Monday, August 21, 2006

Have you seen me lately? (year of life in review)

I had my iPod on random the other day and "Have you seen me lately?" by the Counting Crows came one and that lyric struck hard. I've lived in California for a whole year now and as of this week I will have lived in Monterey for exactly one year. As I look back over the year I'm kind of amazing at how far I have come, not just distance across the country but in life in general.

In July of '05 I finally decided to apply to photography school...I needed a change of life. I requested the applications from the too schools I was most interested in, Brooks and Hallmark. I held on to them for a little bit, and figured there is no better time than now. In October I was accepted. Moved in with my dad and step-mom in November, then in April I packed my life in two suitcases and headed out west. I came out here blindly...never seeing the school, not place to live really but just went on faith.

At first glance, it seemed perfect. One of the best/well known photography schools in the country, living in southern California, what could be better? Well a lot. The program wasn't what I thought, I couldn't see myself going into that much debt for what I wanted to do in the long run, so after countless tears and re-assurance from my dad that I wasn't a failure, I packed up and moved to Monterey. Its awesome here, still have a great job, great friends, had a I have a good friend, have an amazing church, and I'm still taking photos!

Before moving out here, life wasn't all that grand. I was bitter, angry, frustrated, depress...pretty much you name, thats what I was. I was like this for many years, some days were better than others and I could play it off like nothing was wrong. Inside all of this was eating me alive and I just couldn't take it. I don't hide my emotions well at all...they are written on my face for the world to see. Anytime something bad happened or I got hurt, I would hold a grudge as long as I possibly could, stubborn should be my middle name. I'm not very patient, I try but its a struggle. I didn't want to live or be like that any more. Forgiveness didn't come so easily to still doesn't. I try so hard to play it off like I am fine and that I'm made of stone and nothing or nobody can hurt me...I'm only fooling myself. I've been hurt, some of which has been pretty bad and has taken a lot longer for me to deal with than others. I try to forgive, but its hard for me. Its a daily choice that I have to make and somedays, I don't feel like making it. I want to crawl under a rock and sleep it away...which doesn't help or change anything. I cry, but that doesn't do much either. I want to forgive, but I feel like its never enough to just be like "ok I forgive ______ for what they did". I still hurt. Why? Why is it easier for some people to forgive than others? I pray for strengh to get threw some days. I pray for wisdom and understanding. Somedays I just want a hug. I want to be "normal". I don't want to hurt. I don't want to put up walls. I wan't to be carefree. I'm not that same person I once was...God has done a lot in me...this I know. I'm not as angry or better. I'm not saying I am perfect and never have bad days, because trust me I do...but not as bad or as often as before. All I know is that my God is patient

So in the past year I:
Got accepted to photography school
Quit my job
Moved to California
Attended photography school
Took out a heck of a lot of money in loans
Dropped out of photography school
Moved to Monterey
Lived off my savings account for 4 months until, no lie, I had 2 cents to my name
Got a job that paid a lot more than my job back East and I'm pretty much doing the same thing
Learned to feel again
Allowed myself to be attracted to someone and actually date them
Had my heart broken
Remained friends with an ex (some days easier than others, but its possible)
Entered a photo contest (didn't win)
Mad some truly amazing friends
Became and Aunt! (to the most handsome little boy)
Photographed three weddings
Got my second tattoo
Watched as friends moved away (and preparing for more to move)
Went to Yosemite and took photos where Ansel Adams did!
Sold between 15-20 of my photographs
Grew closer to God
Been challenged and stretched

Things I'm working on:
Forgiving people and truly meaning it
Realizing I can't run from things
Trying to be patient and love no matter what
Learning to be me
Doing stuff for myself (instead of always putting others first)
Trusting others
Relying on others
Accepting who I am in Christ: that I am loved, forgiven, wonderfuly made, I am HIS, chosen
Let myself be vunerable
Being content

I'm sure there are more things to add to all of this, but its late...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Work in Progress

©jsmanseau 2004

Life as an "adult" isn't all that its cracked up to be. You have more responsibilites (bills), priorities, harder decisions etc. I guess its reality...all part of growing up and can't really escape it, just have to roll with the punches and take each day as it comes. Try to see the good in every situation. When you fall down, get up, dust yourself off and move on. Pretty much guarnteed to make mistakes, so learn from them, try your best not to keep repeating them.


Why am I a fool around you? I stutter. I get nervous. I have a loss of words. Or too many. I feel inadequate. I feel invisible. I can't approach you. I feel worthless. I am confused. I’ve messed up. I’m emotional. I’m embarrassed. I am fearful. I feel abandoned. I’m broken.

Yet, I am a fool for you. In love. Worthy in your eyes. Beautiful in your eyes. I am all you see. You long for me to approach you. To just talk. To draw near. To call on you. You are there. Made new. I’m forgiven. You have made me. I am restored. I am your desire. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You have never left. You are consistent.

Why do I have a hard time grasping these concepts?