Week Eight.

Photo Eight.

Observations: If you knew me as a kid, a tween, a teen, or if you know me now you have probably hear me talk about wanting to move to New York City. For as long as I can remember that has been my dream. I am not quite sure what sparked this. Surely all the movies I watched growing up feeding me the romantic idea of the city of lights had something to do with this notion. As I grew up I also heard not so glimmering tales of my city of dreams. My father was one major purveyor of filthy and crime-ridden ideas gleaned from a 1970s venture to New York. However, the grime and crime only served to enrich my vision of what I had always considered the city at the center of the world. What good was a city that was beautiful and clean and safe? I want danger, and adventure, and sex and drugs. My New York could only be as good as it is with the bad simmering right underneath. Twenty-three years later I finally made it to the center of the world. As soon as I set foot onto the trash curbed sidewalks, saw a real NY rat, gazed up at the towering skyscrapers, slyly observed the black-clad umbrella-wielding pedestrians and yellow taxi cabs I felt alive. Everything in me screamed this is where I have always belonged. I wanted to stay. Everyday that went by I could only think about how soon I had to leave and how much more of this alive feeling I could suck out of the day. Yes there were shitty parts. I did get stuck in a subway. It was gloomy and rainy. My feet did feel like a thousand needles were stabbing them when I finally feel into a restless sleep each night. Even still, I couldn’t help but love every single thing about it.

Week Seven.

Photo Seven.

Observations: To state the obvious, I slacked off on my duties last week. I know, I know. But as they say, back on the horse again right?

This weekend my friend came to visit from Athens. This was the first time she had seen my new place and I took it as an opportunity to take her around the city and explore my new neighborhood a little bit myself. The entire weekend was packed with discovering new places to eat and drink all around the city. Everyday we tried somewhere new. The itinerary included Dark Horse Tavern, West Egg Cafe, American Roadhouse, the Corner Tavern in West Midtown and Panita. This is a pic from West Egg where I got the Elvis French toast which features 3 inch slices of French toast sandwiching the ungodly combination of  peanut butter, banana slices, and bacon.

As far as drinks go, we decided to take our first venture to Dark Horse Tavern on Friday night. Those of you who know me, know that I am much more at home in a gay bar than I am at at straight one. There is a very different bar etiquette that I haven’t mastered yet. After an hour and a half of quietly sipping Malibu and diets on what was becoming an exceedingly crowded porch, I had lost any hope that the night was going anywhere. With much resignation I headed to the bar to close my tab and accept my failed attempt at showing my friend a good time. As I was shamelessly staring down the bar tender in hopes of catching his attention, a group of friends beside me struck up some conversation. Now I don’t consider myself a “bar person” in that I don’t usually talk to people that I haven’t come with or know somehow already. For some reason though, I felt particularly fed up with being bored that night. In fact, these friends actually turned out to be really cool people. The night turned out to be a lot of fun despite its rocky (read: boring) start.

I am a pretty firm believer that if you put yourself into situations with even the slightest openness to whatever could come your way that the world will respond in like. I have realized lately how long I have lived shut off, not allowing anything unexpected or different to happen in my life. As a result, I missed out on a lot of experiences that could have been really amazing or hell, could have been really terrible. Either way, I am tired of the predictable and expected. I’m ready for adventure and I’m going to try to open myself up to it in every way I know how.

Week Five.

Photo Five.

Observations: Today one of my best friends flew into Atlanta for a layover on his way to Africa. I got to see him for lunch and we got to hang out for a few hours. After not seeing him for months, it was nice to see his face. Just now, I realized that two of my very best friends are thousands of miles away on other continents. As I sat here in Atlanta I realized just how much I miss each of them. While I know that in time I will see each of them again, right now the distance seems very real. It has been a while since I’ve felt particularly melancholy. In fact, over the past few weeks I have been floating around in a state of pretty unshakeable bliss. But on the drive home from the airport, at that certain time of day when the sun is low in the sky and everything is cast in that pre-twilight glow mixed with the unseasonably warm Georgia air, that all too familiar melancholy feeling hit me. Just like that, I felt very alone. At that moment I realized how that feeling of having people you care about so far away always lives just below the surface, and how you skim over it day in and day out. But it only takes a moment for it to hit you. You hear that hilarious thing that only they would get or something upsets you or you see them for just a short while, you immediately feel how real those feelings are and how they were there all this time. More than anything, I am glad I have these people in my life and to know that even though they are miles and miles away that those friendships can stretch any distance.

Week Four.

Photo Four.

Observations: This past week was quite interesting to say the least. Not that anything physically revolutionary occurred or any major life even took place, but several much needed steps in what I see as a psychological development have occurred in a steady stream. I feel like I’m falling into myself. Not so long ago I thought the idea of finding one’s self was a strange concept, particularly because I lived under the assumption that most people created who they became in life. While I don’t think the idea of shaping yourself in some ways is entirely off the mark, as of late I am beginning to discover that maybe your “self” is something that has been there all along. Maybe life is an uncovering instead of an inventing or creating. Maybe the creative process is the way in which we peel back the layers of fear and misunderstanding and illusion. And oh how beautifully this ties into this weekend’s antique shopping excursion.

My sister and I ventured to Highland Antiques on North Highland this past Saturday to look for a piece of furniture. To our surprise the shop opened up to a sprawling basement beneath the cramped yet carefully displayed high-priced items in the small boutique upstairs. Now the basement was more our style, wandering through corridors cast in hideous fluorescent lighting only highlighting the already glowing early seventies burnt oranges and putrid greens. This is what antique shoppers are drawn to: uncovering treasure from a pile of what appears to be junk. There is something quite beautiful and comforting about those hodge-podge pieces strewn throughout the unfinished basement lot. Perhaps a mingling of nostalgia from my own childhood growing up in a flea market under my nana’s watch and that of an era of which I don’t know but find its relics immensely fascinating to observe. An uncovering of people and places that have past. There is something within me, and others searching through those piles of historic junk, that is searching for the piece that tells a story, a piece that has something to say because its been around the block a few times. We are hoping to uncover something that has been there all along that will become part of our story, still in the making. We are looking for something new and not new at all.

Week Three.

Photo Three.

Observations: This is my new home. Apartment 7 and I absolutely love it. The place is starting to get more and more homey everyday, granted the progress is slow. Just today I got all the walls painted after almost a week. I am ecstatic to be living on my own for the first time in my life. It is really liberating. I am standing on my own two feet, which doesn’t mean that I don’t need help from my loved ones every once and while, but that the everyday ebbs and flows of life are mine and mine alone. Ever since I was young I have been terrified of being alone, in every sense of the term. The thoughts that went through my mind when I didn’t have someone else to distract me were too consuming to bear. I didn’t like having so much room to think. Now, I find myself excited to come home from work or going out to a place where I can do absolutely anything I want. There is no one here I have to please. No one here I have to entertain. No one here I have to answer to. Definitely a feeling I am getting use to. One of my favorite things about my apartment is waking up to the sun or rain out the three huge windows across from my bed. The city lights peek through the barren trees and rooftops making me feel like I’m tucked just a little bit away from all the action. This apartment is part of my new life as an adult that I’m greatly looking forward to. As a kid the idea of growing up seemed terrifying. I imagined I would one day wake up with tons of responsibilities and hate my life. Thank god only some of this happens and you only have to hate your life if you look at it that way. I am grateful I wasn’t shocked into adulthood like some, but have been able to slowly dip my feet in and wade into the waters at my own pace. I think I’m finally ready to swim.

Week Two.

Photo Two.

Observations: Today was a day of reckoning. Today was the day I finally packed up all my stuff in order to move into my new place tomorrow. I’m not a stranger to packing up my shit in a hurry, four year of dorm living taught me how to be a pretty efficient mover. In fact, some aspects I actually enjoy. It is a time where you get to assess all your possessions, how important they are, and let go of a few things to make room for the new. I will not try to pretend that I don’t struggle with some pack-rat tendencies of my own. These particular Converse sneakers have been hiding under a pile of shoes in my closet for a good two years after their retirement from everyday wear. I have had these suckers since my junior year in high school and they walked through a lot with me. I have quite an affection for them. They are the perfect type of worn-in, where you know just how they work and they know just how you work. However, today their day finally came. I decided that holding on to them was simply an act in sentimentality and that apart from the occasional thoughtful glance while doing yet another closet clean-out, they simply had no purpose anymore. So instead of holding on to their physicality I have chosen to immortalize them in digital film to keep their memory alive. We had a good run, but as the Pete Seeger song I was listening to earlier oh so wisely tells us, “To every thing there is a season…”

Day I Have No Clue.

Ok, this is me admitting it. I’ve really fucked up on this whole One Photo/One Day project. While I have been continuing to take photos on most days I have not been keeping up my writing as I hoped I would. However, instead of doing what I was tempted to do, which is abandon this blog and never look back, I am choosing to redefine my goal to be a teensy bit more manageable now that I’m working full-time (yay!).  My goal now is One Photo/One Week. Just the thought of this takes a weight off my shoulders.

A lot has happened since I last posted here on Observer Obscura. For starters, I am now fully-employed. So happy! I am also through with my apartment search and signed a lease for my own little studio in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m stoked about moving back downtown after being in the burbs for over a year now. This is the first time I will be living completely on my own, without family or roommates. It is terrifying and exhilarating,  not to mention I get to decorate EVERYTHING! You will definitely be getting regular posts (hopefully I’m not shooting myself in the foot with this statement) about my little studio’s aesthetic progress and most likely my fragile emotion state throughout. So here’s to a new year, and a new blog beginning!

Here’s a photo and hint at the upcoming Bohemian decor I’m going for.