blog

Looking for my Phojo

I am struggling to find my phojo.

It began fading while I was preparing, packing and moving to Virginia. Moving consumed so much of my energy that my photography dwindled to an occasional shot of my cats or moving boxes. I have some nice shots that document our life at that time but I sincerely regret that I did not have time to haunt my favorite photo places one more time. There is also a growing list of places that I had intended to get too in Arizona and photograph but due to health, money or time, I never got the chance and that haunts me.

The drive out to Virginia was horrendous. It is a whole other blog post. We spent four days in the car. Sleep. Eat. Drive. We made no stops in hotels or touristy photo ops. We just drove, juggled our resources and did our best not to yell at each other. By the third day, my body completely gave out. I could not stay awake for one hour unless I slept two. It was two days of sleeping and trying to stay awake long enough to drive. Nothing would keep me awake but, again, that is another post. Needless to say, I did not have time for photos.

Now, the first few months here have been a deep struggle between health and settling in our new place. I’ve had a few opportunities to get out and shoot but, well, I just don’t have the motivation. I have no interest in anywhere. Whenever, I ask around about places to shoot, I get a Civil War Memorial or a cemetery. I have no interest in shooting a cemetery. It’s just creepy and gross. Civil War…I’ll pass…I have too much anger and too many issues over southern history to spend my days photographing it. Just typing that sentence makes me angry.

FSCN3121wm

I miss the Salt River, the wild horses, the cacti, the canyons…I miss shooting Arizona. But, I am here not there. I am trying not to complain. I am trying to be positive. I am trying not to cry all day. I am trying to keep looking ahead and moving forward. So, I have stopped photographing Virginia because, because I am furious at it. I left Virginia in 1993 and I never intended to return here. I never intended on moving to the east coast. Ever. Period. Forever. I hate it here.

But I am here. I miss shooting. I am taking lots of photos of my kids and the cats. A more intimate look at my life right now while I sort out this anger toward Virginia and the south…

I can’t believe I moved here.

Jamie

Advertisements
blog

Moving Monday

Good Morning! It is still morning right?

I am in the midst of trying to get myself on a new sleep schedule for my job that starts on Friday. Things are a little topsy-turvy at the moment, however, by week’s end they should be a touch better in the sleep department.

Sunday was an eventful day of decision-making at my house. For a few months now we have known that when our current lease is up in December that we would be making a move. I even started sorting through items, using up the food pantry and managed to get one box packed. Just one. My point is we knew were moving. Where we were headed to was a great mystery. Until yesterday. After months of scouring the country and cities galore we have, unanimously, settled on moving to the east coast. The state of Maryland. City? We are currently investigating, Salisbury, MD. Its location suits many of our needs and desires.

Yes, we are leaving Chandler, Arizona. Leaving my beloved west. I am already crying at the drop of a hat when I think of leaving my home. There is a good reason though. Family.

I left the east coast in April 1993 at the young and tender age of 22. I was living in Richmond, VA. I had two boys under the age of two. I was about to be evicted from the worst part of town. On a whim, I called a high school friend in Washington state. She said I could live with her mom. Within a few weeks, I sold what I could, packed what I couldn’t and headed west in Cheverolet Celebrity. I celebrated my 23rd birthday in Kent, Washington. I was there for five years when another friend, said, “Move to Arizona. We are here and you have no one there.” So, on a whim, I did. In May of 1998, I left rainy Washington for the Arizona desert.

I’ve been here almost 20 years. I’ve raised my boys here. I’ve buried one of them here. I have learned to love, laugh and live in this magical desert. Anyone who says there is nothing in the barren desert has not the eyes to see it. There is beauty beyond measure here and community that is welcoming and uplifting. Arizona is my home. I miss it already and I haven’t even left yet. So why leave? I know you are asking that question. I’m asking this question.

One word, family. I am relocating back to the east coast to be closer to family because I wonder a lot about dying. If I were to die suddenly, what would happen to my boys? Since they were raised in Arizona, they really don’t know any of my family closely. If I died, they would be alone, just the two of them. That is the last thing I want.

A second reason is what if other family members died and I never saw them again. I would be devastated. I suppose getting older and wrestling with death a few times can result in a person making decisions we might not have made before. If we suffer enough loss, we come to know how loss often shines a huge spot light on what is truly valuable in life, people. Not the weather. Not your job. Not your difference of opinions. People. Family. They are what matters most.

And so, with those raw and emotional thoughts rolling in my mind, heart and spirit, we are moving back to the east coast. Life is an adventure!

Wow, T-minus 59 days and counting.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine