Today wraps up 2012. It’s a time to look back at the year. Lots of best and worst lists have been generated. Year-in-review articles abound. But lately I’ve been thinking bigger than the last year, looking back at the last eighteen months. Because tomorrow it will be exactly eighteen months since I moved home from Italy.
This has been on my mind lately because the last couple of months have brought a dramatic shift for me. I’ve settled in. At home and work and in my photography, the shift has been evident. 2011 was the year of transition, half in Italy and half in the US. I thought by the end of 2011 I was “here” but I wasn’t. Looking back, I can see that for a long time, I’ve had one foot on each continent. I’ve quietly pined away for the scooters and the subways. The international travel at a moment’s notice. And really, who wouldn’t? It was a fabulous experience. A dream come true.
But slowly, surely, as 2012 progressed I’ve woken up from the dream and found myself here. And, maybe surprising myself a little, I’ve discovered “here” is a fantastic place to be. I’ve shed my old expectations and stopped looking for Europe through my camera’s lens. I’ve embraced the place I am in and found what brings me joy. I can see this last year was about releasing the past. I’m all here now.
As part of this shift, I felt that I needed to find out who I am as a photographer since moving back to the US, so that I can move forward. When I was preparing and printing photographs for the Fall Festival in September, I actually got tired of looking at my photographs from Italy. I never thought that would happen! So for the last few months, I’ve had in mind this project, to go through all of the photographs I’ve taken since moving back to the US, and find the best ones. I felt the urge to get myself organized and build a more recent collection to work with.
A few days ago, I started with 19785 photos, whittled down to 2752, then to 290, to 160 and finally to the 86 highlighted in the video. (Don’t worry, the video is short – less than three minutes.) They are an eclectic bunch… from small towns and big cities to the scenery of mountains and ocean. But they all have one thing in common, representing steps on my journey to find myself in this place and time. They’ve been there for a while, slowly building over eighteen months, just waiting to welcome me home.
And after you’ve watched the video (be sure to watch in HD – it looks awesome!) then listen to this song, This is Home by Switchfoot, which inspired me to make the video. It expresses my feelings perfectly. I wish I could have used it with the video but didn’t take the time to secure permission, so I’ll share it this way.
I’m excited and ready for the new year! I’m finally home.
Join me tomorrow for the Photo-Heart Connection monthly link up, as we review photos from December and maybe — if you’re feeling adventurous — the whole year, to find the strongest connection with heart and soul. I have no doubt that starting this practice has been an important part of my journey “home” this year. Be sure to read the guest posts from the last week, sharing the impact the Photo-Heart Connection has had on participants in 2012. And then come back and join us as we continue our practice in 2013.