Update: Anger

It’s no secret that I feel angry.

I’d have to say anger is the emotion I am most comfortable with. My default. My go to. It’s become my defense.

Lately, my marriage has been in the forefront of my mind. I caught myself laughing as I thought about some memories, a genuine feeling of joy coming across my face. At the same time, I felt angry that those memories are so tainted.

So far, everyone seems to think forgiveness is my best option. I don’t disagree, but I am just not there yet. I’ve shared a lot about being honest with your emotions. Honestly, I don’t know if anything I say is helpful for anyone but ,for me, being honest with myself is huge.

Continue reading “Update: Anger”

Update: Surviving

Art is all about emotion.

The emotion felt when creating to the emotion felt by the viewer, art makes us feel. For me, my photography is typically inspired by pain.

In high school, I was struggling with depression and photography became a very important outlet for me. Now, I still find myself using my photography as a way to deal with everything that comes with going through a divorce.

Continue reading “Update: Surviving”

POTD: The Massive

What inspired me the most when taking these last series of photographs, was the thought of trying to view the world differently.

I discussed this quite a bit recently. I don’t necessarily mean in a way that others don’t view it, but as in how can I can view the world different and then present that. I mean as a photographer I am basically working to show you the world how I see it, so if I am not working to view it differently then, I am just showing you what you already see.

For instance, why do I go to the all the local parks and take pictures there? Continue reading “POTD: The Massive”

QOTD: Faith

“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

– Ether 12:7

I am at a point in my life where I need to choose between lying to myself or being honest with myself about my faith.

As someone who is constantly writing about being honest with oneself, it would seem I would already know which is the healthier and correct choice here. However, I also recognize it is the harder choice and thus it makes me hesitant.

I wrote last week about overcoming fear, specifically recognizing the difference between the types of fear we face. When it comes to my faith, what is keeping me from really living it is a fear of hurting my ego or pride.

And that has seemed to be the biggest obstacle in my life as a Mormon.

It’s called the pride cycle. When I am doing what I know is right and living my life in way that I know is in line with the commandments, for the most part things tend to be okay. My trails are less burdensome and I have a hope for a future beyond that. It is during these times I feel like I can “feel” things better and having a better understanding of the actions I should take in life.

Then things get a little crazy, because I start to forget that the only reason things are so good, is well because of the big guy upstairs. I start to slack a little and fall into old pitfalls. It becomes easier to rely on my own strengths and talents and forget that even those things are only mine because of God.

I forget that it’s my faith in God that is allowing me to have that clear and level-headed mind. It’s my faith that allows me to stay calm under pressure and gives me the strength to think beyond my problems and find solutions. It is also that faith that opens my eyes to understanding and compassion.

I can say that all of these things are things I only learned after I discovered for myself who God was. And that required me to act completely on faith and choose to follow something that was completely foreign and really the complete opposite of how I was living my life up until that point.

So, if I am being honest with myself I know the next step in my progression in life is turning back towards God a little more. Working on my faith and really trying to live by it.

I know that I have tried to not write so much about my religion. At least not in this way. But as someone who is writing for the sole purpose of progressing as a human being, this is a part of that progression. I don’t intend to preach but simply offer a glimpse into the life that I lead everyday. This is still a part of me as much as anything I have written on here.

There will be a slight shift and I will do my best to relate it towards a more general concept at the end of my posts, but understand in order to get there I have to follow the thought in my mind and work it.

Today, honesty is my lesson. In order to survive, we need to be honest about everything, even the hard things. Adhering to my faith during this time in my life is hard. In the end though, my body and mind still feel the pull of my faith and as much as my conscience thinking wants to run from it, because I know happiness can be found there, the further I run the closer it gets, the stronger the feelings are, and the warmer the memories.

It isn’t easy to be honest. But if honesty is always right, why will we choose to ever be wrong.


POTD: The Bridge

Let’s start with the fact that I love this image.

It is hands down in my top three favorites from this latest batch of photos. I enjoy the image as a whole, the subject and the overall feel. I love working with wood. In fact, one of the first photographs I ever developed was of an aged pallet. Trust me, it was cool.

This is a bridge that spans a small creek/stream in Zorinsky Lake Park. It is very narrow and the there are these wooden walls on either side. It’s very difficult for a biker and a pedestrian to use this bridge at the same time. The wood has been worn from handle bars scraping the side as bikers try to get across.

All along the length of the bridge are these gashes.

It is the varying personality and story of wood subjects that I love. The cracks and stains. The holes and gaps. It’s all so interesting.

I wanted to make sure the focus was on a specific spot on the bridge, to highlight the details but also provide the full scale of the object. Usually on my IPhone 7, I don’t get such a shallow depth of field at this distance from a object, but I believe I had on my macro and wide angle lens combo and it helped to blur out the background.

This is an image I love to just sit and stare at. It’s relaxing to me and knowing that I was able to achieve the outcome I wanted with this image feels really good.

Eventually, I will get this framed. I just have to.

This is my official Friday post, look out for some late posts also going up today to make up for the missed ones from earlier in the week. Otherwise, I will see y’all again on Monday!

QOTD: Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

– Roy T Bennett

I had a talk recently with my bishop.

In the course of our conversation, I explained how I had been holding back on some ideas for new designs for my Etsy shop because I was worried about producing religious designs. It has been a back and forth battle because while I get ideas for these designs all the time, I worry about seeming like I produce only religious things.

Not that I am ashamed of my religion, when I am doing my best, my religion is a very big part of my life, I just worry that it will overshadow some of the other things I do and sort of act like a restriction. Continue reading “QOTD: Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable”

QOTD: Simple Happiness

“Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day in the year.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

In our world of social media, it seems we are flooded with endless positivity and success. I swear everyone I follow on Instagram went to Disneyland last month. And Hawaii. And the Mediterranean. And the list of places could go on.

Meanwhile, I’ve sat here in Omaha, dreaming about all the cool places I’d love to travel to, or rather would love to just photograph.

I see my friends buying houses, growing their families, celebrating anniversaries, and blah, blah, blah.

It’s great, really, to see my friends and family happy and able to do so much. At the same time it’s so easy to get down thinking you aren’t doing enough or gaining enough.

Being active on social media can be very destructive if you don’t remember to look at the reality of life. Many of my friends have planned for these things for months or even years. Many work like crazy and a lot of the people I follow are working while they do all these crazy fun things. Everyone started somewhere and then they had to work.

We all have to start somewhere and build into our perfect lives. Someone like me, who has spent most of my life finding excuses not to do things that scare,  doesn’t have a reason to blame anyone for my lack of success and fun. I did that. I held back and I didn’t plan.

And eventually, I need to just let that go and start now. So, yes, we need to change what we are doing and make each and every day the best that it can be and look at each day as the best day ever. Learning to have appreciation for the little victories and trying everyday to progress is essential to our happiness.

I know we all know this and I know that it’s easier said then done, but really what do we expect to happen if we just keep doing the same damn thing every day.

Social media is great, but it is such a limiting view sometimes. We think, “oh, I have 400 friends, and they all have great things happening! Why not me?” But seriously that just isn’t true. Maybe the 30 or so friends who share have awesome things going on, but what about the other 370? Some are working three jobs and raising kids, some are knee-deep in building a career at a “9 to 5,” some are jumping from job to job trying to make ends meet, and some are just really not doing anything at all. But we don’t see them, they are the silent majority.

Most of them are happy also. Simply happy.

Let yourself also be happy with what you have and where you are. And then push forward and make plans, set goals, and work hard to achieve them. In the end, we are just trying to survive.