As I promised, we’d do a little backtracking to Week 3. Now I better get started on Week 5. Yikes.
We moved to Nebraska almost six years ago. In late October. The photo was taken shortly after we moved in. I did a lot of growing up in this house – maybe more than the 16 years I spent in Ohio.
Be sure to check out similar images on Dear Photograph. Happy Thursday!
A picture of me. Who knew there could be a story behind that? This week’s 52 Weeks of Awesomeness is “Introduce Yourself.” I wasn’t expecting anything more that an average photo of my average self. But as I was getting ready, I realized there was a story behind this image. The thoughts and words kept flowing in my head as I took photo after photo to get the right one. My mind was forming the story of its own accord. And it all started with the shirt.
At the end of October 2005 – the middle of my junior year – my parents whisked me away from everything I’d known to move to some unknown state of Nebraska. To say that it was a hard move would be an understatement. I’d never known anything other than central Ohio my whole life. I was born there. I had family close by. I’d gone to school with the same people for eleven years. And in one 13-hour drive, my entire life was turned upside down.
A new house. A new school. New teachers and classes and students. A new town that I had to learn to navigate. And we ALL know how directionally-challenged I am. There were a lot of nights I cried. I missed my friends – and the life that had been so familiar to me. As I attempted to find my feet in a school that was leagues ahead of my previous high school academically (I was seriously struggling in pre-calculus, French, and band), one opportunity opened up to me that I didn’t have back home.
I poured my heart into that class. I found out that I was decent at taking photos of all the sporting events. I loved to print out images of classmates from games and show them. The smiles on their faces made me feel like I was making a difference for the first time. My senior year I was named co-photo editor of the yearbook, and took many of the images that were in it that year. That one little class showed me a whole new world of possibilities.
A thirteen hour drive. It’s the reason you’re reading this right now. Seeing my picture. It’s how I experienced so many things I wouldn’t have otherwise. It helped me truly find my faith in Christ. It’s how I met and fell in love with the man I’m about to marry. And the reason I’m wearing a Nebraska shirt instead of an Ohio State shirt.
Sometimes, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. To do something for yourself, to help you grow and learn. I am joining a group of photographers in the 52 Weeks of Awesomeness challenge (we’re hoping all the participation will help create accountability – apparently none of us have really finished any projects like this!). Every week for a year, we have an assignment. Some will be more of a challenge than others. This week, it was a free for all. So I took my camera to work with me yesterday and photographed one of my favorite things on hot days: cold water. In a mason jar. There’s seriously nothing better. Other than maybe shade and a cool breeze. And all three combined? Heaven.
I’d love for you to join us! You don’t have to be a photographer to do this. You can participate with a point-and-shoot camera or your camera phone! Just have fun, challenge yourself, and see where you go!