I sit on my bed and wonder what one should do on the last day of the year. I don’t think about it for so long because I think, I’ve been living all my 364 days exactly how I wanted, and today isn’t any different. I write and write before I start hearing all the firecrackers counting down the lasts of the year 2013. When the clock strikes 12, my family and I stand by our balcony and watch the display of all kinds of fireworks, all so colorful and yet still synthetic. I just wonder why people are willing to spend millions to see beauty (and destroy Earth) when they can save all of that to travel and see better, real beauty, without harming any of it. That’s just me being me inside but outside I am hyper and kiss my family a lot, and we spend the rest of the early morning singing karaoke, trying to beat each other’s high scores. When I lie down to sleep by 4am, I can’t believe another year has passed. There is just so much to be grateful for and now I am given a new year to live and breathe and touch other people’s lives.
I write a long list of goals for myself for 2014. Most of which involve self improvements and little short term goals photography-wise. I pray for more faith and for more inner enthusiasm to really study the Bible — to find truth and consider it as my own. I learn to balance my time, prioritizing accordingly and investing my time energy on things that actually matter.
All is calm and I feel more contented than ever. I make a deal with my mom and she agrees to lend me money I would use to buy a new camera (after mine gave up on me many months before — since then I’ve been using my sister’s). The plan is to pay her every month for the rest of the year with money I would earn from doing freelance work. And so I do, and my camera and I become inseparable. I sleep with it beside me almost every night and I feel love radiate through me and onto my photographs whenever I take it with me on trips and shoots. I shoot Pastel Chic for Shop The Gypsy Soul, a creative shoot I’ve been dreaming about for months Mountain Gypsy (where I shot portraits of the most adorable mountain children), a lookbook entitled Primero for The Ilustrados, a little adventure-shoot with Bianca, and photograph food and restaurants on the side as freelance work.
These months are of change, I remember. I learn how to ride the bike one afternoon and the world is new again. I cycle as much as I can the weeks following that, staring up at the sky on downhill slopes, feeling like my seven year-old self again as I relearn the little details of life and creation. There is this sense of freeness when you learn how to cycle (or perhaps when you learn something new) and I was obsessed with that feeling and all that falling and rising. Some neighbors would see me, all clumsy and fidgety and I’d tell them I’d only learned how to cycle the other day and they’d smile and say I’m doing fine.
On another afternoon, I cut most of my hair off on impulse and I never felt more like myself. It was overwhelming (I planned to never cut my hair short again around five years ago) but as most impulse actions usually are, it was perfect. I’ve always felt like my hair was my protective blanket. When it was gone, it took weeks before I got used to the lightheadedness. I couldn’t hide behind all that hair anymore, and it was a good, refreshing challenge for me.
I meet up with a lot of my friends in these weeks — all people who have spent time with my former selves. I realize all the more that so much has changed because that’s almost the only thing I’d hear. “You’re so different now” they say, and a whole exchange of stories and experiences follows. I just always hope it’s always of good change no matter. I haven’t always been the best version of myself. I’ve been many persons I am embarrassed of — angsty and angry with the world when a boy broke my heart, so naive and yet so prideful so I can mask all the misery, insensitive towards others because I thought the world revolved around me. It’s nice to know this version of me is faring well. I’m still the same imperfect person that I am but I try to always do everything out of love and sincerity, and I guess that helps a lot.
I am awfully sick by the end of March after all the rush and the juggling of events and work and only little rest in between but I took care of myself and got better in a matter of days. I left for my first lone trip up to Baguio right after, living with my cousins for a week, staying up late at night watching movies or baking cakes and talking about dreams over milk tea before taking the bus back home. A few days after, I leave for a little trip back to Australia this time with my family, and with a little side trip to New Zealand. Stories and photographs from these adventures will follow.
Much love, C