Monday, March 31, 2014

Some Of My Favorite Photos From My Weekend In NYC

Music In Transit

Car Park

Spring Is Springing

Shapes & Lines

Workin' Dog

Where It All Began

Glow

Movement

In The Studio

Grand Central Station

She Is Grand

On A Motherf@*%ing Roof Top! Syd, Carmelle & Me selfie

First Glimpse of The City - photo by Syd London

First Glimpse of The City - photo by Syd London

In Front of The Stonewall Inn - photo by Syd London

In Front of The Stonewall Inn - photo by Syd London

Plus, a link to a great photo Carmelle La Sirena took of me on the roof top in Lower East Side Manhattan.

As soon as I get more rest I promise to write all about the weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oh, there you are...


Photo by Carole D. 2013

Come on out, creative one.
It's time to awaken from your slumber.
You're safe here. 
You're honored here.
You're welcome here.

I can feel the photographer in me starting to wake up once again on this eve of my first taste of The Big Apple.

Tomorrow morning I will drive to Brooklyn to spend the weekend with my authentic arm fully attached and functional.

Complete with my Nikon.

I would say it will be strapped to my hand but that's not entirely true.

It's not just strapped to me, it is an extension of me.

A part of me.

It is me.

Fully.

Authentic.

Completely. Me.

I'm looking forward to feeling whole again. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Outlook On Life


Photo by Kina Williams. With my old bike.
Four weeks from today around this time in the evening I will be somewhere in Minnesota looking for a truck stop to park for the night to get some food and sleep. I will be on my way back to the Pacific Northwest with a new outlook on life. I'm looking forward to lots of time with family and friends both old and new, finding employment, re-establishing my own place in this world and starting school in the Fall for a brand new, exciting career path that will combine so many of my passions.

I'm also looking forward to Pride this year and the possibility of riding my old motorcycle in the parade with Dykes on Bikes. There's a possibility of buying my old motorcycle back from friends who bought her before I left Oregon and I can't tell you how happy that possibility makes me. It was so hard to let her go but I knew I was leaving her in good hands.

In these past 6 months that I've been in New England I've gained the perspective I needed and finally found closure around some things that have needed closure in my life for so long now. I'm finally leaving the past where it belongs, in the past, and taking the lessons with me into the future. All of my past relationships have helped me reach this point and I am very grateful.

There will always be love in my heart for those who are no longer in my life but at the same time I've let them go entirely. I'll always welcome them back into my life but I won't force it nor chase them. I've made my amends with them, forgiven myself for my wrong doings and have let it all go knowing it's all I can do. We all have our own path in this life. Sometimes those paths cross, walk side by side, then cross again over to separate paths and I respect and honor that. This is a new way of being and thinking for me and I have to say, it feels really fucking good. It feels healthy and positive and loving.

I feel like my future is this blank canvas where anything can happen. I wake up every day excited to see what the day brings. This is such a great time for me. I know there will be plenty of challenges along the way but I'm doing really well with seeing the positive in all of it and bringing my thoughts around to a much more healthy way of thinking. I don't need everyone to like me and I no longer see challenges in life as things that are victimizing me. I no longer believe that my life will “always be a struggle”. Challenges don't make life a struggle, they make life interesting and exciting. Every time I overcome one of those challenges I empower myself. My life is heading for bigger and better things and I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead.

This week is a short work week for me. I'm taking Friday off from both jobs to drive to Brooklyn for a weekend in New York City with my friend and photography mentor, Syd London.  It'll be my first trip to NYC and I can't wait to explore the city with Syd and my camera. Talk about adventures. You can be assured that I will be posting photos from this awesome NYC Queer Photographers weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2014

What I've Been Up To (In Photos)



Run/walking while trying to get into House of Cards. It's just not grabbing me but I continue to watch it.

Enjoyed some red wine and chocolate chip cookies along with some good, old fashioned letter writing. 

Took Scarlett for a walk on the beach since the weather warmed up and the sun was out. I couldn't resist.

Picked up my guitar after many, many months of not picking up my guitar. She felt so good.

More run/walking, although a lot less of the run part these days. The knees are not liking this new routine very much.

Lots of organizational work on the Butch/Femme Photo Project. Scarlett is exhausted from it all.

Since the weather started warming up, I felt the need to go back to my buzz cuts that I love so much.

Then my head got cold because it frickin' snowed. Again. In March.

I bought my first pair of Chucks.
In other news, due to some school things that I really need to take care of, my departure date to head back to Portland has been moved up by 3 weeks. I'm now taking off from here on April 19th to start the long trek back to the Pacific Northwest. I am very much looking forward to squeezing the bejesus out of my family and friends once I get back.

Until then, I am working, hanging out in beautiful Ipswich with some cool people and animals, FINALLY making a trip to NYC (twice!) and will be visiting my sister in Connecticut once more. Oh, and a lot of walks on Crane Beach.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Excited About Running?


After taking the day off from exercising on Saturday, I ran/walked 2.2 miles, did 55 crunches, 16 push ups and about a 25 second plank last night. A couple hours later I was pretty uncomfortable and my knees were very stiff. There was a bit of swelling in both of them so I became a bit concerned. Getting on the treadmill has become the highlight of my day and I really don't want to stop now.

Last night I began to think that I might have to stop. Thankfully, this morning I was moving around just fine and the stiffness has subsided so I'm going to push forward with it. I think the muscles around my knees are finally getting some strength back so it's going to be uncomfortable for a bit.

In the meantime, I started looking into a new pair of running shoes and found this pair. The reviews on Zappo say they're good for heavier runners with bad knees. Perfect. I ordered them. As much as it pains me to pay more then $35 for a pair of shoes for myself. (Yeah, I know.)

Where this excitement over running has come from has been a bit of a mystery to me. Other then being excited about being able to do something I haven't been able to do for a while nor did I ever think I'd be able to do again. Other than that, I've never been much of a runner.

Then this morning, my Mom sends me a text message telling me that she used me as an example yesterday in her talk at church (she's a minister). She said that my workouts, specially running on the treadmill, are about running toward what I desire rather than staying in a place that keeps me mired in what is no longer working.

Mystery solved. There's where the excitement is coming from.

Brilliant woman, my Mom.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

In All Honesty


This is me standing up to my toxic thinking.
Letting go of the past does not equate to forgetting about it.

Letting go means I remember it, honor it and take the lessons from it but I do not dwell on it nor live in it. I live in the present and begin the rest of my life from this moment as a better person because I have learned from my mistakes. I will make more, I am only human. But I will learn from those as well. I will also forgive myself, let go, embrace the lessons and move on doing my best to never make those mistakes again.

Staying single is about finding trust in myself. Trust in knowing I can make myself happy and that I don't have to struggle in this life any longer nor find someone that will make me happy. The finances are part of it but I want to make it clear that I'm doing it for me. Not for a potential partner nor to find a space in this society where I am accepted as a responsible person. I've spent my entire life being responsible and trying to be accepted by society. I don't need society's approval and I don't have to prove myself to anyone but me.

In my meditations on all of this, what I've discovered is I need to prove to myself that my self worth comes from me and only me. Hence the word “self” in “self worth”. It doesn't come from any other person on this planet. The other night while sitting on the couch I realized that my self worth has been wrapped up in things outside of myself. For far too long now it has been wrapped up in the idea of someone loving me or needing me. If no one needs me or is interested in me then I am worthless. Even as I sent a text message about this epiphany to my Mom I realized that I was looking to her to tell me what my worth is. Wow, Wendi, really?

I've handed over this power to those around me that, in essence, dictates whether or not I am worthy of existing in this world.

Let me say that again because it is a rather heavily weighted sentence. For me, at least.

I have handed over power to others that dictates whether or not I am worthy of existing in this world.

Holy shit.

That power comes in many forms; comparing myself to others, molding myself into what someone wants in order to gain their love and attention, denying my own self in relationships to keep others loving me, and so many other ways I'm sure I'll think of later.

It's time to stop. I'm taking back that power and am now on a journey to find my own self worth. Because I am so new to this and I've freely given this power away without even knowing it, I am choosing to remain single for now. Less distractions on the path, perhaps, but also knowing that the waves caused by my splashing about in this muck won't crash into someone so close to me is comforting. By the time they reach those around me they will be a small wave of white foam. I do my best to protect the ones I love.

In my post about shifting perspective I was, in all honesty, being very tough on myself by plotting out something that may be next to impossible to achieve. Even as I typed those words about how I plan on getting my financial ship turned upright and staying single until it's done, I realized that I was setting myself up to be single for the remainder of my life. But I didn't stop typing. I didn't edit any of it. Why? Because deep down inside the real issue is I don't feel worthy of being loved.

Ah ha! There it is. The same wall I keep running up against over and over thinking it'll be different this time.

Oh crap.

Ok, maybe this time.

Shit.

Now?

Damn.

The truth of the matter is, I don't want to be single for the remainder of my days so let's squash this booger now, shall we?

I want to feel worthy of being loved. I want to know that I am comfortable being single, confident in who I am and completely aware of my own self worth. It's taking a lot of work, a lot of grief and a hell of a lot of reprogramming but I am doing it. Day by day and sometimes moment by moment I am walking this Earth in awareness of myself, my emotions and my thoughts. Recognizing those old thought patterns will help me change them by redirecting them to a more positive and self affirming space.

There have been and will be slips along the way. Like I said earlier, I am only human. But the more I practice the better I'll get at it. Eventually, it'll just come naturally.

Looking back in this blog I found this post I made back in August of 2011. It's interesting how I keep coming back to the same thing. Interesting and a wee bit annoying. Let's get past this now.