Picking up where we left off.08/07/2015

When you stop blogging, life keeps moving. For me this blog was like a conversation that stopped and I didn’t know where to pick it up again. I realized the other day that there is no right or wrong way to contact an old friend or start talking to someone that hasn’t heard from you in a while. You just open your mouth and push the words out. One sentence at a time you will get back on the same page. I have a lot to say. I have a lot inside of me that I feel deserves to be heard, whether you or I either one are ready for it to come out. Are you with me?

blanket sitting | iphone photo | Portland, Oregon Wedding, Food, and Lifestyle photographer

blanket sitting via iphone photo: the theme of the summer

I have lived in Portland 9 months already. I still feel like I just arrived. The last 9 months have been some of the hardest days of my life for reasons that I haven’t even explained to my closest friends and family. I have struggled an internal battle that I thought would be the end of my photography career, the end of my relationship with Scott, and the end of my life. With all details aside, lets just say that somewhere between a few sobbing meltdowns in May and a month-long road trip to Colorado where I had a handful of hard conversations with myself, I found my voice again. Something shifted inside of me and I started to feel the anger, confusion, doubt, and depression melting off of me slowly. (Very, very slowly.)

Here are a few of those shifts:
I stopped (at least for now) using instagram, my favorite form or social media, and have taken huge steps away from technology in general. I started listening to my body, my mind, and my gut. I stopped putting pressure on myself. I’m reading a lot more. I’m taking pictures for no one but myself. I left my DSLR at home, turned my iphone off, and photographed an entire Oregon coast camping trip with nothing but a single roll of film on a Holga, only to find out that I loaded the film wrong. And I’m okay with this because this summer has been about the experience, not the documentation. It’s been about getting to the bottom of an existential crisis and being okay with not having all of the answers because we never ever will. It’s been about surviving the heat. It’s been about asking for what I want. It’s been about being thankful. It’s been a lot of blanket sitting and hand-written snail mail. It’s been about words like choice and momentum. It’s been about baking my first fruit pie, camping alone for the first time, and using nothing but my camera to earn a living. It’s been about only giving my energy to the people and things that serve me. It’s about laughing instead of complaining. It’s been about the magic that is OREGON. It’s been about a lot of things that are easier said than done and I hope to share all of them with you soon on this blog because I think it’s about time a conversation be started about the struggles, the parts of life that don’t look that pretty, and the one thing we all have in common: every day life.  So please keep me accountable! Leave a comment, subscribe to this blog for updates, and stay tuned! Let’s pick up where we left off.

  1. Hailey, Your words touched me, deeply. My hope is that your journey of discovery answers vital questions and gives you peace. I know that I and my family spent some of the Colorado days with you and we hold such graditiude for your talent and appreciation for your being. You captured the evening, days , moments… I relive them with such enjoyment as I scroll through your photos. Wishing you clarity and stamina ! The Mother of the Bride, yep, the one who was licked 😊

  2. Reading this I feel so terrible for being out of touch for so long. You are amazing and I really hope you can find some peace amidst the chaos. I believe you to be an amazing photographer, but work isn’t everything and I know what it means to doubt your career path. I hope you can find your passion again whether in photography or any other pursuit you may have. And you should also know what an absolutely amazing friend you are. I rarely connect with people the way we did and even though we are now miles apart and I’m constantly jealous of you getting to live in one of my favorite places, you are often in my thoughts and I miss getting to laugh at some of the crazy s*** we both find funny. Mostly though I just really want you to be happy! I love you!!!!! 🙂

  3. i believe in your victory

  4. I am glad you have found yourself and your voice. I know there are so many of us who would be heartbroken to lose you. It is so hard to talk about, and I’m so glad you could push these (beautiful) words out to share. And reading about it, hearing about it helps people who have experienced or are experiencing struggle and depression in small, vital ways. Can’t wait to hear about the every day. We’ve missed you, your words, your art, your heart. Love always.

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