducing, self-love promoting and difficult-decision-making year for me. It began with a stark realization: I had been in an abusive relationship for almost three years. Not with a significant other, but with my boss. For the first several months of the year, I refused to leave. I thought that if I could just prove to myself – or to him – that I could cut it, then his behavior toward me would change, I would have grown as a professional, and all the $hit he put me through and self-torture and hate I put myself through would have been worth it.

This wasn’t the first time I had been bullied in a workplace, so I was beginning to think it was me, which was one of the reasons I was so willing to put myself through the torture of trying to change to fit the mold those around me wanted to shove me into. My perception was that they (mainly my boss) thought I was weak, incompetent, dead wood for the organization.

My low point was when I began to believe that I was dead wood. Isn’t that what abusive relationships do to a person? Beat them down until they actually believe the pure effing nonsense that their abusers project onto them? Thank heaven for supportive friends and family (you know who you are!) that pointed out this abusive behavior – over a YEAR before I began to believe it! Even though it took me so long to believe it, without them I would probably still be there, beating myself up for every mistake and missed target, and for not being Miss Organization.

In February, the fire in my belly began to burn. I began to remember the person I was and the professional I am. And my confidence grew. What happened in February? I had my annual review. Each year, my review had been glowing and constructive – always a surprise to me because of the way I was treated. In 2012, however, I was given a solid, professional handshake with one hand while being punched in the gut with the other. Three long paragraphs – one of which briefly described how I kicked butt at exceeding several goals, and two of which nitpicked me to death, taking jabs at me for incredibly insignificant ‘shortcomings’. I guess it was difficult to find anything with substance to pick on.

Then a perfect opportunity came up…and I almost didn’t apply. It was lower pay, part-time, but right up my alley. Just before I left with some girlfriends for Cabo San Lucas (photos NEVER to be shared with the public :-))…and I mean just before I left at 2:30 a.m., I pushed the “send” button on an email which contained my resume, five references, application and a writing sample. I could always turn it down, right?

I didn’t, and in June I freed myself from my oppressors (including, to some extent, myself). It took until about the end of August for me to break free from the negative self-talk surrounding competency in my career. I no longer felt weak and incompetent, but instead I realized that the job I held was not right for me. Do you realize how difficult that realization was to make? My entire 13 year career, plus  time in college, only to realize that my chosen career path WAS. NOT. RIGHT. FOR. ME. Perhaps this was another reason for my delay in leaving. But the more time that goes by since leaving that position, the less I care about that. I am happier and better off without my prior career. I have even found that there is great value in knowing what does not work for you…if only I had recognized it while I was still in college, right? 😀

I started this blog in October, primarily as a creative outlet. It was one of the best things I did all year (thanks to Amy Irene at Xenogirl, who encouraged me to start a blog). Thank you all for your support – it is truly appreciated!

So, the big story of 2012 for me was leaving my job, but there were several other, more personal but just as pivotal, decisions I had to make in 2012 toward loving myself and filling my time with things that are important to my soul. It is still a work in progress, but at least I am finally on the right path.  Here’s to an even more rewarding 2013!

Ridiculous Warmth

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For some reason, all my poetry lately has revolved around the (mostly responsible) consumption of alcoholic beverages…enjoy!

wine, wine bar, red wine, photo, photography

Ridiculous Warmth

My eyes are warm

My cheeks are warm

I am inclined to smile

I want to talk to you

Do you want to talk to me?

I think you did, once,

Before I faded into ridiculousness

I guess I will have to wait

Until you become ridiculous, too.

R.E.A.L.I.T.Y. Blog Award

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The sweet, lovely, and talented Alison at ALISONIDEAS has nominated me for the R.E.A.L.I.T.Y Blog Award. She has an amazing story and an amazingly positive, fun, and quirky (in a good way!) attitude that shows through her journaling and photos. Thank you for thinking of me for this award, Alison!

So, like other blogger-to-blogger awards, there is a short q&a and a pay-it-forward element (for this award, there are 8 nominees):

1) If you could change something what would you change?

  • Good dark chocolate, whisky, and wine would all be considered diet foods and part of a healthy, balanced diet.

2) If you could repeat an age, what age would it be?

  • This one is hard…there are so many years that I could repeat… 🙂 Probably 21 or 22 because I didn’t know nearly enough about myself then to be making the huge life decisions I made. No regrets, but it would have been nice to know more about myself.

3) What one thing really scares you?

  • The zombie apocalypse. Hands down. I am not a fast runner, nor do I think I am athletic enough to beat something with a shovel.

4) What one dream have you not completed yet and do you think you will be able to complete it?

  • My aspirational dreams change all the time. However, I have always wanted to own vintage mid-century cars – especially a muscle car. Oh…and an old Airstream. I think those are attainable goals…

5) If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

  • Maybe Joss Whedon so I can find out how his mind works…

Blogs I Nominate (seriously, go check them out!)

I am not sure about the “yippee”, but all of these blogs are real, energizing, amazing, lovely, inspiring, and touching. In no particular order:

WISIWIS (What I See is What I Shoot). Wonderful photos, culture and stories from Moscow – very talented!

arooseyeview. I admire this blogger’s ability to take artistic shots of ordinary items…like a trivet or ear buds. Check it out!

Rose Colored Photo. A talented photo blogger with an incredibly positive attitude and a commitment to posting one photo a day, something I have not yet had the courage to pledge. She has been incredibly kind and helpful to me and I look forward to growing and learning with her.

My Blog with Pretty Pictures. Check out this blog for some great, artistic, and sometimes raw street photography, all done with a smart phone!

choosemyway. Architecture, life, and humor from a Chicago photo blogger. His personality shows in every shot, and his blog has made me realize I need to be more purposeful with my work.

Skyheart Photography. Another  great photo-a-day blog, who claims to be a ‘fauxtographer’, but I think the ‘faux’ can be replaced with ‘pho’ 🙂

rprtphoto. One of my favorite outdoor photographers. The title stands for “right place, right time”, something I have always believed about my photos – part technical knowledge, part preparation (having your camera with you), and part “right place, right time”.  Check it out for some great, mostly outdoor, photography – and pay attention to the witty titles, some of them really crack me up!

adriancharliehoran. A young blogger who writes about whatever comes to mind in a witty, entertaining, and positive way.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

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Yellow peaks of sun

Awaiting morning’s first light

Daffodil opens

daffodils, daffodil, spring, photography, photo, nature, landscape

An Ode to Whiskey

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whiskey, whisky, cheese, photography, poetry

Oh my sweet!

How I yearn for you!

Slip smoothly past my lips

and down my throat.

Warm my very being with your

powerful golden nectar.

Make me want you more.