I made this piece about eight years ago. But it feels like a lifetime.
Back then, I had been laid off from my job at the art center, had finished a stint at a photo studio, and was waitressing while trying to do as much photography as I could. I knew what I wanted to be doing, but wasn’t sure how to get there. I remember pulling at least one all nighter a week to work on design. I asked everyone I knew and strangers that I didn’t know yet if I could take their photo. I remember working back to back doubles at the bar and falling into bed with my grease stained clothes on. Taking some classes at OCC and photographing ballet dancers and Detroit dance clubs. Deciding between buying groceries and paying rent and choosing rent. Going to bonfires at 3 am, sneaking into pools with fast friends, using my tax return money to fly out to see my sister, not having any money left over after buying Christmas presents.
Things are different now. So much better in many ways and hard in completely different ones. I still love to fly out to see my sister and I have incredible friends. I have the feeling of a home now, because my husband truly is my home. I have two cats and a job that lets me fight for just causes and be creative all the time, in more ways than just photography. It’s also nice to have enough money for Christmas presents for my family.
Right now I’m not physically able to have as many adventures, late nights, or travel as much as I want to. I am unable to pack my backpack and camera and go for a hike in the mountains, because internally, I’m already climbing my own Mt. Everest. But like eight years ago, this struggle will be worth it. And it’s the love and kindness of everyone that keeps me going, thank you. Cheers and don’t stop dreaming, friends. Xox
*Photography piece by Lauren Mac of Lauren Mac Design