Monthly Archives: December 2009

100. And giving thanks.

Updated – 31 Dec, 2009: As per below, I’m still thankful but the very last few days of 2009 have made me resolute to get rid of some bad habits in life. For me, that includes certain individuals whom I’ve had pretty good rides with… but is toxic to me for the long run & as such, have to go. As sorry as I am to have to make that decision, it’s the best for the long run & as ironic as it is, the only way to salvage what we had in order for us to still retain the relationship.

In any case, it has been quite a ride & I thank 2009 for all its blessings, lessons & hopes. Bring on 2010!


8 Dec, 2009

As the year draws to a close, I can’t help but feel reflective of the year that has been. As I read through some of my old writings as well as the images I have accumulated thus far on this continuous journey of light & words, the need to just grab my camera & go photowalking somewhere becomes even stronger still… and that should explain my mounting guilt of having Bloopy sitting there alone day after day since my last trip in Oct.

Some of that is because there is no one to go photowalking with me, the rest is simply wondering where else to go when the footsteps have already threaded so many places. Mostly, it’s the people bit that gets to me… despite my very high level of comfortableness in doing stuff/shooting alone.

Granted, changes are inevitable. Schedules change. People change.

And that’s life.

I need more spontaneity in my life, especially in the last 2 months where I’ve come to make some rather major decisions for my life & I’m starting to feel the acute lack of shooting getting to me. What happened to those days where I can just grab my camera & head off to shoot some frames, get lost in it all? It has always been my therapy, my refuge… and right now, despite reading/seeing/talking about it every day, I’ve not been able to just take off & just… take photos. Granted, it has been a rather hectic 2 months but I’m worried that I’ve lost the spark, I really am.

As I looked through those images from all my journeys so far, I still remember how I felt at that point in time when capturing them, it becomes a stark reminder that we don’t really have that many shots at things (literally!) – good times with mates become scarcer, the naiviety we held during that time is perhaps dashed by the harsh reality of life or its just a matter of what grips people who practices their craft every single day – you kinda become jaded. When you can only capture those moment THEN, it is up to you whether to seize the moment & make the most out of it; or to lament how it wasn’t good enough to capture anyway.

Reading about what pushes us to further our craft & why we should also shoot things that we normally wouldn’t recently has got me wondering how would I feel about my images from before. Would I chuck em out or would there be some gems that’d remain resonating throughout time & more honed eyes?

So, I will be taking up the challenge to very brutally selected a total of 100 images out of the thousands that has been documenting my life & telling stories on my behalf before the end of 2009 – I still haven’t decided what to do with them yet – it might get printed as part of my posties project, it might get put into an album, a post here, printed & sent to people who have inspired me…. the possibilities are endless. But going through the quality control process is something that I’d like to do, if only just to see how far I’ve come & how far more I still need to push to improve.

Anyway, about giving thanks…

I can still vividly remember how I felt in end 2008, where I had to contend with the insurmountable confusion that surrounded the demise of what we had… The first instinctive reaction was to turn to what I love most & what defines me as a person. Photography + travel. In my world where everything and/or everyone changes, those are the two things that remained my faithful love. A passion so consuming and two things that allowed me to be truly comfortable in being alone. I had to seek that sense of renewal, the affirmation that I am still alive, that I am still capable of loving & being consumed by it.

In short, I needed to feel that I’m still alive.

So I set out on a journey to a foreign land hoping to seek answers, only to realise that answers will only come to you when the time is right. In between journeys up mountain & floating down rivers, feeling the explosion of cultures & being calmed by the gentle spirit of the people… I realised a lot, so much that despite being more well-travelled than a lot of people, I still found the revelations humbling & they remind me why I love travelling alone so much.

Most of all, it reminded me of how lucky I already am.

So a year had passed, and 2009 has been wonderful & challenging at the same time. A year which not only brought me closer to my craft, but also to some amazing individuals which shares that same love for it. I learnt how to grab the bull by its horns & not let fear paralyze me. I’ve learnt how to listen to my heart & say no to what the head thinks is right. I learnt how to deal with loss, and that grief is just like those answers I was seeking before – it comes to you when you least expect it & you just have to learn how to let it wash over you.

Resistance is futile. Impatience is futile.

There are many things which you just have to let it happen, and the message will finally present itself. To quote my bestie – we just have to ride it out. Tackle it head-on & see what comes out of it.

This year brought plenty of occasions which forces me to ask myself some very honest and often, difficult questions, I’m thankful for:

– the opportunities to have honest conversations with myself
– to be able to see life through the lens
– to be given the chance to see life through other people’s lenses as well
– to get the chance to ask myself what is it that I truly want
– to have the luxury to decide what I would/would not settle for
– to cry/waver and yet still have people there with me every single step of the way
– for being so loved & accepted
– for learning how to be happy with the simplest of things in life
– for being blessed with health despite the constant pushing of boundaries I put my body through
– for being able to have my closest friends reaffirm what we have despite only having rare quality time when we can – most of all, for being believed in by some even on days where I don’t believe in myself.

What are you, if not for the people around you? And for that, I am immensely thankful as the year draws to a close and I have these wonderful peeps with me as we head into a new year :)

What are you thankful for?

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