Making her mark //

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Quietly, she laid down her belongings and sat by the water’s edge.

She was a curious figure, clad in all black except for the flashes of green coming from her scarf and from the pen she used to finish writing a letter she would never send.

When she woke up this morning, she had no idea she would be here, staring out into the lake but the day’s events compelled her to find the calm she so desperately sought.

So off to the water she went.

The ripples on the water’s surface always found a way to soothe her. The uniformity of it all was mesmerizing but she knew that, just like life, nothing was entirely as it seemed on the surface.

Fueled by energy from the wind, the ripples left their mark on the water’s surface. Each ripple blended carefully into the next but each one was unique in its beauty. A mix of jealousy and awe filled her soul. 

She stayed for a bit thinking about everyone that passed her as she watched the water. Who were they? What force of energy brought them here? She thought about this until she could think no longer.

Slowly, she packed up her things, slipped the letter she was writing into her jacket pocket, and disappeared.

As she walked, her soft movements travelled through the air and across the water’s surface and, for a moment, sped up the flow of ripples on the lake.

Welcoming a new decade: My goals for 2020 //

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I know it sounds cliche but I genuinely cannot believe an entire year – 12 months! – has passed. Last year, I wrote out my themes for 2019 and shared them here as a way to document them and hold myself accountable. This helped as I went back a few times in the year to remind myself what intentions I had set for the year. Before writing about my goals for 2020, I wanted to spend some time reflecting on my previous goals.

My first theme in 2019 was balance. While I believe that all of my 2019 goals are lifelong ones, this one in particular is definitely one that I will keep working on moving forward. This year, I had a lot of change in my life and keeping focus of what matters most in those times of change has helped me become more balanced. A consistent nighttime and morning time routine still eludes me but in absence of that sort of balance, I discovered that no matter how hectic life could be, I could always be grounded. This also relates to the second theme of evanescence because in these moments, I remembered that this life is temporary and what seems impossible today will soon be forgotten and replaced by another seemingly impossible challenge. I’m fortunate enough that my stressors tend to generally be ones that are fleeting but even in those moments where it seemed like nothing would ever be normal again, remembering that life is temporary and momentary was soothing.

In 2019, I also made an effort to become more determined and work my hardest. As a perfectionist, I have trouble differentiating between doing my best and doing the best which has made it difficult for me to be satisfied with my efforts. But by focusing on why I am doing something, I rediscovered the joy in doing things that are purpose-driven and as a result, I became more satisfied with my end results. I have also realized that just because a deadline has come doesn’t mean it has to be the end of what I have been working on. I can come back to it later and continue to build and improve on it without the external pressure.

Finally, my last theme of 2019 was learning. This past year was one where I actively went seeking new knowledge, wherever it may be. I’ve had conversations with friends, strangers, and acquaintances that have reminded me that each and every person in this world has their own unique knowledge based on their perspective. In addition to this, I’ve continued my formal learning as part of my masters degree and did a lot of learning at my workplace. Moving forward, I want to listen, read, and write more to continue my learning journey.

So, in 2020 and into the new decade, I will build on the themes above while focusing on the following three themes:

  1. Consistency: I will strive to become more consistent in the practices that are important to me in order to work towards a more balanced life.
  2. Mindfulness: I will be more consciousness of the things I consume, whether they be the food I eat, the things I wear, or the things I read, watch and listen to.
  3. Experience: I will make a conscious effort to experience new things and give them a chance before closing the door. I will become more receptive and open, each and every day.

The 2010s have brought me joy and heartache, success and failure, but above all this past decade has taught me the power of being self-reflective. I’m still working on incorporating this self-reflection into my photography but having this blog and documenting my thoughts and the things that bring me joy has been extremely helpful. So, thank you to those that have come along this journey with me. Whether you are new or have been here for a while, I am grateful for your support and kindness.

Happy New Year and New Decade and I hope you stay tuned for more to come! 🙂

A stroll through…London Zoo //

This past May, I visited my family in London for two weeks. The first weekend I was there, the weather was very warm and sunny so we decided to go to the zoo!

I hadn’t been to the zoo in years before this visit so I brought my camera along to capture this moment. My 12 year old nieces were amazed by the concept of an analog camera so after explaining the basics to them, I handed over the camera and let them shoot a whole roll. Watching them discover the intricacies of film photography (“There’s no screen? How can you tell what you took??”) was a lot of fun and the three of us had a good time.

Here are some of the photos they took! I think they did a fantastic job for their first time 🙂

196 Possibilities //

196 Possibilities //

I breathe in and open my eyes.

I’m on top of a hill somewhere in the English countryside.

I feel the lush green grass beneath my bare feet and as I look off into the distance, I see the breathtaking view of rolling hills. There is a slight breeze but I can still feel the heat of the sun beating down on me. The heavenly scent of rain on the earth tickles my nose one last time before I return.

I breathe out.

I breathe in and open my eyes.

I am surrounded by the sound of rush hour traffic.

Cars honk up and down the street while pedestrians dash across the sidewalk. As I walk to the side of the intersection, I stop to watch a man strumming on a guitar and singing a song. The tune sounds vaguely familiar which might be why a crowd has formed and people begin humming along. I drop off some change into the guitar case in front of him and turn back to the road. I see bumper to bumper traffic with the yellow cabs distinctive of New York scattered throughout. The sights and sounds of the mid-afternoon summer commute leave me feeling breathless.

I breathe out.

I breathe in and open my eyes.

I reach up over my head and I touch the low hanging leaves of the Amazon.

The humidity hangs in the air and I feel its constant presence on my skin as I walk across the forest floor. I hear the lovely song of a bird up above and as I look up in search of it, I am greeted by a small kinkajou that’s sticking his long tongue at me. We stare at each other for a little bit longer before he scurries off into the forest. I run my hand across a moss covered rock and take in the warmth and beauty of this rainforest.

I breathe out.

I breathe in and open my eyes.

I am suddenly overcome by the rich scents from the spice stalls in Marrakesh.

The powerful smell and breathtaking colours of cumin and paprika excites my senses. My eyes hungrily take in the bright fuchsias, electric blues, and royal purples that surround me. All of a sudden the strong smells, beautiful sights, and hushed conversations amplify and I am swept up by the intensity of it all. I spin and spin and spin. Colours whirl together before my eyes and my ears pick up a mixture of conversations in English, French, and Arabic. I reach out to touch the leather hanging in one of the tanneries and— “Hurry! Sawyer is coming.”

I am called back to the real world by the rushed warning of one of my colleagues. He’s tapping me on the shoulder while straightening his dark blue tie. I rapidly exhale and with a jolt I stand up and start fixing the stacks of paper that litter my desk.

“Good morning.” Sawyer says to us as he makes his way to his office.

I hear my co-worker breathe a sigh of relief before relaxing back into his chair. He swivels his chair around to face me and says, “That was a close one. Next time, will you please give me a warning when you go off into your head?” I thank him for alerting me and settle back into my corner cubicle.

I unlock the cabinet to the right of my desk and rummage around until my fingers locate the piece of paper I was looking for. I pull out the tattered map. I find England, the United States of America, Brazil, and Morocco on the map and mark a huge ‘X’ over these countries. I hold the map at arm’s length and smile as I realize I only have a handful of countries to visit. I do a quick mental count and mark the date and 146/196 on the bottom right hand corner. I place the map back in the cabinet, lock the door and get back to work. My memories of the days travels keeps me going until I leave the office later that night.

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Hi everyone! This concludes my three-part series of short stories. I had fun rediscovering these old shorts I wrote and I hope you enjoyed reading them! If you haven’t already, please make sure to check out the first and second stories of this series, “Table for 2” and Sweet Viola’s Post Office. Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming aka my film photography posts! 

Sweet Viola’s Post Office //

Sweet Viola’s Post Office //

The best part of her day was when she was alone with the packages.

After a long day of dealing with unpredictable customers, she could count on the fact that her precious packages were always there, waiting for her. Of course, these weren’t exactly her packages. She knew this, but she couldn’t help but feel responsible for them since she had been there from the beginning of their journey. She was the one who was entrusted with ensuring that these packages made their way safely to their destination. She was also the one that had lovingly prepared them and would look after them until they were ready to go. This was a huge responsibility, and certainly not one that she took lightly.   The packages weren’t the only thing she enjoyed about her job. She loved meeting new people and seeing her regulars, sharing bits of conversation that could only happen between strangers, but there was nothing that could compare to the time she spent with the packages. Long after the last customer had left and the shop had closed, she would go into the back room and take in the glorious sight of packages lining the wall. Big ones, small ones, short ones, tall ones, packages as far as her eyes could see! Her favourite game to play was when she would close her eyes, spin around, and reach out and select a package. With her eyes still closed, she would hold the package tight and feel for any clues.

When she first started to play this game a few years ago, she would try her hardest but could never locate the package’s final destination. But over the years, she’s learned how to use different clues like the size and weight of the package, the grooves on the stamp, and even the texture of the mailer to zero in on where this particular package was heading. She took great pride in how well she could guess but secretly found joy in the times when she was stumped. Like last Tuesday, when she guessed with absolute confidence that the package she was holding in her arms was destined to go to Australia. However, when she opened her eyes, she was shocked to learn that the package wasn’t going to Australia but Austria! She felt silly making that amateur mistake, but she vowed it would be one she would never make again.

Most days, she would play this game until her husband came to pick her up to take her home. But tonight, her husband called to let her know that he would be working late and asked if she would be okay taking a cab home instead. She had to pinch herself to hide her joy and with a solemn voice she said that she would be just fine. As soon as she heard the line on the other side go ‘click’, she dashed to the door and flipped the sign on the entrance from ‘Open’ to ‘Closed’ and dimmed the lights. There was still technically fifteen more minutes left until the shop closed but she couldn’t wait a second longer to begin her favourite part of the day. What surprises would await her, she wondered. Where would she travel to today?

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Hi everyone! I know this is a little out of the ordinary for this blog but I recently unearthed a bunch of old short stories I wrote. After some thought, I decided that I would try posting some of my favourites here as part of a three-part series. I will pair each story with a photo I’ve taken that I think fits best so as to continue the theme of sharing my film photography

If you haven’t already, please read the first story of this series, “Table for 2”