Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Beginning (Again?)

Different seasons always bring an itch of change. (Especially when you start the Summer season with a photographic journey to Cali...) I don't know what it is, but the fresh air of a brand new season brings on an itch for the starting of something new. I am feeling so blessed to be a daughter of our creator, not needing a specific event to change, but the simple change of season is enough. A new beginning. A forgiving of the past, and a step towards a new self. The self I want to be. I have big goals for myself, and I believe the realization that there is always need for change, always need for small steps for growing-is one of the biggest steps to achieving those big huge "impossible" goals. Small steps, it's really all it takes.

But here I am. The beginning of Summer. Just back from the most inspirational trips of my entire life, and I am falling into the same old boring habits. Eating gross food too much (McDonald's, why do you exist on my menu of choice? Really? Sick.), spending too much time "getting inspired" on the internet rather than doing anything inspiring, spending too much money, and just overall being a lazy bum. Truth is, I am a daughter of the King. And lazy bum is not at all a representation of Him. So I was feeling the itch. And I started making lists of how to be better, and what to do better, and changes that need to be made. But I kept on making excuses as to why they were "unreachable" for the time (like not having attractive running shoes. Really, Melodie? Who are you?) and big excuses to start "later on". 

Today I woke up with a HUGE itch. Goodness, can't I just get things done? I was feeling overwhelmed by the lazy pit I was living in and needed a big huge change. So I did my first run today. 1.64mi in 21min. And I was dang proud when I heard the robot voice say, "You've reached one mile" over my headphones, even if it took me 13 minutes of "running" to get there. I was dang proud. I got home, and read. Studied my Bible. Wrote. Spent time with my little brother. Then I went to work. And when I was done with work, I came home. And here I am writing a blog. And I'm about to head to handy-dandy youtube in order to get some piano lessons going as well. 
I've been stuck on James 1. The part where it instructs us to be ACTIVELY LIVING the Word, rather than simply knowing it. I do not wish to be a woman who forgets my appearance directly after I have seen it. I want to be living in Christ's name, representing His huge self through every bit of me. I don't want to sit in a lazy pit. But I want to live as I have been claiming to live for the past few months. 

Decisions should start to be made. Creativity should pour from my pores.
And Arcade Fire's Wake Up anthem is going to be my theme song for the last stretch of my run for a very long time.

Hello world, I'm awake again.
Where is the Summer bringing you?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Really Big Adventure.

I promised a few weekends ago a post that I was unable to post due to last minute planning and being entirely myself. This is that blog and then some.

If you have been keeping up with me, I have been talking a lot about something called A Really Big Adventure. I'm going to start at the very beginning, and go to the very end, explaining this adventure to you all.

Last Christmas, Chris gifted me with a gallery. He chose the place (which is stunning, and beyond perfection), and allowed me to choose the date. I chose October (Don't worry, more information will be coming out about the gallery in the future).
Then began the process of what to shoot. I first began this process of all these inspiring people, and how I would shoot them and what I would make it look like, etc. But I got ahead of myself, and was very quickly forgetting the heart behind it. I sat down, readjusted my thinkers, and allowed myself to clearly think of the things that I wanted to show as my individual self for this gallery.
Something kept sticking out to me, but I just kept shoving it back. It was "impossible".
My idea was to take a big group of friends, drive to California, rent a VW van, drive up the coast together, camping along the way. I've always loved travel and road trips. I desire community within the groups of people I know. I belong behind a camera, shooting things that I love and am passionate about. My desire was for raw community. The bringing together of souls that are meant to live in joy. The chance to create real emotion and creativity and passion and desire and depth. To live by community for nine days, bringing us all closer and closer to a common goal.
One day, I was venting to Chris about all of my ideas and he quickly shut down the idea that this could be impossible. He told me to sit and look at things practically, and I may find they are not as hard.
So I did.

And I found exactly what he said I would find.
This wasn't going to be as hard as I thought.

I brought up the idea to my Mom first, and she didn't completely oppose to the thought. Which is always a good sign. I brought it up to my Dad, and he didn't mind the thought either.
So I kept digging deeper. I sent out invitations to a large group of people I wanted to come. 9 people ended up coming to the meeting, and I was encouraged by the responses.
7 people (including Chris and myself) committed to coming.
We hit a bump in the road, and were unable to get the car we wanted, or the VW van.
Chris's parents agreed to letting us borrow their van.
We booked reservations. We budgeted for over and above.
We bought multiple packs of film for all our cameras.
And soon it was the night before the trip and I was packing my bag and I realized that this was real. My dream was coming true.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, I haven't even barely told you what it was.
A Really Big Adventure quick logistics overview-
Over 3,000 miles.

From Colorado Springs, to Santa Monica, up the coast to Napa Valley, and all the way back. In an old Honda Odyssey van that fits exactly seven people and barely enough room for bags, sleeping bags, tent supplies, food, and all the other things people bring on trips.
9 days.
Tent camping for 5 nights, a hostel for 2.

7 passionate people.
People I specifically chose, and that specifically chose this trip. 5 girls. 2 guys.
6 different cameras.
Canon 5d Markii. Instax wide. Instax mini. 360 spinner. Polaroid Land Camera. Canon AE-1. (and don't forget iPhones.)

Although this trip may be able to summed up in quick logistics, it is not at all what this trip was to me.
A Really Big Adventure was my little girl dreams coming true. The people that were involved have the biggest hearts I have seen. I have shared so many laughs, so many smiles, and been able to be a part of so many beautiful hearts for nine entire days.

It is crazy to me to think that in nine days I have been through six different states, camped on a beach, climbed a cliff, trespassed a little, ate the most beautiful food, been to my first MoMA, rode my first cable car and bus, saw quite a few skunks, shot photos by the ocean, on a dock, in tents, and much more. The best part is that this trip was not about me, but about the opportunity to care for other people. To see depth inside of them and capture it in many poses and/or candid moments. I am filled to the brim with desire to see these people go far. Filled with intensity to create. Filled with the fulfillment of dreams coming true.

Words cannot yet describe.
Be on the lookout for smaller posts about smaller situations. This trip is lingering in the depths of my heart and I am so glad to say we did it. And we did it together.