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So I missed a deadline for a photography competition I was really keen to enter. (Damn!!) When I first saw it I set a gazillion reminders for the last week of submission. Why didn’t I just enter when I first saw it? I thought of how to motivate my shot and why I thought it encompassed the theme of the competition. During a lunch break, in that last week, I decided ok let’s do this… And then the site was blocked (office IT restrictions suck!) I came home on the last day for submissions and was completely distracted by a new recipe I wanted to try out. Yes, this too is an interest which I dabble with now & then 😉 So tonight as I logged into the site, I was mortified with the big sign saying “entries are now closed” 😭This just made me angry with myself for not making the time to do something that excited me. Another opportunity lost. I know there’ll be more chances, but I just hate that I keep seeming to miss out because of my own procrastination. Or lack of commitment to what I want to be a successful photography path. 

Well, maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling me “not yet” or on the flip side it could be saying “commit to your passion”. I must stop procrastinating & get my shots out there!

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A moment missed…

I was extremely sluggish this morning… more so than usual. I’m a selective morning person, by this I mean when something exciting is happening – like an early morning beach swim, hike, road trip, something with a purpose other than “going to the office” I’m up at the crack of dawn!

So off I go, wiping my weary eyes, going through the motions. Then, while driving, I felt my insides awakened by a gorgeous sunrise. I could literally feel my eyes open wider. Now, I live in Cape Town, so our sunrises and sunsets are absolutely stunning! But this morning, as I came to the top of a bridge, my first instinct was… “Stop the car, get your camera & capture this!!” I had such an internal struggle because I really wanted to, but because I was running late & didn’t want to “look bad” walking into the office 10 minutes late (micro-managed under an iron thumb!) – I didn’t stop.

I can still picture what I saw this morning, with sadness in my heavy heart 😦 No two sunrises or sunsets are the same. So my chance has passed. I won’t dwell on this, what could have been or what isn’t. I just needed to get it out of my head-space – so I can concentrate on my 12-Tab Excel sheet I’m (supposed to be) working on 😉

The lesson I take from this experience is, when you have an opportunity to do something which excites you, awakens your grumbly insides, or just makes you smile… you must grab said opportunity!

So will I stop next time? Keep an eye on ‘My Pics’ page 🙂

Friendship – Beyond Borders

I’ve been quiet over the past couple weeks, but with good reason. I had a friend visiting from India for 3 weeks. This is a woman I met when I traveled to India in 2011 (I promise to share more about that another time 🙂 ) Since then, we have stayed in touch and this has been her 2nd trip to Cape Town. We are now officially, unofficially, whatever… sisters for life!

I took her shopping, took her to some places that showed off the gorgeous views of Cape Town and she cooked for my BF & I. Boy… can she cook! Without effort, willing every time she saw us! I had to beg to take her out, haha! Authentic Indian food, with spices she brought with her (and loads for me to keep!) When I was in India, she took me to a little street stall that sold Ginger Tea. I fell in love with it and she remembered, so she brought genuine Assam tea leaves from her home town to make for us every day 🙂 I say genuine, because the “Assam tea” I found locally was nothing in comparison. The size, texture & smell was completely different.

However, on this trip, the timing of her visit was so very unfortunate & sad. She had lost her father & wasn’t able to attend his funeral, in another town in India. On her second night here, she called me & simply said “I need you” I didn’t hesitate for a second & was with her as soon as I could get there! She just simply needed to be sad with someone she felt close to. What an emotional time. One which I completely identify with, having lost my father in 2013. It’s not easy. For her to feel comfortable & trust me enough to share her heartache, really means a lot to me. It felt good to be that person for her. To know, my presence meant she didn’t feel alone. So when we had to say our farewell last week, there were no dry eyes. When she departed, she was going directly to her mother in their home town, Digboi. I know she is with them now & can mourn together with her family, this somehow brings me comfort.

This friendship runs deep & is one I will always cherish. We don’t know when we’ll see each other again. We text & call & mail each other & I can’t believe that this seems to be enough for us. It’s just indescribable. I suppose we make very few special connections in life, like this one, but when the connection is made – you just know! Time zones, language barriers & distance just don’t matter.

What did I take away from listening to Jon Reid – travel photographer

If I could walk out of my 8-5 desk job, I would be a travel photographer. I’ve always known this. Simply because I am curious, love exploring, being absorbed by a new culture, making new connections & I know there is so much out there – waiting for me.

Last night I attended a talk at the Cape Town School of Photography . The speaker was Jon Reid of Nomadic Vision. A teacher turned travel photographer.

I must say, I hung on every word! It was as if I was the only person in the room & he was having a chat with me…then some random voices popped up asking questions. But, what I took from this experience is a lot of what I already knew & more of what I didn’t even think of!

When you hear “travel photographer” you think… Wow! Imagine travelling the world, taking photographs of your journey & being paid for it. What I know is – its hard work. Your success is determined by your effort, more so than your talent. Jon spoke about exactly this. Saying, his shots are not the ones that would necessarily get 1000’s of likes on Instagram, but he is gripping you with the emotion of the shot, opening your imagination & drawing you into that far away land. I absolutely identify with this!

He touched on how & where he started. It’s taken him 10 years to get where he is today. (Reminder to self: Success is not achieved overnight. Check!) Jon spoke about travel challenges, imagine your flight is cancelled & you have to be somewhere because this is your job! How does he overcome these challenges? With a little creativity – he calls it creative problem solving. I love that 🙂 The preconception is that all photographers must be creatives, after all their work is art, right? Well, no… Creativity comes in many different forms. And as he explained, solving problems for the challenges he faces, is his creativity.

Aside from getting to-and-fro challenges, there are countries rules & regulations you need to get past. Needing permits for locations & permission from authorities for all sorts of things. And with that, come costs. Researching your destination ahead of time, interpreting & understanding the brief you’ve been given by your client. Jet lag, acclimatizing, being fit enough to handle walking for hours with your gear, having back up equipment or available funds to replace if your gear is damaged, stolen or lost. These are some of the things I never thought of. And now my eyes have been opened.

I like that Jon spoke to us about his business as a travel photographer. He shared tips, insights & good advice overall.

I left the talk feeling motivated, awe inspired & a bit emotional – because it hit home. There’s nothing stopping me, but myself. I did not leave feeling deterred by those challenges. Life is full of challenges. If you are doing something you are passionate about, you will go the extra mile and beyond.

My first Kidult party!

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve picked up on some new interests over the past couple months. One of these is Coloring in for Adults – relaxing with art.

My curiosity led me to flipping through a book in store & I fell in love with the sketches. (Needless to say I purchased it!) Somewhat mesmerizing, the little girl in me was awakened as these images drew me in. Coming home from a rough day at the office, picking up my colour pencils & settling down with a cup of coffee… I found I was losing track of time while just completely relaxing.

So imagine my delight when I found a group on Facebook, hosting a Kidult party! Essentially, it’s a kid’s party for adults 😀 Hosted in a quaint little coffee shop (Am I in heaven?) in Kalk Bay this past week-end, tables filled with color pencils, pages of sketches to be filled with color by all those attending – it was different, yet I didn’t feel weird at all. (Don’t ask me why I thought I’d feel weird in the first place)

I sat at a table with 5 complete strangers – medical students, a father, a self-employed lady, a photographer – all there for the same reason. To just be a kid again! It was also really cool to see other people’s approach to coloring. Some keeping within the lines, others just going free-hand, some blending colors. Really inspiring!

It was a really cool experience. After two hours, I was very eager to mention I’d certainly be interested in the next party. I chatted with Joy – the hostess, whose name really suits her – and told her what a great idea I thought it was & I wished her much success. Check out her site here:

http://www.meetup.com/Play-school-for-grown-ups/

Below are some of my first color attempts…I love them 🙂

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Eye love…

I’ve often said, I hope I never lose my eyesight. I see beauty in so many things. This is why I love photography so much. To capture an image that made me smile for some reason and to share that with someone else. A picture can transport you to a world you never knew existed. A picture can open your mind to wandering streets of far away places. A picture can make you feel! How powerful is that?!

Do feel free to check out some of my pictures on the “My Pics” page in this blog. I’ll welcome any comments you’d like to share.

https://lotshappeningupthere.wordpress.com/my-pics/

Today, I’m sharing one pic in particular. Simply because it’s cold & rainy in Cape Town and this pic reminds me of how glorious our summer was. (Although, Autumn is my favorite Season… 😉 )

Proudly South African

Proudly South African Surfer

 

Does it ever end?

Peer pressure doesn’t magically disappear when you turn 21. It’s something that takes a different form once you’re an adult. Sometimes it’s just blatant bullying.

For example, why don’t you have a boyfriend? (In the “what’s wrong with you” tone) You may even get nudged (or bullied) into a fix-up.

Now I have a great guy in my life, so the shift moves to “when are you getting married?” You then get reminded that you’ve been in a relationship for however long they can remember you being together. Also, you are reminded how many others have tied the knot. Ever consider, maybe we as a couple have just not found this to be a priority? That maybe we are happy & content with the way things are? And last I heard, weddings are frikkin expensive – we’d rather TRAVEL!

Next up…the “when are you having kids” questions. Oh my hat! Having been in said “long relationship”, my partner & I discussed this at length & came to the decision that we have no interest in having kids. We don’t have to justify or explain our decision to anyone. But the amount of brazen reactions we get, like;

  • You don’t know what you’re missing out on
    • I’m sorry? Sleep?
  • Who will you have when you’re old
    • I am enough & plan for my “old age”
  • Don’t you want to leave a legacy
    • Doing so everyday
  • How can you be so selfish? There are women struggling to have babies & you choose not to?
    • Am I to become a surrogate to ease your conscience? “Choose” = Choice = MINE

I live my life. I am not a sheep in the herd following what everyone else is doing. If something works for me, I am going with that. Surely, if I am happy, that should be enough? It’s hard enough being an adult, having to deal with grown up pressures, work stress, bills to pay, etc. Dealing with other people’s ideals is certainly not on my priority list.

Thank goodness I’ve gotten over the “people pleasing” otherwise I may just have popped some kiddies to “fit in” or make others happy.

So you really have to be clear on what it is you want. Before succumbing to the peer pressure & making life altering decisions.

Please feel free to comment on this topic.

Yawn…

I’m tired! Tired of being a people pleaser. Tired of wanting to be liked.

I think this is the point in my life where I’m realising just how exhausting & draining it is. The people in my life, the people I allow into my world, know me. They know all my quirks, get my sense of humour, cringe politely at my bluntness, they get me. Those who aren’t in this magical circle, don’t get me. I get that now. And I think I’m becoming ok with it.

So what if I’m not included in your hush conversation or private joke. Just because you’re giggling, doesn’t mean you’re giggling about me. This is something I really need to let go of. I am not the centre of other people’s worlds…haha! I mean, really now!

I’ve always wanted to be included & liked. From as far back in my memory as my brain allows! Often, this came at my own expense. So much so, that I don’t really know who I am. After always wanting to be something someone else wanted. Or, always thinking I had to be the same as someone else. This has to stop! Good grief! How am I going to live the life I love, do the things I love, dress the way I love, eat the way I love or just LOVE my way… if all I ever do is seek approval (albeit secretly / subconsciously) from others? So I smoke, I swear, I have a flabby belly… I’m not perfect, but I have yet to meet someone who is. So why do I seem to have the misconception that others are “better” than me, that who they are, what they are is better than what I am? Strangely enough, with all my imperfections, I am loved. I am liked. I am enough, just not for myself it seems.

Now where do I start? It’s so daunting! Having realised this, I now have to face change. Change in my mind. Shame, poor little head-space is overflowing! Ok, ok. I am also tired of putting pressure on myself, so I am going to take this one slow. Rediscovering who I am. What makes me tick? What makes me laugh, cry, hurt, enjoy? Over the past few weeks, I have started realising there are things I like & enjoy that may not interest people in my life. (More on this another time J ) Just because no-one else is doing what I do, enjoying what I enjoy, doesn’t make it wrong. It doesn’t mean I should stop, or be ashamed of it. This is part of who I am.

If the people in my life, in my magical circle, can’t understand these things about me or don’t like me the same because of it, then our circle needs to be re-evaluated. After all, not all circles are unbreakable.

Return of the finger…

I’ve been afraid to come back here & put typing finger to keyboard. Reason? Because it’s been a while since my last post. I started this blog with great intentions of getting out of my head-space. Then I missed one day & it became two days, suddenly I “didn’t have time” and “didn’t know what to write about” Now I feel like I’ve flopped…more accurately, failed!

Maybe “afraid” isn’t the right word. Maybe I’ve just been procrastinating. But I seem to be putting unnecessary pressure on myself to have to do this now. And when something becomes a “have to” I usually gravitate away from it. I don’t want this to happen because I remember the excitement & positive vibes I got when I started. So I am going to make a concerted effort to keep on! No pressure, just to enjoy the process. It’s quite fulfilling.

So watch this space 😀 (hopefully it won’t be empty space…haha!)

Isn’t that corny…

I very rarely forget a dream.

Often, my dreams are vivid, detailed, sometimes gory violent, sometimes riddled with emotion – so much that I wake up with those very emotions, sometimes extremely pleasant & happy… I’m not one of those dreamers regularly falling off buildings or being chased or screaming with no sound coming out. No, I am living in another world most times in my dreams. I am seeing people I haven’t seen in years or don’t even know, I am doing things I don’t normally do, liking things I don’t normally like, etc.etc.etc

Just last night, I dreamt about corn. (I know, right?!!) Well, a deep discussion was being had about how to hold corn so you don’t burn your hands. An older person suggested the best way is by using a pair of pliers. This was happening on one of those American style front porches, with lots of open land & probably around dusk. I remember looking up at the sky & smiling.

Shortly after the first suggestion, I remember a roaring laugh & then some chatter about how ineffective that was. I kept thinking… what about those little spike thingies? Why is no-one suggesting that? Just as I was about to put forth (what seemed like my ground breaking idea!) there were birds… lots of birds. Not in a creepy way, but suddenly there was no more corn, or talk of corn. I felt so robbed! Maybe the lesson here was: Speak up! Or eat more corn! Who knows 🙂
Now, this often happens in my dreams… Instant change. One minute I could be in tropical paradise, the next on a race track. LOL The wonderful world of inside my head-space!
Even in dreamland, there’s lots happening up there!