Kovu the Kitten //

It was sometime in the Fall of 2013 when I decided to make a declaration on Facebook: if I have a cat, I will name her Luna.

I had just finished re-watching an episode of Sailor Moon and remembered how much I loved Luna and decided to share my love with my friends. Shortly after I made the post, a classmate of mine commented and let me know that if I was serious about wanting a cat, he knew someone who was looking for homes for some kittens. I messaged him instantly and a few days later, I had a small grey kitten to take care of. He didn’t have a name when I adopted him but after a few days of hanging out, the name came to me: Kovu.

000068860019Kovu is the name of a character in the movie, Lion King 2. He has a difficult personality and comes off aggressive and rude. But as the movie progresses, we learn that he actually has a heart of gold and uses his cold exterior as a way to defend himself against the harsh realities of the world. Now my Kovu doesn’t talk so I wouldn’t know about his past and whether or not he had a difficult upbringing but something in his eyes reminded me of the Kovu from Lion King 2 and so the name stuck. Like his namesake, Kovu has grown into a cat with a big heart. He still has his moments but at the end of a long day, he doesn’t shy away from showing us some love. Here’s to 5 years with Kovu and hopefully the start of 5 more!

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P.S. Kovu is on Instagram! If you want to see more of him, you can follow him @kovuthekitten. He loves making new friends 🙂 

Reflections on time //

Alternative title(s): An ode to a less busy life, An anti-hustle lifestyle, When did everyone get so busy?, and Am I the only one tired of being sick and tired?! 

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Where has the year gone? It’s almost March which means that Spring and Summer aren’t too far off. And to think, that’s the way time goes. I’ve been thinking of time a lot lately and my relation to it as an individual and our relation to it as a society.

We live in a go-go-go, dog eat dog world where “the early bird gets the worm” and “sleep is for the weak” are common mantras and descriptors of the society we live in today. From an early age we are taught to embrace busy culture and hustle until we’re dead. I don’t know about you but this doesn’t sit well with me.

It’s not that I don’t like to work hard (I’m convinced that I’m at my best when my plate is slightly overloaded) but that I don’t think this is the best way to live a life. Being busy shouldn’t be a badge of honour and the default to the question “how are you?” shouldn’t be “I’m busy” with a sigh. Sure, there are times when being busy is unavoidable. Maybe you started a new job and are trying to settle into a new city at the same time. Maybe you are a new parent and any semblance of normalcy has temporarily been thrown out the window. But for others – including myself – we don’t need to be that busy. We can take a breather and slash some things off of our to-do lists, forever.

I’ll be the first to own up to the fact that this is easier said than done. But recognizing that this is not the way of life you want to adhere to is a good first step. I’ve taken some other steps to ensure that my non-work time is protected and I am actively working on filling this time with things that bring me joy such as taking a solo photowalk, catching up with friends, and reading or writing. These are the activities that I know will bring a smile to my face years down the road when I reflect on how I spent this time. Staying up past 2am to pump out one last email, not so much.

 

Looking ahead: My goals for 2019 //

 

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It’s that time of year again! The end of another year full of memories but the beginning of a new one with plenty to offer.

So, with the spirit of the New Year, I’ve come up with the following four themes for 2019:

  1. Balance: I will strive for balance in all aspects of my life and make sure I am paying attention to those things that matter to me.
  2. Evanescent: I will recognize that life is temporary. I cannot waste it stressing out about the small things since it will all pass.
  3. Determination: I will work my hardest and bring my all to the things I care about. Giving it my all means feeling satisfied with what I have put it. It does not have to be perfect or exhausting.
  4. Learning: I will make a conscious effort to learn something new, everyday. This is beyond what I learn in the classroom and can come from anywhere – the news, the internet, a book, a friend, etc. I have to seek knowledge and absorb it fully.

A quick thank you to all those that have read my posts! I will continue in the New Year and I wish you a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year 🙂 See you in 2019!

 

 

Self-expression without self-reflection //

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As a person who tends to overthink, I often question why I do certain things. Recently, I have started to ask myself why I picked up photography as a hobby, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I feel that there’s more to it than what’s on the surface.

To encourage my new hobby, I have started to carry a camera with me everyday. Sometimes I go out with the intention to shoot but more often than not, my camera sits in my backpack until I feel the need to pull it out. I started out strong in the beginning, but my photo-taking has slowed down. I suspect, that part of why this has happened is because my mind keeps going back to that same question: why do I want to take pictures? After a lot of thinking, I think I finally know why.

Self-expression has always been something I craved but as someone who is “creatively challenged”, I suppressed this innate need for a long time. In moments where the need for self-expression was so great it felt almost overpowering, I turned to writing. But it wasn’t until I started taking photos on film that I began to realize that this was more what I was looking for. But I still find myself looking for more from my hobby and perhaps that is because I still need more. Photography is a powerful medium in many ways and I am ashamed to say that I only recently understood how powerful it can be. Not only can the photographer show others how they view the world, but the photographer can also learn more about themselves through the photos they take. I realize now, that it is this self-reflective component that I need in addition to self-reflection in order to truly express myself.

So, self-expression without self-reflection: it’s not wrong but it may not be enough.

Introduction

Hello, world! My name is Liin and I recently started to use my Dad’s old Nikon F70 (film camera for those in the know) and have fallen in love with film photography. While waiting for my first few rolls to be developed, I thought I’d share a few pics I took this past weekend on my Instax Mini 8.

This camera was my first introduction to non-digital photography and it continues to fascinate me. When my sister gifted me this camera for my birthday 4 years ago, I knew that deep down inside, it had ignited a curiosity in me that I have finally decided to indulge.

So, if you like what you have read so far, stay a while and join me on this journey to rediscover 35mm film photography. Here’s hoping for some good times and good pictures!

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