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.

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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…”

New Year. New Week. Week One.

Photo One.

Observations: New Year, New Week, New Diet. Yes folks, include me in those oh so loathsome New Year’s Resolution Dieters. Now, I know I can’t convince you of this but I actually did not intend for this to be  New Year’s Resolution but the timing happened to work out right. As a rule, I’m one to get worked up over an idea for a week and then cease to follow through with it (along with the other 98% of the population). Though strangely, New Year’s resolutions haven’t necessarily been my thing. I mean, if there is any better opportunity to get pumped up and then slowly trail off something it’s definitely New Year’s resolutions. However, I’m usually a summer resolutionist since that is usually when school life slowed down. However, this year as a result of not seeing not-so-grand results from my work-out regime I decided that it was finally time to revamp my diet just like my fitness schedule. Now I’m pretty good at clocking in my time at the gym every week but the whole “eating healthy and in decent portion sizes” has never been my strong suit. I mean, I am a Southern girl who loves mac and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken, and anything else you could throw at the wall and it would stick. But time has proven that maybe I’ve indulged in these oh-so-delicious “once in a while” treats a few times too many. So this New Year I have decided to go on the most feared and stringent diet for a Southern girl there is, the Atkins diet. Yes, you hear me right…as of January 2nd I have only had 20g of carbs a day. That leaves little room for my beloved Doritoes and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Now, I’m not one to be particularly upset with giving up certain foods for a certain period of time (this phase only last for 2 weeks and then I can start eating moderate amounts of carbohydrates), and to be honest I really don’t miss a lot of it. In fact, I’m becoming a pretty damn good carnivore and egg devourer (hence my hard-boiled egg). I’m actually feeling pretty good. I guess there is something about starting something new when those calendars all turn over that feels right.

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.

Day Thirty Five.

Photo Thirty Five.

Observations: FINALLY! I’m back! Things got a little hairy there for a minute. More on that later.

Photo taken at Yeah! Burger on the Westside. Pre-apartment shopping mayhem. This day did not go as either my sister or I had planned. Originally we were suppose to meet up at 10:30..first mistake. We didn’t get on the road until 11:15. Next, we were both starving and had decided the day before our excursion that we would get breakfast (turned out to be more like lunch) before we began the hunt. We ended up driving from one end of Atlanta to the other trying to find somewhere to eat that didn’t have a 30 minute wait on a Saturday. We ended up at the Westside Yeah! Burger, when we started this whole journey right across the street from the Eastside Yeah! Burger in the Virginia Highlands. Such went the rest of the day. The first set of apartments in NW Atlanta we visited were NOT what I was hoping to see. Turns out when you set a budget for a one bedroom apartment in downtown Atlanta below about 800 bucks a month, you got some slim pickings. There was one long-shot complex in Lenox we pulled up to which immediately looked out of my price range. The small one bedroom the agent showed me looked just like Carrie Bradshaw’s from Sex and the City. I was in love. Other than this little sliver of budget-denial optimism, the rest of the day completely stressed me out and got me a little discouraged on the apartment hunt. I couldn’t really picture myself living in any of the places we visited. Expectations were not meeting reality, not an uncommon problem for spoiled white suburban girls. All I can say is, thank god for that Stella at noon.