Can you even remember what you were doing in January? In January I was still a student, now, in November, I feel so far away from school. My person feels much more mature than who I was 11 months ago, celebrating the potential of the year 2021. And it’s hard to believe that it’s almost over. I mean I don’t even remember saying “twenty-twenty one” out loud once. Yet how different from a year ago does it feel? Praying, praying, praying on my knees for an outcome different from 2016.
The disappearance of time is something I will never grasp.
And how do you filter the moments that you remember? Is it through photographing them? With the holidays coming up quickly, do you intend to photograph these gatherings in the continuously strange time we are living through? I do feel remarkably more safe attending larger gatherings this year, having learned so much more about the virus itself. Booking a flight to cook a turkey in a different state seems reasonable whereas last year it might have felt foreign and out of reach. But how much longer until it really feels like it might be gone, when the mask mandate signs have decomposed and the sight of a stranger’s lower half of their face isn’t unsettling. It feels like we are walking on eggshells; still not 100% certain that being together is safe. The summer feels like a thousand miles away and at the same time, this summer felt the closest to the life I used to live. I tried my best to document the subtle differences that made this era of my time on earth feel uniquely different than the rest.
Search your camera roll for “jan 2021” and get an idea of how much growth you have endured in the time since the ball dropped. And then search for “jan 2020” and think about the person you were before the grocery store felt like a battleground (and forbidden chore). And then think about yourself now. What is next for your personal growth? What is that one thing you keep meaning to do but something else just keeps getting in the way? I find that every day I have a deeper, clearer understanding of the person I want to become. But I will never be aware of anything but the present. How will I know when I am the person I wanted to be in the past, when my perception of my ideal being is always changing?
Practicing photography for over 10 years, I find that it is most helpful to look back on photographs to document personal growth.