May 19, 2018

refill the fun tank

Cardigan: Thrifted, T-Shirt: Old (Similar), Shorts: Old Navy (Similar), Shoes: Shopko

A weekend getaway is always a good idea. Especially if it involves a quick 24 hour trip to Burlington to see my family and friends. The last time I was home was Christmas! After a looooong week at work, this trip was just what I needed to refill the fun tank. 

My mom made BBQ chicken on the grill after I came home hangry Saturday afternoon. I went to the cemetery to see my dad and grandma and sit in the quiet for a while, and then took a drive around Burlington to see everything that’s changed (and everything that hasn’t!). Channeling my inner-seventeen-year-old-self, I drove out to the old fish hatchery and took self portraits on the bridge for my 52 Weeks. My mom and I talked at the kitchen counter like we did every night when I was a teenager. It’s comforting that some routines just stick with the passing of time. 

This morning, my aunt and uncle took me out for what I’m calling my belated birthday breakfast. I took a much needed nap when I got home, and then Noelle came over for a little bit. I showed her my maid of honor dress after my mother made me parade around the house in it the night before like I was back in high school going to prom again. We talked wedding stuff for hours and I’m so excited to watch my person marry the love of her life. Now I just have to figure out which embarrassing moments to call out during my speech!

We went to Adrian’s before I left town, because it’s never a real trip to Burlington unless Adrian’s is involved. That little custard stand will always be a little lonely without Betty there, but it will always be home. (Brig, what’s a girl gotta do to get her hands on a Betty shirt?)  Noelle’s fiancĂ© and boys met up with us there and it was nice to spend time with them. Ten minutes after I got back to Waupaca, I texted her “I miss you already” like I’m not gonna see her in 4 weeks anyway. 

Trips home are always so good for my soul. Bring on the next 27 days so I can get dressed up and DANCE with my people. 

Week 5/52

May 14, 2018

currently, may edition

taking walks around the back yard every morning

waiting v impatiently for the pink trees to bloom

working 6 days a week since May started

feeling exhausted and cranky and on the edge of burn out

desperately seeking a day off to get caught up on photo editing

drinking a lot of coffee to get through the day

looking forward to a trip home this weekend

counting down the days to my best friend’s wedding (33!)

hoping a cute pair of gold shoes will fall into my lap for my maid of honor duties

watching naruto shippuden with Justin & gypsy by myself

trying to be gentle with myself during this season of “go-go-go-go”

reminding myself to honor the past in order to change the future 

May 12, 2018

an act of self-preservation

Every day this week, I have cried big fat stress tears into my morning cup of coffee. I keep saying the same things over and over again, hoping that things will get better. That maybe this time things will actually be different than any of all the other bullshit that has happened in the last five years that I have spent in fast food. All it takes is work ethic to fix the problems at hand. A propensity to actually do the things you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it. All it takes is the ability to actually follow through on a problem instead of spewing empty promises and treating the people who work for you like babysitters, and then wondering why everyone is angry and snapping all the time and threatening to walk out on their shifts every day.

In the words of Tegan and Sara, "Let go, and move on/We're strangers, we're not friends/I hate this. And I hate them." I hate waking up every day and crying. I hate the pit that forms in my stomach as I watch the hours tick by without my permission on the days I have to work. Every minute the clock gets closer to 3pm, my heart starts beating stronger and the anxiety beast in my head gets its megaphone ready. When does the self-preservation instinct kick in? How do you know when enough is enough and throw in the towel? How do you access that kind of courage to let go and leave behind the community you've grown so comfortable in, as well as a steady paycheck, in order to chase your own dreams?

Peaceful moments come in waves. This morning, after waking up ungodly early and once again crying into my coffee cup after a barrage of passive-aggressive messages from one of my higher-ups at work, I took my morning walk to appreciate the sunlight that I don't often get to appreciate anymore. I finished up a load of laundry and took a shower, a reminder to be gentle with myself at times like this when my tender heart is stirred with rage which later turns to sadness and self-loathing. Taking pictures in the backyard for half an hour made me forget about Hardee's for a little while. The only times that I feel that pure, unfiltered sense of joy pour through my heart lately is when I am taking pictures. Even sitting in front of my laptop for three or four hours a day editing wedding pictures doesn't feel like work because I love what I'm doing.

Fight for what is precious to you. Do whatever it takes to keep your own well-being preserved and intact. You will come out stronger on the other side.

Week 4/52

May 08, 2018

have the nerve to become

I bought a new pair of sneakers, hastily threw together an all-black outfit, and photographed my first wedding of the season on Saturday. I took a little breather after family pictures at the church to take these on the edge of parking lot. 5 minutes of Self Portrait Therapy, and I was ready for wedding party pictures at the park and navigating Oshkosh's 3 million roundabouts. Ended the night with achy feet and jelly legs and slightly emotional after the parent dances, but also feeling on top of the world. When you feel like the work you're doing matters, it makes you try harder to become the person you've always wanted to be.

This is just the beginning.

Week 3/52

April 26, 2018

new growth

Shirt: Oui Fresh, Jeans: Old Navy, Shoes: Thrifted

This week feels like it’s been about 300 years long. The snow from last week is gone for the most part, and it’s been in the 50’s and 60’s all week. Spring is officially here to stay and I am so excited. Starr and I took pictures in the woods today. Everything is still dead and brown and void of anything resembling life, but these moments are always the ones where new seeds of hope and life take root. 

Week 2/52