There was a day, a few weeks ago, I decided I would try to challenge myself and photograph “ugly” things when I went out for a walk around the city. Of course, it ended up being that really warm, sunny Saturday when so many people were out enjoying the sudden break in weather. It was impossible to not see beautiful things that day. Even the ugliness barely looked ugly. And there were so many couples just wandering around, laughing, holding hands, and a man feeding pigeons. I think that’s just so kind. A lot of people really hate pigeons, but this man had brought a bag of bird seed and was throwing it for them. No word of a lie, he was backlit by the sun, as if he was some kind of angelic being in the gritty centre of the city, feeding the very birds that contribute to its grittiness.
People always seem so much happier on the first warm, sunny days of spring. It did feel good to not wear a coat that day. And the feeling is infectious. But…. on the grey days… there are still solutions to combating the cold and isolation.
Pretty donuts, hot drinks, and a book in a cafe with steamy windows.
Cute, colourful buildings against a dark sky.
Buildings with big windows and weird architectural features…..
Really, whatever you please.
I was free from depression.
I loved music festivals, art crawls, hikes, bonfires, urban exploration, and spending time with “my tribe” (as much as I hate the terminology).
One of my best friends got married. Another walked her first runway (the one in the hat). Her husband started an amazing band (also the one in the hat). I did fun photo sessions with great people.
I visited the ROM Chihuly exhibit, Ripley’s Aquarium, the AGO and the AGH (multiple times).
I planned a photo walk with 500px. It got rained out, but it didn’t matter. I had my first solo Art exhibit.
I stayed at a cabin in Haliburton.
I started a new job in a city I love. I explored and walked that city, a lot.
I bought a new car! I helped amazing people do heartwarming things.
I saw how beautiful the world is at sunrise. I tackled things that scared me and found direction I didn’t have before.
I remembered how much I love music and started learning to play guitar.
2016 was an amazing year for me. The first year I thought I might be close to happy. Maybe you haven’t had your year yet. Maybe peace feels impossible. I know this is cliched, but please hang on.
All it takes is a little bit of light into the darkness – a second to weaken its pull and then you will slowly begin to push it back. You will find the path, the fog will break, the darkness will lift. Please don’t give up hope.