Reflection – the World

this small collection of photos that i dug up from boxes contain self portraits –
taken by myself or another with my vision in mind.
each photo immediately transports me into that moment and fills me with nostalgia and reminds me of the journey i have taken to where i am at this very moment writing this blog in my favorite spot in portland – allow me to take you as well.
(all photos are 35mm film or are from the fuji instax wide)

a car was vital in the small town i grew up in and so this is when i can remember my life truly opening up for the first time in ways wanted and chose for myself – riding as a passenger in my first car with my first love somewhere in the poconos –
IMG_0005

i then moved out of my home/parents house in the poconos to philadelphia to finally immerse myself into something completely new – this is a reflection view from my first restaurant job 37 floors up – IMG_0001

i then got a new job at a bar and met a girl there who became one of my best friends. she brought me to my first festival and i was surrounded by people that truly helped me evolve to see a new side of life and myself during a crucial turning point –
IMG_0011

my best friend and i went on vacation in north carolina to escape the concrete jungle
we grew inseparable in. we went canoeing on a lake just outside her sisters house we slept in that she made with her bare hands –
IMG_0017

back at it in philly at my favorite annual street festival –
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 in my room smoking hookah smack dab in the middle of the craziest time of my life –
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reflection somewhere in philadelphia in the famous mosaic art of isaiah zagar that is scattered throughout the city –
IMG_0003

reflection in a mirror of my four hour solo journey
through the philadelphia museum of art –
IMG

roaming around on south street in philadelphia like a tourist  –
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after almost 3 years in philly, i was desperate for a new adventure and was craving more of what this world had to offer – this was my first time at the grand canyon and furthest in the USA i had ever been – visiting one of my best friends in arizona –
IMG_0007

i then decided to drive across the U.S.A to my final destination of portland, oregon – this was a pit stop at lake tahoe on that journey with my best friend –
IMG_0009

a month after my arrival to oregon, it was my 24th birthday – i went to vegas to see shpongle and beats antique. dipped in a natural hot (actually burning) pool on a hike to the hoover dam –
IMG_0012

on a hike in the columbia river gorge in my new home (fuji instax) –
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same hike in the columbia river gorge (35mm film) –
PNW

on a short visit to seattle i took a boat on the pugent sound to go to one of the most beautiful sights i have ever seen, hurricane ridge (i have a soft spot for washington) –
IMG_0010

on the way home, i trespassed to a famous bridge i had been dying to see in washington followed by a terrifying run through the woods back to the car in fear that the helicopter we heard approaching, and moments later flying over us, were trying to arrest us –
IMG_0006

after a life-shaking event, i started this blog (a 5+ year goal in the making), left the country, my heart in the PNW, and about a year and a half of traveling abroad later found myself on a hike in New Zealand with my sister –
IMG_0013

then on a hike in New Zealand with the boy i met on the gili islands in indonesia over a year earlier that fate had weaved into my life –
IMG_0016

then in Mt. Cook National Park in New Zealand, one of the best adventures while traveling in our beloved van – the greatest love/hate relationship –
IMG_0015

every moment of our lives is leading us to something. whether that something is big or small, life-changing or outfit changing. coffee instead of water. learning to be grateful for what is happening at the moment allows you to live in the moment. trusting in your choices. confidence in your decisions. easier said than done, i know. i’m over here waiting for a visa to be processed so i can be “allowed” to be with the person i have been with the last two years #facepalm.

learn to be grateful for this very moment that you have, because already, its gone.
but hey, now you have another one! …and another one.

fear, stress, anxiety – these things trap us in hamster wheel thoughts about the past and future. worrying about where your life is going while simultaneously worrying about the possibility that the steps you have taken in life thus far were all wrong – resulting in exactly WHY you are so stressed about where your life is going.

the only thing that matters is how YOU CHOOSE to deal with the moment because life will go on regardless and you may as well do what you actually CAN to at least be your own leader, instead of focusing on things you CANNOT change and living every waking moment attempting to reroute and restring the outline of your past and future.

YOU CAN CHOOSE to spend your time blaming all things outside of yourself and confining yourself to a victim mentality in hopes that analyzing every aspect of your life will conclude in “THAT is why i’m not happy”, or YOU CAN CHOOSE to consciously practice living in the present, finding things that you love and filling your time with it. coffee or water. because if you fill your time with the things you love you are inevitably living a life you love.

on that cold October night
i crawled into my empty bed yet again
your absence so apparent in moments like this
my feet searching for warmth that was nowhere to be found
overwhelmed with loneliness through our distance
however distance from myself is what terrifies me most
and in this moment
i slid on a pair of thick wool socks
and felt empowered by the thought
that without you,
i will survive

love-laura

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