Cabin fever can sometimes extend farther out than your own home and into the city that you live in. At least, back in November, it did for me. I was in a weird mental space that month, consumed by a real fear of commitment - something I always failed to openly acknowledge was an apprehension that I internalized. You see, I'm at the age in life where most people start becoming responsible for things - for taking care of themselves, the companies they're employed by as well as the company that they keep. This all involves committing to establishments, to people, to professions and to cities. This Fall I realized, I never truly pledged myself in any permanent way to any of these things. For the longest time I thought I was chasing stability, but in reality I was running away from it...until now.
This Autumn, New York and I made it official. I signed contracts of all varieties - from professional paper work to lease agreements, I ended 2015 with an "I do" to the city. Though, I knew none of these arrangements were truly forever, it sure felt like it and that scared me. Two years ago I was sleeping in a tent in Utah without a cellphone writing everything in a Moleskine journal and taking polaroids exclusively on a Land Art Road Trip. Today, I spend my week days on a laptop and cellphone in a corporate office on 5th avenue. And though I really love my job, I feared losing the free spirited version of myself. I didn't want her to die off with the contracts I signed. So, I took a few days off and booked a trip to the west coast on a whim. It definitely felt like the right decision.
I went to Los Angeles without any solid plans. I purposely left my DSLR at home and packed nothing but Impossible Project film and my old polaroid camera. I spent most of my days wandering around the city, visiting museums, exploring famous streets, and meeting up with family and friends. I got to spend time with my youngest cousin, eat sushi with him, and pick him up from school with my aunt. I roamed around the neighborhood of Silver Lake with my closest friend, Nicole, who just made the bold and brave decision to move out west for a new career opportunity. I was so excited and happy for her and it was so cool to experience something different with her, nothing like the bars we frequented in Brooklyn. I spent a full, glorious day in Venice Beach with my oldest friend, Olivia, taking photos of palm trees, eating ice cream while walking down the boardwalk, and chasing the sunset right before I flew back to New York. It was one of my favorite trips in 2015. I'm happy I made it.
I took a red eye flight back to the east coast and embodied the happiness I felt in Los Angeles once I returned to New York. I understood that committing to a certain lifestyle doesn't necessarily mean you need to give up on the things that don't easily fit into it. You just need to make time to do all of the things you love. You can have the dream job, the cool slide hustle, and the relationships that you deserve - you just have to make the time for them, even if it's overtime. Before my trip to LA, I hadn't shot with my polaroid camera since March 2015. I realized that the simple antidote to the insecurity I felt on my recent life decisions was in that camera. I didn't have to give up the ability to explore and create, two things that I really love doing. You can see that in these images and if and when I ever feel stuck, I'll look at them to remind myself of this. Life can get busy sometimes, but the world will always be out there for you when ever you need it to be.
I'm very excited for this next chapter in my life, for what 2016 has to offer and for my new commitment to live, learn and grow in New York. Though Los Angeles was incredibly lovely, I really couldn't think of a better place to say yes to than the Ol' Big Apple. Let's do it.