I don’t even know where to start with 2009. It’s been a rollercoaster year of trying to figure out my life and myself. I’ve had a difficult time staying positive about most things because there always seems to be a downside to everything. It’s been a year of discovering changes, meeting a lot of new people, travels, and setting personal goals.
- Found out that I have another kidney stone (sixth one), but it hasn’t grown or passed. It’s hanging out in my kidney for the time being.
- Moved from the warehouse where I was living into an awesome 3 bedroom, 2 bath three story house with a patio. It is awesome.
- Took a woodcut printing class again with the same teacher at Fleisher Art Memorial.
- Met Neil deGrasse Tyson and Buzz Aldrin at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
- Gave a talk at Ignite Philly 3 about the Philadelphia Grid Project, a photography group that I had been a part of for over a year.
- One of my Philadelphia photos was used on the cover of Joe Queenan’s book, Closing Time.
- I did a shoot for a SEPTA bus ad that was supposed to only run for one month, but still running…nine months later.
- One of my most well-known photos appeared on the Tyra Banks show.
- Harry Kalas passed away and I went to the memorial at Citizen’s Bank Park.
- One of my photos used in the movie poster and promo materials for Francis Ford Coppola’s film, Tetro.
- Spent a week in NYC with a bunch of photographer friends from istockphoto.
- My grandma died.
- Went to a bluegrass festival in central Pennsylvania with my grandpa and my cousin.
- Went to Calgary, Canada for a week to attend an event at istockphoto’s headquarters and meet a bunch of friends.
- Spent two weeks in Acadia National Park in Maine.
- My grandpa and my cousin came to visit in Philly.
- The Philadelphia Phillies became the 2009 National League Champions.
- I was selected to start shooting editorial photography for Getty Images.
- Traveled to Istanbul, Turkey for just over a week for an istockphoto event with Getty Images.
- One of my photos from my recent Maine trip appeared in Outdoor Photographer magazine.
So what’s next?! I’ve lived in Philadelphia for a little over 13 years now and I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with this city. Alas, it has never felt like “home” to me. I feel like I’ve spent the better part of the last 8 years just floating along and not doing anything in my life. Granted, I don’t regret it because I never would have gotten to the point where I am today.
Traveling has been the one goal that has stuck with me ever since I was young. I’ve always wanted to “see the world”. And while everyone is always saying that I’m going somewhere and I travel more than most people do, I personally don’t feel like I’m traveling enough. In August when I left Calgary, one of my best friends told me that I need to give up my life in Philadelphia so that I can change my life and travel. I left telling him that I can’t do it because I am too settled at this point in my life now. Fifteen minutes later, I was on the plane and crying my eyes out because I knew that he was right. We live finite lives and we’re not getting younger. We can’t take our “stuff” along with us when we die. And whomever said that there’s no time like the present was right. So I will live out those dreams of traveling and photography.
For the last four months, I’ve been creating lists of pros and cons on moving out of Philadelphia. The pros won. So sometime in the next couple of months, I am moving out of Philadelphia for good. I don’t know exactly when I’m moving, where I’m moving to, or what’s next and it scares me. My plan seems to change every week, but I’m realizing that maybe not having a plan is “the plan” after all.