Finding Hope in Dark Places

My story begins a long time ago—the first time I saw him was during a great yelling rendition of “GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!”  I watched this movie at my friend’s house, probably age 4-5–Somewhere in that time frame.  Over the next few years, Robin Williams would grace the screen in kid-friendly movies such as “Hook” and “Aladdin”, and to this day I can still recite many of the Genie’s words and impressions.

Not only was he my favorite comedian ever, but my love of impressions was birthed from his nutty and lovable persona.  Just watch “Mrs. Doubtfire” to see what I’m talking about.

I think a lot of us laughed at Mr. Williams’ antics because we saw a bit of ourselves in him.  He was always himself in his comedy acts, a busy mind flooded with ideas and jokes that even he couldn’t contain.  His loss affected more people than he will ever know.  But I’m not here to sugarcoat this tragedy, I’m here to give the honest truth about loss and what to do for those who feel like there is no way out.

There are stoic people, dramatic people, loud people, shy people, and so many others in the spectrum of this melting pot we call the earth.  Out of 7 billion (and growing), most of us will deal with emotion in our lives at one time or another.  Emotions are NOT weakness!  Don’t listen to other people’s opinions because they haven’t walked in your shoes.

For those to give the opinion that depression isn’t real and to just “be happy”, well it’s more complicated than that.  Some people have the voice in their head that it needs to just ‘end now’, and they don’t realize just how many people would miss them if they were gone.  Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for reference. 

We all have our struggles in life.  Mr. Williams’ passing affects me so much because my friend did the same thing almost 3 years ago.  He had a few problems and was a former combat veteran, but didn’t seek help because he thought it was “weak”.  I wish I could go back and be a better friend than I was. The guilt that I wasn’t able to help him ate me alive for weeks after his death.  Problem is, guilt makes you miserable, and a couple months later, I realized I couldn’t keep living in a sad cloud. 

A conscience decision was made that day not to pick up the pieces, but to just leave them there and move along in life.  It’s not being selfish, it’s LIVING.  It’s an amazing thing.  I will remember the good times, the laughter, the smiles and the friendship.  Just with our beloved comedian, I will remember belly aches from laughing hard, cuddling with my friend during the emotional scenes from “Good Will Hunting”, and spilling popcorn all over the movie theatre floor, again from laughing.

Awareness of a friend or loved one’s situation is the first step to recovery.  If we hide what we are going through, the thoughts will fester and grow exponentially negative. 

Picking up pieces and trying to glue or tape them back together just yields weak walls.  If we go forward, and start laying new foundations after a loss or difficult time, it will be that much stronger down the road when we face trials again.  We really can be made stronger by everything we survive.  That, my friends, is the silver lining in this life.

If you feel like you or a loved one is in a bad way, there is help!  In the US, call 1.800.273.8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Knowledge can save lives.  You are such an important part of this world.  I have to believe that good will always prevail, and everything will come to pass, just as the sun rises and sets each day.  Just think, each day we can start over, all the past is forgotten.

And that’s a nice feeling J

Christmas booty!

Hi everyone!

Soooo how was Christmas?  I hope you all were able to spend time with family and got everything you wished for this year.  I can’t believe how fast 2013 has gone.  I’m happy to say that I’m 10 pounds lighter, and now have a heart full of love after 2 amazing things came into my life–my new boyfriend and his wonderful boxer, who I let out all the time.

So other than mid-day cuddles, I just wanted to take a minute to reflect on just how awesome it is to have supportive friends, family and animals in our lives.  I would not be here today if it weren’t for the wonderful support of my family and my best friends.  One of these girls helped me out in November after I fell off a tall horse on accident.  I ended up breaking my collarbone, but she helped me out by driving me to the ER.

I got surgery before Thanksgiving, and the bone is now fused and plated.  She’s been a constant source of hangout time and let’s me be myself, as ridiculous as that it.

Anyway, take some time away from the hustle to appreciate loved ones–they are there for you no matter what.

And that my friend, is exactly what ‘unconditional’ means:)

So since November just started, all I’m hearing these days is how cheap candy is a the store, hate ads turning voters and friends against each other for election day, and how the holidays are just around the corner and how the economy needs to take advantage of the limited number of shopping days prospective buyers have this year.  It’s such a shame there are 6 less shopping days this year than last year, that may just send us into a recession (cue ridiculous laughing sequence…..)

Is it just me or is there more to this life than money, money and things?  My guy announced to me yesterday he was gonna do no-shave November.  I don’t mind in the least, because not only does it serve as men proving they can not shave for 30 days, but it also serves as a purpose of bringing cancer awareness to the center stage.  For those of you who know someone who has or has passed away from cancer, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that this is a worthy cause.

If you read the picture above and thought it’s a preachy thing, then that’s too bad.  It’s meant to be a reminder that we ask and ask and ask for everything under the moon.

But be honest with me in letting me ask, when was the last time you were truly thankful for what you have?  I’ll be honest and say I can’t remember when I just sat down and prayed a ‘thanks’ to the Man above for what I have.  I’ve seen some really messed up stuff in my life.  Working at an SPCA will show you just how vile humans can be to animals and themselves.  Walking through a gypsy came where filth, drugs, litter and sadness abound will bring you to your senses that the clean clothes you were complaining about yesterday really aren’t huge problems.  Losing cell service and having a dead battery in the middle of winter in a foreign country will help you realize that scary situations shake us to the core.

On the other hand, I’ve witnessed 50 shooting stars in a 10 minute period, the births of numerous animals, the first few breathes of life, and the joy a hug can bring to someone having a crummy day.  Savor the wonderful gifts life gives, and maybe tomorrow when you wake up, instead of thinking “darn it morning, again,” think to yourself,

“wow, I’ve lived to wake up another day.”

Katy’s roaring…

Here’s a cool new song by Katy Perry called “Roar”

It came out yesterday…August 12, 2013.  I’m not sure why, but this song hit my heart and then some when I heard it.  You don’t have to listen to it, you don’t have to like it.  Heck, if you’re reading this and you’re a guy then you probably think she’s hot:)

Point is, most of us are going through life just kind of existing.

Why not live?

Awhile back, (and I was reminded of this yesterday thanks to tv show reruns), someone told me I couldn’t handle taking AP classes.  Not long after, another person doubted whether I could get into the top University in the nation (at the time).  Yet again, someone else made a comment that I wasn’t that great of a horseback rider.

So instead of being beaten down and wallowing, I did something about it.  I rose up the next day and continued with my life.  No holding back.

I think that’s what alot of us need, a little perspective, and if needed, kick in the pants. (not literally mind you).

Existing is boring.  Living is awesome!

Step 2 will come soon, maybe with some photography.

Welcome to the beginning!

All through my life, people have always pulled me aside to give advice–although not all of it was useful, I do always appreciate little nuggets of information people do hand out.  Whether it’s cautionary advice, or the stuff that you’ll live through down the road, I try to take copious mental notes in the hope that one day I’ll be able to use it.

One of my favorite lyrics from Thousand Foot Krutch is “The end is where we begin”.  Think about it (and stay with me–I’m a deep thinker and will reference lyrics a lot!).  Life if full of beginnings and endings.  We probably over-emphasize these, but what’s wrong with putting some emphatics on the journey?  The journey is usually where all the fun happens!!  Totally awesome.

The main purpose of starting this blog (I’ve had a few in the past, and decided to delete them after not believing those opinions any longer), was to have a reference page for some of my photography I’ve taken over the years.  I’m a self-taught photographer and do edit most of my published pictures, but I also like to leave some unedited stills.  I think there’s a genuine quality at leaving some things untouched–and an even greater power that can rest in those works of art.

If you truly know me, I’m passionate about quite a few things, namely music, animals, and doing the right thing.  I bought a Nikon DSLR camera in 2007 for taking some photography for a local MMA gym.  With lots of practice and hours of patience, I was able to get into the professional crowds at local MMA shows.  Eventually, my road with MMA ended after my close friend passed away, and I started taking pictures of horses at the farm, pictures of my friends and pictures of my dog and family.  This evolved further into taking pictures of landscapes and the earth.

I majored in Environmental Science too–so you can probably draw the parallel that earth stills are some of my favorites.

I’ll post some pictures here–and random thoughts as well.  I welcome any and all comments and questions, and if you have a tip or pointer, I’d be glad to hear/read!

Please also mind that everything on this page and on it’s references are copyright KC Photography.  Remember that you should always give credit where it’s due.  Good things always come back around.

That’s enough of my thoughts for today, thanks for stopping by and visit again soon!