February 26, 2010

365 Project: Day 108

Recently, I discovered the place where my landlord stashes all the junk she doesn't need anymore. Our garage. I was poking around the property the other day, you know, just out of curiosity. I don't like doors that I haven't opened. I always wonder what is hiding on the other side. When I walked through the gate, this is what I discovered.
I don't understand why people feel the need to hang on to junk they don't need. I, fortunately, don't have this problem. When there are things in my life that are old, broken, don't fit anymore, or just taking up space because I don't use it: I get rid of it. There are very few things in my life that I find to be irreplaceable. Pictures, my cameras, my computer and printer, and a couple of small keepsakes. Those are the only things I own that I care about. With the exception of my computer and printer, it all fits into a small box. Everything else is expendable. 

So, why do people feel the need to hang on to old, rotten, broken wooden doors, TVs, rusted paint cans, small scraps of chicken wire? These things aren't even re-usable. So why not get rid of them? Why do people feel the need to hang on to every little thing, even if its broken?

February 23, 2010

365 Project: Day 107

I think I was a little preemptive with the 'I feel great!' celebration yesterday. While I am feeling better than I was, around 3 o'clock today I crashed. My body is just worn out from trying to recover from whatever horrible sickness I had last week and trying to keep up with the unreasonable demands I put on it. Poor thing is simply tuckered. 

After laying down for a quick cat nap, I got up and brewed myself a much needed cup of coffee. I have to learn to take it easy on myself. Its just not in my nature to take things slow. I don't walk, I run. I always have. Starting in second grade I attended a school with an accelerated program that required me to take computer classes, learn a language and take up an instrument. I not only attended a full day of school, but I had lots of extra projects to do and a couple hours of homework every night. There is a picture of me as a kid asleep on the couch with my homework. Plus, I was in Campfire (which is like Girl Scouts), I attended several dances classes a week and I was in a dance company. I was a busy kid. I was multitasking at 8 years old and I haven't slowed down since. But, I learned a lot. It prepared me for life and I'm very grateful for the experience. 

I figure I'll rest when I'm dead. Which, at this rate, may be slightly premature.

February 22, 2010

365 Project: Day 106

Today was my first official day back in the real world after several days of being in bed miserably sick. Of course, after all the gorgeous, spring-like days that I missed out on, my first day back outside and it was overcast, freezing, and to top it all off, it hailed. Oh well, at least I can breathe out of both nostrils again. I have to be thankful for the little victories at this point.

I really can't believe how rejuvenated I feel today. I think all the rest I got last week did me good. Its such a great feeling to not be exhausted for once. I feel so awake and clear headed. I better enjoy it now though. Last night I was already having trouble sleeping again. I spent a few hours yesterday cleaning, disinfecting, and reorganizing so I could start this week out on the right foot. Now I feel good. Healthy(er), rested, organized and full of new ideas. 
I discovered these little yellow flowers in my yard today. Such hopeful little blossoms. I guess they thought it was spring too. They may freeze to death with the weather suddenly changing back to winter, but they made me smile today and got me all excited that spring just might be on its way after all. Oh, I can't wait!

February 21, 2010

365 Project: Day 105

I have never been so miserable in my life as I have been for the past five days. I spent these last 5 gorgeous, spring-like days in bed, sick with what I've been referring to as death. Sore throat, fever, cough, sinus pressure, runny nose, stopped up ears...misery.  

Today I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I actually got out of bed, put on clothes that I would wear in public, and tried to convince myself that I was all better. I am the worst sick person ever. I don't get sick often, but when I do it usually takes me down for a good week. That's probably due to my schedule, lack of sleep, stress level, exhaustion, and over all workaholic lifestyle. I don't take care of myself like I should and it usually takes a pretty good virus to force me to slow down a little. I can't help it. Its just not in my nature to slow down. I simply don't know the meaning of "taking it easy". I actually tried to get out of bed and work (unsuccessfully) several times over the last five days, only to find myself crawling back into bed, defeated.

The over the counter pills I had been taking were making me really groggy and foggy-headed, so, on Friday I decided to go out and find some different medicine to relieve my symptoms.  While at the store, I stood in a daze for a good 15 minutes in the cold medicine aisle trying to make a decision. When I finally chose something and headed over to the self checkout line, obviously sick and miserable, holding my one item, I was cut off by an incredibly inconsiderate woman with a basket FULL of stuff. Instead of letting me go ahead of her she started scanning items as quickly as she could, as if her efforts to hurry were going to make me any less pissed at this point. That's when she broke the thing! I couldn't believe it! Now we were just both standing there. I'm sure she could feel me staring a hole in the back of her head. I switched lanes, only to find a woman with a sale item that wouldn't scan. The other two self checkout lanes were broken and all the regular lanes were packed with people who had baskets full of stuff. I seriously wanted to scream, but I wasn't going to leave without this cold medicine. So, I waited. 

When I finally got home, I took the recommended dosage and started answering a few emails. I barely got through one email when I started feeling overwhelmingly drowsy. I had to lay down. I got into bed to rest for a minute. Next thing I know, 3 1/2 hours later, my sister came into my room and woke me up. I was completely passed out. She was going out for a little while, but asked me if I was doing ok. I was in a daze and still half asleep and I said I was fine so she left. That's when I got out of bed and started walking around the house totally out of it. I was disoriented, lightheaded, and tingly all over. It was like my entire body had fallen asleep. About 10 minutes later I decided that I needed to go to the hospital and called her to come back and get me. 

Let me start this part off by saying I don't have health insurance. I needed to go to Urgent Care instead of the Emergency Room. Even if I were dying, I simply can't afford the ER. We couldn't find an Urgent Care location that was still open at 8pm so I had no choice but to go to the nearest ER. When we got there the waiting room really scared me. I don't know if this was my perception due to my state of mind or if this was how it really was, but it scared me. It looked so dirty. It was earth toned, dimly lit and completely packed with miserable looking people who had probably been there for hours. Sick people, injured people, people with IVs. It was scary. 

When we got up to the counter I was so out of it that I couldn't even really form a sentence to tell the man what was wrong with me. Thank God my sister was there. She asked if there was an Urgent Care that was open: no, there wasn't. She asked if there was financial aid available: there was, but I'd have to fill out all sorts of forms and meet with a counselor and then, MAYBE, if I qualified, they could help me.  I couldn't even see straight at this point, there was no way I could go through all that. I sort of started to panic. I really just wanted to cry. Was I really going to be forced to make the decision between my health, possibly my life and money? REALLY? I felt like there was nowhere to go to get the help I needed. In my disoriented state I had to decide: Was I dying? Did I REALLY need to see a doctor? How bad off was I? I decided to go just forget the ER and go home keeping my fingers crossed that I was making the right decision. I started thinking on the drive home, was I going to become one of those cautionary tales about taking over the counter medication? One of those people who has a bad reaction to some common medication and suffers permanent damage to my health, my body, or worse, dies from it? All because I was afraid of the cost of healthcare. This was the scariest decision I've had to make for myself. A person should NEVER have to make this sort of decision. 

When it came down to it, I was more scared of being in debt to the hospital than possibly dying. What is wrong with this picture? This is outrageous! But, its true. At that moment I knew I didn't have the money to get the medical help I needed and it really upset me. I went home, ate a full meal, drank as much water as I could and laid down, hoping that would be enough to flush this medication out of my system. Several hours later, I started feeling a little better. Thank God. I'm lucky that my reaction to this medication wasn't worse. What would I have done then?

Today, I'm so glad that I'm feeling better. So, I went outside for a minute to enjoy a little sunshine.

February 19, 2010

365 Project: Day 104

I realize I'm a little late with this one, but I have been VERY sick the last week. I'm still not feeling well at all, but I was determined to accomplish something today. So, here it is:

Day 104:

Its Valentine's Day! A day for love and romance and all of that stuff. I know so many people in crazy relationships right now that it makes me sort of grateful to be single. While it is nice to have someone there to snuggle and hold hands with, love makes you crazy. It makes you feel the most intense emotions. Highs and lows. Every sense is heightened. You act in ways that you never thought you would. There is an upside though. Nothing is better than the feeling of falling in love with someone. Where it gets tough for me is staying in love with someone. The sparkle definitely starts to wear off after a little while. Everyone always says that its because I just haven't met the right person yet. I don't think that's it. I think its definitely not them, its me. I really mean that. 
Being single is a whole new thing for me. I'm learning a lot about myself. I'm learning to live MY life, not my life in a couple. I'm learning to deal with moments of loneliness that I've never had before. But its overall a good thing. This is the longest I have been single in at least 10 years. I'm sort of proud of myself for not jumping right into another serious relationship. That's what I tend to do. I'm ridiculously impulsive when it comes to love. In typical Aquarius fashion, when I find someone I'm interested in, my curiosity takes over, I spend as much time as I can with this person. I basically devour them, learning everything about them, absorbing them like a sponge. Then, once I feel like I've learned everything I can, or I become bored, or they do something that completely turns me off, I run for the hills. Depending on the person this can take days, months or years.

My birthday was this month, and yes, I am a text book Aquarius. Just about every little trait of the water bearer describes me. Its a little freaky how accurate the zodiac can be. Its really very interesting to see every little detail of your personality spelled out on paper by someone who's never met you. Of course there are things about me that are uniquely Sara Norris. But for the most part, I'm proud to say that I am an Aquarius to the core. If you don't know anything about your sign, I suggest you look it up. Even if you don't believe in it. You might learn something about yourself.

February 15, 2010

365 Project: Day 103

This is my first day trying out my new approach to this 365 Project. I took my camera everywhere I went today and the first chance I had 5 minutes to stop, my tank was on empty. So. Here I am. Pumping gas. I think this new strategy is going to work out for the better. It forces me to get out and take pictures of myself in new places and new situations. I'm going to have to be a little more creative too.
In the beginning of this project I worried that I wouldn't have the motivation to keep it up, but I am determined to make it to 365 days no matter what. With my schedule, its only getting more difficult to keep up with. However, if I gave up now, I'd never be able to forgive myself and I can't have that on my conscience.

February 9, 2010

365 Project: Day 102

I wish I could just stay like this for just a few days. Curled up in bed, headphones on, iPod in hand. Content. But, you know, life keeps on going. You can't stop it. You can't slow it down. It moves on dragging you along with it whether you need to stop for a breather or not. Time keeps passing. New days keep beginning and ending and beginning again. Life doesn't care if you are tired. It doesn't care if you aren't ready. It doesn't care if you want to stay 26 a little longer.
Tomorrow is my birthday. Yep. In a few hours I'll be 27. I don't feel older. I just feel like I'm not living my life fast enough to keep up with my age. I haven't accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 27. But somehow I'm supposed to accept that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be at this point and be ok with that.

Last year I went skydiving for my birthday. What better way to celebrate your life than by doing something that could end it? Short of driving into oncoming traffic, I can't top flinging myself out of a plane at 18,000 feet this year. I'm not even going to try. 26 was a tough year for me. Come to think of it, so was 25...and 24. Your 20s are tough. There is so much to learn about yourself. You do a lot of growing in your 20s. You're becoming this person. This adult. I'm still just trying to get my head on straight and get a grip on what I'm doing with myself. I feel like I'm going to look back on these years through the eyes of experience and shake my head wondering, why was I so worried, why was I so confused, why was I so stressed, why was I so hard on myself, why did I take things so seriously?

Honestly, I just want to stay right here, eat a cupcake, and let my biological clock tick over to 27 like a dream. Another year of my life. Gone. Lived. Here I stand on the brink of another beginning. Oh, 27, please be kind.

February 8, 2010

365 Project: Day 101

This is how I look these days. Hair all a mess. Eight out of my ten toes missing polish. But, damn, I'm tired. This is what a Sara Norris tired face looks like. Serious. Slightly annoyed. Going over a mental list of all the things that still need to get done today and here I am, taking pictures of myself.

I was outside today taking pictures of some new Modern Cowgirl merchandise and jumped in there real quick to snap a few of myself as well. This is my new strategy for my 365 project. I'm going to start taking my camera everywhere I go. Also, if I have a camera in my hand for any reason during the day, I'm taking a picture of myself. I think its the only way I'm going to make it through this project. It might be more interesting too. I'll take a picture while pumping gas, doing the dishes, grocery shopping, you know, whatever is happening during my day. Yep, I think this is the way to go. Much more practical than artistic, but, you never know. I might create my greatest masterpiece at the DMV. Oh man, that makes me smile.

Keep Me Posted

When I was asked if I wanted to design a venue poster for my friend, Mike Kelly, of course I said YES! I love doing this sort of work. I have photographed Mike many times over the last year and I was thrilled to create these for him. 

If you don't know Mike Kelly yet, you should definitely check him out.

365 Project: Day 100

I woke up this morning to find my car encased in a block of ice. The doors were even frozen shut. I'm looking out the window at it right now. I don't want to go outside in this mess. I hate winter, I hate being cold, I hate snow, and I hate scraping the ice off of my car. I can't wait until Spring. 

This is Day 100 of my 365 project and I feel like I have just barely made it. I have been so incredibly busy and exhausted lately that this project has sadly started to fall through the cracks. There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything finished and eat and be social and sleep and maybe even shower once in a while. However, I love this project and I am going to try my hardest to finish it. I may not be able to take a picture every single day, but I will take 365 pictures by the end of it.
It amazes me the response I get when I'm not posting every day. I get emails, comments, I'll randomly run into people I know who ask me why they haven't seen a new entry lately. I had no idea that people were really paying attention to what I was doing. But, I must admit, I miss it too. I promise I will try harder. 

February 1, 2010

365 Project: Day 99

I love photo shoot days. Its amazing how happy I am with a camera in my hand. I had a photo shoot today for Modern Cowgirl's spring collection. I've done a shoot with these two ladies before and I always have such a blast with them. Its so great to be able to work and laugh hysterically at the same time. 
I wish I could do this type of work all the time. Editorial fashion photography is one of my favorite things to do. I really just love photographing people in general. I enjoy my fine art work, but its just not the same. There is something about the entire photo shoot process that makes me all excited. From location scouting and shopping for props, to hair and make up, the shoot itself and getting that first look at the images on my screen...I love it all. In the past I have thought about getting more into the production side of photo shoots. Maybe as a producer or a stylist. That part of the process is so much fun for me. But then I would miss out on the fun of shooting. I think I'll just stick to producing my own shoots for now.

Today was a good day.