I am writing this the night before I reunite with my two- and five-year-old children, after 26 days of them in Washington and me in California. A separation that was my choice, after weeks of pleading with my mom to please help me. Please. I can’t do this anymore.
I’m watching videos of them on Notabli, crying because I can see how much they’ve changed in the days we have been separated. I know this time apart will be better for us in the long run, but it’s hard to see my daughter looking and speaking in much more mature ways than when I left. She’s no longer the baby I tucked into my dad’s pickup truck at the beginning of July. She speaks in full sentences now, she rides a trike, she refuses to wear anything other than “pretty dresses.”
I see through my tiny phone screen into my son’s eyes when we FaceTime, and there are the questions “This is fun, but why am I here? Do you still love me?” I can’t change who I have been, but I can affect who I become.
expired Portra 160vc, RZ67 Pro II
Tomorrow I anticipate my five-year-old will run to me, cling to me, immediately seeking the reassurance that I’m really there. All of me, not just my arms and my lips to hug and to kiss, but my eyes, heart, and psyche as well. Read more →
“A thing seen cannot be unseen.”
This has been the thought running through my head at repeating intervals over the past few weeks. I came into this childfree month with expectations about changes to my career, changes to the unpacking status of our new rental, changes to my social life during this very unique time where there is no need to line up babysitters for $20/hour when I want to have a night out.
I saw all of those changes, but the starkest unfurling was the enormous shift I saw to my temperament, attitude, and general happiness levels. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but TH told me last week “I see the woman I fell in love with all over again. I haven’t seen you like this in years.”
He calls me The Martyr. When I take a position I dig in with all I’ve got to hold the fort and make my intentions a reality. Of course I adapt with new information, my departure from Mormonism made that clear, but if I don’t see an alternative option that feels better than my current approach I keep my heels planted firmly in place no matter how my holding might affect those around me. And because I like to be right I’m often not good at objectively weighing the alternatives in search of something better. That’s what was happening with my life, my parenting, my marriage. We got married with a 1950s dynamic, he works and she does the house and the kids, and I was hell-bent on making that doable for us (even at the expense of my well-being and the well-being of those close to me).
It obviously wasn’t working, I had plenty of data points to tell me that. One of those points was the time a close friend said she would describe me as “cynical.” She was being genuine and honest and true to what our friendship is, but it hurt me so much I cried for days. I had become a version of myself I didn’t recognize, and when she said that I realized for the first time that she wasn’t the only one who saw me that way. I don’t agree with it, but I get why there is so much hostility directed my way whenever I share something that revealed a part of my inner turmoil. The problem was not in the sharing, it was in my acceptance that there were no alternatives to what I was doing and how I was doing it. TH and I would have one of those deep and difficult conversations married people have, I would vow to do better, and then I would dive right back into the same situation once again.
I’m not opposed to calling it postpartum depression, having a name helps launch the beginning stage of finding a resolution to the problem. Read more →
I’m sending my #Euroand15 film in slowly, savoring the way it feels to rediscover our trip through the lens of my camera. This is Castellabate, a teeny tiny town with the narrowest streets I’ve ever navigated via car, in the province of Salerno, located in the Campania region. We had several different interactions with the locals that proved them to be some of the friendliest, kindest people I’ve come across.
I’m thinking in particular of the woman working in a bait and tackle shop who listened patiently to me explaining in broken Italian that my film had broken off the spool and I needed some sort of black cloth to protect it from the light once I removed it from the camera. She pointed to a bag used for holding fishing poles and indicated I could have one for free, and then when I mentioned that I also need a pitch-black room to remove the film from the camera she allowed me to go into the back of the store all by myself to unwind my film and stuff it into the bag she had provided. To top all of that off, she offered me some free farm-fresh eggs as I left the store! I wouldn’t have this image if it wasn’t for her kindness and trust in a complete stranger.
Portra 800, Canon AE1-p, TheFINDlab
Yashica Mat 124-g, Ektar 100 rated at 400 and pushed two stops
When I started researching software engineering back in January, I didn’t know much about what coding was past fiddling with <p> and <a href> tags in html. I’m still getting questions that lead me to think a bit more exploration of this topic would help. And maybe get some more people to try it, because coding is really fun! Even better, it’s a really important skill to have as technology progresses and we inch toward The Singularity.
Want to know what it’s like to work with one of these languages? There are so many free resources out there by now that deciding which one to use is probably the hardest part of beginning to learn. Some of the most commonly-referenced resources are Khan Academy, Codecademy, Udemy, and YouTube. I’ve actually had several important breakthroughs watching different YouTube videos, because sometimes a concept needs to be explained a certain way before I can really grasp it. I think you can’t really know what it means to code, or if you’d like to code, unless you try it. Read more →