To Be Nothing

Here I sit, sheltered from the elements by a door, watching the sun rising over the worn brick of the building I work in. Snow coats the ground, though it can’t sparkle due to the dead grass it rests upon poking through.
I think I am content, but only content. My mind is racing with the desire to explore, the need to escape for some time. In sync with my mind, my eyes dart back and forth with anticipation for where I could be. Or is that the coffee I just drank? Whatever it may be, I’m here, awake and alive, so I must refrain from complaining. I just feel like there is something missing, the passion and feelings that come with the fiery desire to create and explore.
I am a writer and a photographer. My entire purpose is to create, and to create meaningful content. I cannot lie dormant. I cannot choke out the creative need that fills my soul. I can sit silently, neglecting my camera and notebook, but doing so would only neglect myself. I have tied to drown out what I need, usually unintentionally, and the result was horrible. I will never be truly happy unless I am shooting and writing.
Even days spent in the frigid cold, kneeling on the hard ground and trying to shoot as my fingers and toes lose all feeling, are days far better than the ones I don’t use my camera. Photography is a part of who I am. Writing is a part of who I am. I believe “writer” and “photographer” better describe who I am than any adjective ever could.
What I have found is that what simply makes me happy and complete, defines me. What began as a hobby out of curiosity has exploded into a major and crucial aspect of my life. While cameras and capturing moments intrigued me and  I have been writing for enjoyment for as long back as I can remember, I had no idea these time fillers would one day consume me.
If there’s anything I know about love, it’s that it is a blazing passion deep within our souls that spills out uncontrollably. My feelings toward my camera, toward the words produced by my mind, are nothing short of love. The mere concept of snapping a photo, of writing a sentence, they are such simple actions, yet they encompass my being. To be completely and utterly passionate…That is love. To me, my camera is far more than an object—it is a lifeline, a connector to my grander purpose. Without it, I am nothing.

Handwritten

Words tapped on a keyboard feel less attached to my mind than words written on a page. When I was a kid, I didn’t have a computer. I filled notebooks with all my thoughts, my stories, my feelings. I was an artist with my words. Now, my words feel so much less authentic. I write for an audience (which is what I have always wanted), but my letters look the same as every other person also writing. I don’t feel connected to what I write. I sit here with a cup of tea, a candle burning, some good music on, all trying to produce some words. There are plenty of feelings going on inside of me but as my fingers touch the laptop, they all seem to be lost. Typing is for tweets. Typing is for short communications. Typing is for research papers and online coursework. The mind is moving straight through the hand through the pen, but when I type, I do not feel that. When I went on a volunteer trip this past winter, we had no internet, no electricity. Every night I would curl up in my bunk with a lantern and write what I was feeling that day. It was such a simple procedure, but it is something lost in the daily commitments and distractions of technology. I don’t mean that everything written on the internet is watered down or not authentic; that is far from what I think. I just believe my thoughts mean so much more when they are scribbled on paper, jotted on scraps, or neatly organized in notebooks with the occasional pen marks to erase errors. Nothing can compare to handwritten. After some great days full of plenty of thought, I know it is important for me to get back into the therapy of writing my thoughts and ideas on paper. If I am ever going to find an emotional tie that is stronger than thin fibers of beliefs in my work, a pen is going to need to run across the smooth surface of a new journal until the pages are tattered and the binding is breaking.

Oh Journalism

Ah today is the day I actually get to write an article for my school’s paper. Now to most people that’s not a big deal, to me though…I’m excited. Journalism is my life, my motivation, what I’m spending loads of money to get better at. By writing today, I’m paving the way for future endeavors; stories that will take me places. For instance, the band interview I’m slated to do next month. Surely someone who’s never written for a publication would not be fit to carry out such work. Of course I did write for the yearbook in high school and was the editor-in-chief but it’s time to move on from that and start my work in college. I’m prepared, I’m eager, and I’m just a bit nervous, but I’m ready to make this happen and excited to see just how my work will turn out.

“If it’s not worth documenting, it’s not worth doing.”

Tonight I heard this quote in a documentary we watched in class and it perfectly describes the way I live my life. I’m a writer, I’m a taker of photos; I set out each day to add to my own personal story, whether it be by adding a new little anecdote or a picture of something amazing I saw, I document. I feel like a day is wasted if I haven’t created something I’d love to share with the world. I don’t see the point in living a life that isn’t worth showing, telling. What fun is in that? I’d like to think that when I die and get to watch my life flash before my eyes, it’s going to be the best damn two minutes I’ve ever witnessed.

Writing, writing, and more writing: Story of my life.

Journalism journalism journalism. Since I started college, I feel like that’s all I think about. Written journalism, photojournalism, anything and everything journalism. Today we had a guest speaker that is a journalist in one of my (non journalism) classes. Everyone was oh so thrilled about that…but I honestly was. Writing is a passion of mine and it honestly seems like a dream job to write for a living. I feel like without writing, I would be so much less than what I am. I wouldn’t be as creative or expressive or opinionated. Writing is more that a hobby for me, it’s a lifestyle, and I hope one day I can use it to pay for my life as well. Okay just felt like writing (big surprise?) and journalism was the first thing that came to mind. Until later.