Today I Turned 30.

Today I turned 30.I had been dreading the big number change for several months now. Thinking of all of the things that I wished I had accomplished, all of those life goals that didn't quite come to fruition-I wasn't ready to suddenly feel like a "real" adult. But you know what. There isn't some magic timer that ran out at midnight. There isn't some hidden rule that says that all goals must be achieved by age 30. And yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, that rule was written in stone and the timer had been set. But today still came and nothing changed. There isn't a prize for checking off all of your hopes by a certain date.

I was trying to figure out what to post today, and I realized it should be a portrait of myself. I'm always talking about the importance of existing in photographs and being seen, but I need to practice what I preach, too. And let's be honest, that's not always easy. So as I started digging through files on my computer, trying to find one that I had maybe overlooked in the past, I realized that I saw myself differently now. The last time I went through those images, I only saw a couple that were "good enough" to post. This time was different. I started seeing the little quirks that I have, but rather than dismiss them as flaws and quickly moving on to the next one, I had an appreciation that didn't exist before. 

This photograph is technically imperfect. 

But it's real. It's my weird laugh, and my nose crinkles, and my eyes squeezed shut from giggling. And it's me.

For months, I've been wanting to start a personal project, but I just couldn't figure out what I wanted it to be. As I was driving away from the studio this afternoon, it finally came to me. Title, purpose, the works. Now that I've found it, it's this driving force, something that is dying to come to life. And I can't wait to get started.

“I exist as I am, that is enough, 

If no other in the world be aware I sit content, 

And if each and all be aware I sit content. 

One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself, 

And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years, 

I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.”

-Walt Whitman