Change Is The Only Constant

Change | Inkwells & Images

I am officially labeling 2014 as “the year of change.”

I’ve moved. I’ve changed jobs. I’ve started blogging. And now I’m changing jobs again.

I accepted a new full-time job yesterday, for the second time in the calendar year.

Giving my notice at my current job was hard. It felt a bit like failure. I thought that if I didn’t stick it out, at least for an “acceptable” amount of time, that I was admitting defeat.

But really, I was admitting that I know myself. That I would not flourish in my current environment. That moving on was a better option for me – and, in turn, for the company.

And I don’t think that is what failure looks like.

The fashion industry is not for me. While I find it fascinating, the layers of business and distribution, the forecasting and trickle-down nature of trends, it is not where my passion lies.

And if you are not passionate about something, there is no reason to spend the majority of your waking hours focusing on it. 

That’s the lesson I am taking away from this. That I knew it wasn’t working and I took action to make a change. If we don’t take responsibility for living our own lives, who will?

Starting December 15th, I’ll be working at an ad agency in town whose primary clients are in the food industry. Considering how I spend a large portion of my free time, I am positive that this new opportunity is one that will align more fully with my passions and be something I can dive into and enjoy.

Have you made any decisions lately that actively changed your life?

Image courtesy of SomeDriftwood on Flickr Creative Commons.

What I Learned About Myself From a Cleanse

Food Memories & Squash Gratin | Inkwells & Images

A month ago, I shared some thoughts over at The Collaboreat about a 10-day cleanse that I undertook in October. I hadn’t shared this with you because I have never intended for this blog to be a healthy living experiment, but in light of writing earlier this week about capturing memories, I thought it was a good time to reflect on the fact that memories, for me, often revolve around food.

Most moments in life are made better by sharing food with others.

I shared earlier in October my family’s recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls, and how the memories I have of making them with my grandmothers on both sides of the family are priceless – and that I wish someone would have captured that at least once.

What I remember most about Thanksgiving mornings growing up was making Golden Puffs (a donut-like deep-fried pastry rolled in sugar – what’s not to love?) and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What I remember most about birthdays was Paw Paw always showing up with a crisp two-dollar bill and a bag of plain old pretzels.

What I remember most about getting my wisdom teeth out in high school was Scott, my then-boyfriend, showing up with a quart of cookie dough ice cream to cheer me up (just one of the many reasons he is now my husband – he thinks in ice cream terms).

There’s a certain ceremony in food, a special way that it marks the moments of our lives.

A lot of people get annoyed about people sharing (or over-sharing) photos of their food on Instagram or Facebook (Guilty!). Maybe it can be annoying, but I also think its us attempting to connect with the world through the food we eat.

We remember the first time we saw our favorite movie and how it made us feel. We remember reading our favorite book for the first time, something that then becomes a part of us and shapes the way we view the world.

So why not strive to remember the food we eat that does the same?

What are your favorite food memories? 

P.S. The above photo is Squash Gratin that I shared on Instagram. Here’s the link to the recipe. Pro tip: always double the cheese. 

On Capturing Memories

On Capturing Memories | Inkwells & Images

Over a month ago now, I had the completely unexpected chance to capture fall in all its glory in the northwoods of Wisconsin. I was with my husband, friends, and one of my friends’s mother, visiting on her turf at their invitation. On Saturday afternoon, she mentioned we should for a drive to see some of the fall color, and my photo-taking heart about skipped a beat.

As we meandered, our driver constantly admonished me to yell stop if I wanted to him to stop so I could snap some pictures. He reminded me constantly that we were in no hurry and that I could dawdle all that I wanted.

It was the best gift.

You see, I am a people-pleaser. I want everyone around me to be happier than me all the time. No, that’s not really true. Rather, I don’t want to be the source of any person’s discontent. If they are mad, I don’t want them to be mad at me. If they are impatient, it is certainly not going to be because I am taking a long time to do something if I can at all help it (my husband is reading this somewhere and smirking, thinking of all the times I make him late for church while I take too long to get ready. Apparently, he is the exception, but treating our loved ones worse than we do strangers is an entirely different topic for an entirely different blog…).

I don’t like to inconvenience anyone, even if, in turn, I inconvenience myself a lot.

This being the case, I often curb myself from taking the time to document memories like I want. I don’t want to be in someone else’s way. I don’t want to take up their time. Added to the fact that I don’t want to look silly, and I often make myself miss out on the opportunities I have to capture a memory, either on camera or on paper.

There are so many times I think of a phrase and want to scribble it down before I lose it, to gather the feeling of an exchange into prose. I often want to pause, to retrace my steps and snap a photo or two (or ten, let’s be honest) and savor the moment just a little longer, to capture is so that I can savor it more later.

But I don’t.

And then I am sad. Or miffed at myself.

Because those are the moments that give me joy. And I let myself – or make myself – miss out on them, and probably when the other person that I am with doesn’t even mind the disruption.

And so what if that person also walking down the sidewalk that sees me pull a full frame DSLR out of a purse and snap a photo of a tree across the street thinks I’m weird. Why should I care what they think if what I do makes me happy and harms no one?

I’ve been turning this idea over in my head ever since that day where I was given permission to be me and take joy in the moment. Since then, I decided that I am going to take those moments when they come, to keep a notebook and a camera in my purse and to write and to photograph at will. 

Because it gives me joy, now and later.

So, I am vowing to be brave like Alicia and become a “Keeper of Frivolous Memories.” I am going to consciously make art out of my life like Shannon is doing. And I am going to write down the words and capture the stories that only I can capture, like Ashley.

After all, this is my story. I’m the only one who can tell it.

What memories do you regret taking the time to capture? Do you ever struggle with your desire to snatch a photo vs. the desire to not be in the way?