I cannot tell you how strange it feels to be writing this.
There are a lot of emotions that I can’t explain that have occurred during this project. Every day after school that I walked into the forest behind my house with my camera and tripod I was immediately relieved of my constant stress. There is something almost magical about being able to express yourself and creating art you are proud of for the first time.
On day 1 I went outside and took a self portrait with my dog, Cleo. As much as I hate looking back at my early work, I now realize that in that moment I was starting something life changing.
This project became my life, it engulfed everything around me. I learned to adapt to my surroundings and I experienced such incredible moments with such bright human beings that I couldn’t even fathom occurring on day 1.
This project was a healing process. I lost some friends, learned to appreciate the ones I have, and made new ones. I am just now grasping that I am no longer the person I used to be a year ago.
I am happy, genuinely happy.
I hiked to the tops of mountains, laid in tide pools, flew across the country (twice), walked on glaciers, ran through abandoned factories, jumped off sand dunes, froze in snow covered forests, and watched the sunset above Los Angeles. I have met my inspirations, and now they are some of my best friends.
I feel such a cocktail of expected emotions mixed with nostalgia. I never would have known that the year I documented would happen to be the best year of my life.
There are so many people that I owe thanks to, so many inspirational and outstanding people. I want to thank you all for witnessing a full year of my life. Thank you to those of you who changed it, there is not enough gratitude in the world for you. I was going to make a huge list, but you know who you are, you don’t need a tag to know that I love you all so much that I feel like my heart is overflowing.
I don’t know what is to come in the future, but I am certain about one thing. I am no longer afraid. I don’t ponder about what I might do later in life, because I’ve found my passion. I feel brand new.