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hobbies

Life

Rediscovering myself

rediscover

Original image by Greg Rakozy

The end of 2015 has come to a close which naturally has one reflecting and setting goals for the new year. Many of these said goals will fall by the wayside a few weeks in. 2015 had its up and downs for me. The pros: I moved in with Cory. I’ve never lived with anyone other than family, and so it’s definitely added a new dynamic to our relationship. I also started a new job that I love. The cons: Mom had a health scare and Dad’s health is still up in the air.

The pros aside, I feel I’ve stayed rather stagnate. For the most part, I can tell you what most weeks are going to consist of, because I’ve definitely fallen into a routine. It’s no one’s fault other than my own. Cory and I were talking a couple nights ago and he asked me: What is my thing? Meaning: what are my hobbies? It was a bit of a wakeup call because I simply said, “I don’t know what my thing is” and started crying.  

I love watching “beauty gurus” on Youtube, is that a thing? I do love makeup and that’s probably the closest thing to a hobby that I actively participate in. I used to love traveling, even if I’m not the best travel companion, and I loved photography. During our recent trip to Miami, I didn’t take my camera because it just seemed like a hassle. I had my iPhone and that would be enough for a weekend trip, and even then I only took a handful of photos. This was my first time in Florida and at a beautiful beach, I should be obnoxious and posting lots of photos on social media. But I didn’t. I just didn’t feel like it. Which I’m noticing has become a trend this year. “I just don’t feel like it.” or just “Eh.. I’ll pass..”

So why do I feel this way? Why don’t I know what my thing is? I feel like I’ve narrowed it down to two things. I’ve been out of college for a while now, and I’m still in that student frame of mind, the frame of mind that I don’t have time for my hobbies and so I don’t pursue them. The other explanation could be the SSRI that I’m on. It has been amazing in some ways and not so amazing in others. Hello, weight gain and feeling emotionally blunted!

I suppose what I’m getting at is that I want to spend this year rediscovering myself. Life isn’t fun if you’re not enjoying it fully. I need to revisit things I used to love and I suppose I need to have a talk with my doctor about switching medicines or if it’s time to work on weening myself off of them. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016.

Photography

Memories in 8-megapixels

Sometimes I like to open up iPhoto (or as Apple calls it now Photos) and wander back through my past. This isn’t because I’m longing for anything in particular from my past, simply wanting to take a trip down memory lane or see when an event happened, and then I end up going down a rabbit hole.

My interest in digital photography started sometime during my junior or senior year of high school. I was starting to pick up a couple of small web design jobs thanks to a very influential computer teacher I had who always pushed me even when I didn’t want to be pushed. I remember one day, I took our school’s digital camera out with me to take some photos for a client and I knew I wanted one of my own eventually. This was back in 2001 or 2002 so this fancy Sony digital camera used floppy discs as storage. Can you imagine?!

I’ve had a couple of small cameras since high school and in 2007 I purchased my first DSLR camera: a Canon Rebel XT. I played with it a little after I got it but I found myself frustrated by how many features there were and how I couldn’t quite get the photos to look the way I wanted them to. I quickly learned it’s not the camera that takes good photos; it’s definitely the user and their skills!

Since purchasing that camera, I saw many places through its viewfinder. I visited NJ/NYC numerous times. It traveled with me during our cross country trip to Seattle where I spent a summer. I went to San Francisco, explored Kentucky and a slew of states nearby, and the Grand Canyon. It went overseas with me to Japan and most recently to Europe. I’ve experienced a lot of good memories with said camera, like meeting an amazing group of people from Flickr over the years whom I consider friends now. We don’t get together as much as we used to with the invent of social media but the connection is still there.

I’m not going to lie, since having an iPhone my DSLR has collected a little more dust each year to where there would be months that would go by and it would sit in my closet. This made me sad but with my work and school schedules over the years I didn’t have time for my hobbies. Now that school is behind me, and I have a mostly concrete schedule each week, I have time for my hobbies again. Earlier this week I purchased a new DSLR to replace that camera; a Canon 7D. Which brings me to this post and how getting rid of that camera makes me a little nostalgic.

Canon 7D

Also, I want to say I highly recommend buying used from B&H Photo. I had it within two days of ordering it and I saved a couple hundred dollars just by buying used. If I recall correctly, the one I bought was rated 9 on their used scale which means “shows signs of use, but very clean” but it looked brand new to me but without the box. I was VERY pleased. Now it’s time for me to get out there and get used to all the new features on my camera before we go to Chicago next weekend. Eeek! Wish me luck! But first, let’s take a trip down memory lane and some of my photos I’m most proud of.

testing...
March 2007 — This is not one of my favorites by any means, but I think this was the first photo I took with this camera.

Space Needle
Seattle. This will probably always be my favorite.

Emi swinging

Lychee Saketini

Beer sampler
I could do food/drink photography for a living.

Union Terminal, Cincinnati
The first trip Cory and I took together. <3

Emi playing in bubbles
Do you know how hard it is to take photos of bubbles?! It was hard!

Emi blowing bubbles
See above.