It has been a while since I posted some photos here. The truth is I have been laid up with an ankle injury. I fell down our basement stairs while carrying a box and fractured my ankle 2 months ago.
I was reluctant to talk about it publicly for fear that people might doubt my work capabilities.
The truth is I needed that ankle injury to really see myself. I am talking about deep down soul searching.
While being laid up for 6 weeks, I knew I could either feel sorry for myself or pick myself up. So I chose the latter. I rely so much on my photography as a creative outlet. I need it almost as much as my family or air. Photography relaxes me. Exhilarates me. Makes me feel alive. Makes me see the world differently. I knew I would be unable to get outside and shoot. I was heartbroken.
I had so much creative energy and I didn’t know how to release it. Then I found watercolor painting. I have always been drawn to handlettering and watercolor painting. I decided to give it a go. I had my daughter’s Crayola watercolor paints, and some of her beat up brushes. So I decided “why not”? I quickly learned that I loved watercolor painting, but didn’t love the medium I was using (no offense Crayola). So I bought some professional grade medium and set off to paint. Painting created a huge escape from my pain, boredom, potential depression, and t.v. courtroom shows.
Watercolor painting also helped me in another way. It helped create a deeper bond with my daughter. She and I would often spend the weekends in my bedroom painting the day away. We would talk about technique, color theory (or to my daughter, mixing colors), and just plain life. If it wasn’t for painting, I don’t think we would have had those bonding experiences.
My ankle injury has also taught me something else. That I have an amazing husband. I know most wives say this. But in my case it’s true. He took over both parenting duties, and he did it well! Cleaning, homework, carpooling to school and sports, making meals, letting me cry on his shoulder. These are just a few things I can list. He has always been so supportive of me, and being laid up for a long duration really made me see it.
So here I am. Two weeks after getting my cast off. I go to physical therapy twice a week to regain my range of motion. I can drive again. I can do most of the things I did before. Except there is one big difference. I don’t hate the experience I went through. I am thankful for it. It has changed my life for the better. So this past Sunday I was finally able to get outside and capture my family in a photo-journalistic way. Just as life was happening. No posing, no props, no stress. It was just perfect. No, the images aren’t technically perfect, but I don’t care. They mean the world to me.
If you are ever in a similar situation where you are feeling challenged or down, please remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s how you deal with your challenge that makes all the difference.