It’s Just A Day

Over the past few months — really since summer started, I have been in this ‘work-grind’ mode. If I am being honest, that is new for me. I cannot really describe what the other way of being was for me before this point, except to say it was more lackadaisical. But since the beginning of summer, I have just felt more driven to work and to do things.

Since the beginning of the school year, this has transformed itself into throwing myself deep into my studies and my extracurricular activities, something that I do regularly, but now with newfound vigor. Being involved with as many things as I am, it is no wonder at all that with this newfound determination, I threw myself deeply into everything I’ve done. As time went on, and stress took its dark, grey hold on me, I went from passionately busy to just busy. And I stayed there. I was happy in the things I was doing, but looking back at it now, I wasn’t truly, completely myself. Or maybe I was. Maybe that greyness is just something I just deal with. In fact, I know it is. And I should not be ashamed of that. Yeah. I am not always totally happy. No one really ever is, and if they say they are, they absolutely are trying to sell you something.

But whatever I was going through, I knew there was a balance. I knew that somewhere between lackadaisical and overly busy, there was a happy medium. I just had convinced myself I was already there, that this was as good as it was going to be. Then I went to a concert.

Imagine that first breathe as you come up for air after being underwater for just a split-second too long. That is approximately how it felt to get out off campus, out of town, and to Portland, in months. I had been to the next town over a couple of times, but that being just a handful of miles away, this felt much more like escape than that ever could. It is partially because of this escape that this show meant to so much to me.

Ironically, it being on a Friday evening, I had to miss my radio show, which is named Eclectic Oasis, yet the show for which I missed my own was more of an oasis than I could have imagined.

Before the music even started, before we even got inside the venue, I was already surrounded by familiar faces, gathering hugs like coins on the sidewalk, kept and treasured for the next time I needed one. There is no greater feeling than being with people who understand you, and the things you love, and that was only the beginning of my night.

With three bands taking the stage, I knew pretty much what to expect, since I knew two of the bands. Or so I thought. When the North Carolina-based band Mipso (the one band I did not previously know) took the stage to start the night, I knew this night was going to be one for the ages. I had heard from people who had been at the previous few shows to begin the tour that this tour was something special, but it was not until the first notes struck that I knew that for myself.

I could go on for pages and pages about the intricacies and experiences of that night. I could tell the story of the very drunk girl who tried to shove me from my rail spot that I had had for hours since the doors opened, just because she felt in was uncool that I was somehow unwilling to share the approximate 20 inches of space I had nestled in for myself on the rail with her AND her friend. The reason I won’t go into the semantics of that night are because of one song, by one band, played on that night that really sum up just exactly what I want to focus on. If you wish to, pause reading this for a moment, and go listen to Track 1, titled ‘The City‘ in the link below.

If you, like me, are struggling with the hundred-and-fifty-seven things you have to do before you go to sleep tonight, or before Monday, or before the end of the semester, just remember, that just because you have all these things, does not mean that you have to do them all at once. In fact, by taking things one at a time, taking each chore as its own, each day as its own, each hour as its own, it makes it easier to do the things that need doing.

Its just a day. Whatever is bothering you now, whatever is weighing on your mind, whatever thing you just did that makes you want to crawl into a hole never to be seen again, remember that tomorrow really is a new day… if you let it be. But you do need to let it be. If we hold onto the things that make us hurt, we will not heal. But if we learn to let go, to take each new sunrise as a new beginning, we are given a clean slate from which to begin, knowing that each small thing we accomplish today, really is an accomplishment.

So whatever you’re going through, step back, take a moment to remember that you are bigger than your problems, no matter how monolithic they may seem, and that by breaking down those monoliths into cobblestones, we can pave incredible pathways to wherever the world leads next.


To listen to The Lil Smokies new album, and especially the companion track of this Blog post, Track 1: ‘The City‘, click below!


The Lil Smokies – Changing Shades
(on Spotify)

Where I Am & Where I’ve Been

I know it has been a really long time since I’ve been on and gotten to talk to all of you, and for that I am sorry. Or really, I am not. I wish it could have been different, but the reality is what it is, and it is out of my hands and therefore I really have nothing to be sorry about. That’s a little bit what this blog post is about.

But that being said, I still feel it relevant to explain my absence. This summer was a crazy one for me. I was gone most of the summer. I started it in Oregon, road-tripped to California, back to Montana, back to Oregon, back to Montana and once again back to Oregon. It started with the passing of my grandmother, and ended with the thievery of my camera gear & laptop. Yep. THAT’s why I was MIA much of this summer and this fall. But it was also just a time of being with family, doing some research work for school, and doing some reading, as that is not a luxury I am afforded during the school year.

That leads me to the more recent reason for my absence: School. I am currently a senior in college, and yikes! Life is hectic! Aside from 17 credits of upper division English, History & Sociology classes, I am also a photographer for the school newspaper, a part of the religious leadership group on campus, running a dozen or more (no exaggeration) social media accounts, as well as being the Manager of the college radio station on campus. This, sadly, has afforded me little time for much else. Though, I have been breaking out of that shell recently. More on that later, or in a different Post coming soon.

I promise I am still shooting when I have time. Right now my focus is on my newspaper assignments and a few personal projects, as I further put my name out into the local and more national realms, seeing what opportunities I have while I am still in college, as well as looking ahead, past graduation, a reality which looms larger every single day.

I am looking to more deeply put myself out in my media, starting first with this Blog. I hope that by being honest, you will see where I am, understand, and be willing to stick by me. My first step in bringing this Blog back is, of course, to write more myself. But, because I know how busy I have become, I have some other artists, influencers, inspirations, and friends of mine who have agreed to share their lives, art and wisdom with you. Those will be popping up over the next few months, so stay tuned!

 

As always, if I can be of any service, don’t hesitate to contact me through any of my social media accounts or via email at john@jsanderphotography.com .

 

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