Wednesday, December 17, 2014

part of me // reflections

 My Mother in Williamsburg '82. This is how I remember her, that big goofy smile - I can almost hear her laughter. 
I've realized too, that I make that same goofy face. I can't even express how much I miss her.
December 17, 2008.  Six years ago today, I lost my best friend, my mother and a huge part of myself. I remember getting a call from the hospital early in the morning, on the only night that I actually went home to try and sleep, they told me that there was a change in my mothers condition, that I should immediately come to the hospital. They could not share the details with me, and could not reach my stepfather who was working at the time. I called my brother and we rushed to the hospital, it must have been about five in the morning. I remember it all like a blur, my brother and I got into the elevator to head up to her room and my phone rang, "Hello?", it was my stepfather, "Hayley... She's. Gone." I looked at my brother and he just knew. The doors of the elevator closed as I let out a loud cry, and I collapsed. My brother held me and pulled me out of the elevator and I just sat there crying, shaking. I swear in that moment, a part of me just snapped -  it died. I haven't been the same since. Two days after she slipped into a coma, she was gone. Up until then, we were talking about how she wanted to decorate for Christmas, the things she wanted to change in her life. She was doing better. I really had hope, then during the night her cancer spread almost tenfold and she was in a coma. The doctors were shocked, "I've never seen anything like this before".  I knew then, she was going to pass on, but I never imagined how fast it could happen. 
Needless to say, on this day, along with November 3, the day I lost my father the year before, I'm not myself. Unfortunately, these dates are a part of who I am. I don't believe I will ever truly recover from the weight that these days carry on my soul, my being. Every one in my family shares in my pain on these anniversaries. The last person, I devoted my life, and my heart to completely neglected to remember, even when he lived through these days with me. Apparently, these events had no effect on him, I was alone in my suffering. He once told me that two years was long enough, that I had to get over it. I can't believe I put up with that. How disrespectful. I need someone who is strong enough to help me through my continuous battle with grief. I need to be supported emotionally, not criticized. I need someone who understands suffering, someone caring. I need a safe place to share my emotions, rather than hide them. I know I'll find it. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

colonial williamsburg // travels

^ I am so proud to be their grand-daughter. 

Travel brings something out in me, it centers me, makes me feel smaller - humbles me. It's so easy to get caught up in our own worries and problems, to lose ourselves. I'm done playing the victim of heartache and betrayal. I want to feel something again, something real. And I think I've found it. 
I spent last weekend with my family in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. We had a lovely time together, a short trip, but well overdue. I miss my family so much. Williamsburg means so much to my family, it almost feels like home. My family is passionate about history, and about preserving it. I hope to carry on the tradition and share this wonderful place with my own family someday. 
On my return to Seattle, I suddenly, immediately became saddened with the overwhelming thought of there being absolutely nothing left keeping me here. In fact, it took me a while to shake that feeling. Now, however, I am excited about my future and what it may bring. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

piece by piece // reflections

 Shopping at Totokaelo
Photograph | Talitha Bullock
During this period of extensive introspection, I've been getting to know myself a little better. I've spent so much energy being the person every one wanted me to be and not the person I truly am. It's inspiring to be like, "I want to do this!" ... and do it. How sad is that? Yep. Recently, I found the strength to read one of the journals that my mother kept and had been writing for me (and one for each of my brothers) since the day she found out she was pregnant with me to the the last couple of months of her life. They're truly such a beautiful gift, I hope to do the same for my children. One of her last entries, a final letter to me, she wrote about how she felt that I was stuck, that I'd never fully recover or grow close to anyone after her death. That it would shake me to the core. It did. It was then that I finally discovered that that was exactly what was my problem. I keep so much from people, how I truly feel, how I carry my grief with me, how I've been suffering with depression for most of my adult life. I've grown quite good at it - pretending I'm okay.  I was okay with coasting, it seemed to work. Problem is, that person that people think they're getting to know, learning to love is not the real me - I have baggage. That's when the problems start. It's not fair of me, and I'm understanding that. Every one has their issues, and maybe I'm being too hard on myself. It's not that I am being another person, fake, I just haven't met anyone who's willing to stick around when I get emotional, share my story. They all run away, or can't handle it. These situations have trained my pretending-everything-is-okay tendencies. The truth is, no one is perfect and by pretending I'm okay, people feel like they cannot connect with me, fully. We connect with one another throughout shared experiences. I'm human, I have flaws. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

enough is enough // thoughts

 Photographs | Talitha Bullock
Oh hello, September ( You're welcome. I couldn't help myself.) I can't believe summer has flown by as quickly as it has. Faster than ever, that's for sure. I spent so much of it hanging on to old feelings, hurt and heartbroken. No fun. It's funny, since making the leap (letting go), it's almost like I have become more alive. I've rekindled many friendships, and made some really meaningful new ones. I'm realizing my own worth, my own strengths and what I need. I feel like I've grown over the last two months more than I have in the last six years. I'm free, truly on my own. Truly a fresh start. I feel inspired and liberated, yet slightly overwhelmed with excitement, oh the possibilities!

 "I wish I had the courage not to fight and doubt everything. I wish, just once, I could say: ‘This. This is good enough.’" - Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

Monday, August 18, 2014

growth // reflections

It's so funny to me how many people ask me questions about or comment on my hair.  If they only knew what a huge pain in the butt it is! People touch (more like pull on it) it on a weekly basis, I wish I was kidding. All throughout my childhood it was the absolute bane of my existence. I was teased left and right and bullied for having thick, curly hair. I cried on the school bus every morning. I was different. I was this tiny, skinny little kid with an enormous amount of curly hair. Insert images of the little girl from Brave here. I think I kept my hair up in a ponytail for most of my elementary years. My mom tried styling it, cutting it in so many different ways and still I'd get teased. It's taken me years, and I mean it, to finally let my hair grow and lay however it naturally wants. I think what happened was I just had to grow into it, embrace it. I just hope if I ever have a daughter that she takes after her father...   
 & also, another song I haven't been able to stop listening to all summer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

there really is no place like home // thoughts

It's become more and more clear that the city that I currently call home is really no longer home to me at all. Seattle, you've been kind to me. You've offered me a lovely place to hide out and pull myself together once again. You've taught me how to be independent & strong. Unfortunately, I have not felt truly myself since I left my true home, Pennsylvania. I don't know when exactly it happened, but it occurred to me the last time I was back home in March. I rushed home to see my grandfather who was battling cancer and was rapidly slipping away from us.  I miss the air, the countryside, the sunrises, the people, the history, my loved ones... and the food. My grandfather had seen the world, twice over, and had the means to live anywhere he'd wish and he still felt fondly of where he grew up and lived there all his life. If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is. 
So that's plan, I need to be back on the east coast. Where everything, every one is within driving distance. I will live out the last months of my current lease, finish my degree and move home. Seattle, I've given you six years, and you still don't even compare. I still long for home. I'm thinking Philadelphia or even Chicago (where I'll most likely find work and is quickly becoming my second home) by next summer. All that I know is this time, this move is going to be for me
                            "Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration." - Charles Dickens 

Monday, August 11, 2014

overexposed, underdeveloped // reflections

My camera is fixed! Finally. I feel like I've reconnected with a part of my soul. It was odd not carrying it in my purse with me anymore, using my phone to take photographs. There have been so many missed photo opportunities. 
One of my fondest memories of my father is when he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. He, my brother and I spent the morning watching the sunrise on Rye beach in New Hampshire. My father and I were both taking photographs. Me with my little disposable camera and he with his beautiful Olympus. I had always been in such awe of that camera. And my father looked so cool using it. We came home had breakfast, and my brother started talking about how he wanted to be an archeologist. My dad then asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I ran to the bathroom crying and shut the door, I was too embarrassed. He came in after me and asked me again, I said, "a photographer" he laughed and said, "That's wonderful! But why are you crying?" I said, "Girls aren't photographers..." he then said, "Little bit, you can be whoever, whatever you want. Never let being a girl stop you." We shared a love for photography, it brought us closer. We would take trips together and photograph every thing we found beautiful, usually it was the same things. He'd surprise me with a new camera every so often, making sure I didn't give up on my dream.  I'm such a lucky girl to have had such a supportive and loving father. He never discouraged me. Thanks, Dad.

& I cannot stop listening to this cover. It's pretty perfect. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

generational synthetic // thoughts

This past year has been a rough one for me personally, emotionally and mentally. I blame it on turning twenty-six. I feel like I hit that proverbial wall that is my quarter-life crisis. Where I start questioning everything. I'm sure this is what every one goes through though, truly. Anyways, I got to thinking about my career and the things that make me the most happy. And something that became very clear to me over the past year is that I am only truly fulfilled and happy when I am giving back, helping others.

I know I've learned this from my mother. She meant so much to so many people and sadly I only really understood this fully after her passing. On the day of her funeral, I watched a long row of cars in the rearview mirror that seemed to stretch over the horizon, all in long line following us to her final resting spot. It was at this moment when it hit me. Seeing all traffic in my tiny hometown come to a complete stop, to let us all pass, it took my breath away... I knew I had to do right by her. I knew it more than ever. My mother was always supportive, always. No matter what. Was only stern when she had to be. She was always a comfort to me. A safe, warm and inviting person to be around. Never judged, always kind. She would always put everyone else over herself, sometimes to a fault.

So, me being full of inspiration to do something meaningful with my life, I had an incredibly emotional discussion with a dear friend. Full of tears and heartache, but sometimes it just feels good to get it all out. I looked back at the past couple years and I couldn't help but be proud of where I am today. I could be in a worse place, and rightfully so after what I've been through. My entire life, turned upside down after the passing of my parents almost a year apart from each other. Watching them both battle cancer and the toll it took on their souls. I've always been an optimist, I can't help but always see the bright side of any situation - I think it's a mental crutch to be perfectly honest. I'm always protecting myself. Sure it gets tiring, but I really don't see anything wrong with it. I curbed a lifetime of sadness and depression by seeing that, sure these occurrences f*$^ing sucked, but they were completely out of my control. And there was nothing I could do to stop, fix or prevent them from happening. And it's not that I didn't care, grieve or feel the most horrific pain of my life... I've just decided to take that pain and turn it into something, something positive. I will not let it defeat me. I didn't suffer for nothing. I will say, it has taken me years to get to this point. I did not have this frame of mind directly after. It was only until that discussion I had, rare of me to even let the smallest bit of my feelings out, that I knew it.... All of the pain, all of the suffering, I knew I had put it to to good use. I'm not sure where this will take me, what journey I am about to embark on, but I am sure I will not regret the effort. This isn't the first time I've had this internal dialogue.

I also had a moment where I decided that I'm going to do what I love, put it out there and hope that someone out there enjoys it. Because one of the greatest things I've ever learned about being a creative type person is that you are never alone. That song that you can't stop listening to, that movie that pulls at your heart, that blouse you're lusting over, that piece of art that changed your life... I guarantee you someone else out there feels the same and it's all about putting yourself out there for that one person to see you, identify with you and create a bond through the things you love.

Life is short. It's time we all did a little soul searching to really focus on what makes us happy. I believe in happiness.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

sometimes i remember wrong // thoughts

Photographs | Talitha Bullock 
To say I've had a stressful couple of weeks would be an understatement. You know that little voice inside your head, screaming, begging for you to listen to it. Yeah, well I did. For once, I did. I took a risk and it seems it might have been a pretty spectacular mistake. In hindsight, I'm glad I did it - it had to happen. For now, I will learn from it and hopefully move on.

Monday, January 27, 2014

southern summer // color files

I love color, I really and truly do. In fact, I can be very opinionated about it. I've studied color theory and I feel color is purely an emotional and personal experience. How I feel about a certain shade of green, might make you go, "Ew no! I disagree!". My personal philosophy on color is that I feel that colors that occur naturally in nature have the most harmony. I personally love the color green, and all it's tints and shades. I've been getting a few color related jobs lately and thought I'd share a few of my color schemes. I love going through my own photography files and picking a photo that I really inspired me color-wise. I snapped this photo in Virginia at Colonial Williamsburg one summer. If you've never experienced a summer in the Southern United States, this photo sums it up perfectly. You'll experience the richest greens you've ever seen. Everything seems to glow. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

down the line // thoughts

 Photographs by | Talitha Bullock 
Hello 2014. I really, I mean really cannot believe it is 2014. Where has time gone? Wow. The past year has flown by incredibly fast, probably faster than any year before. I blame it on how outrageously busy I have become. My resolution last year was to simplify my life and focus on what really mattered to me. I am pleased to say that over the past year I have learned several valuable lessons and things are a lot clearer, more in focus. Last year was a year of introspection and trying to find myself. 
I fell out of my blogging grove a while back and it's been a little bit of struggle getting back into the swing of it so, I just gave up. One of my main resolutions this year is to get back into it. I want to use this blog as a place to curate my ideas, share things that I love and that inspire me, my designs, my work. I hope I can keep it up. 
So, Little Bit, let's give this one more try.