Sunday, March 18, 2012

This seems like so long ago and also just like this afternoon.

Written 9/4/11

I got a text from my friend in New York tonight that said "You belong in NYC" and I couldn't help but think that maybe he's right.
I've been having a lot of feelings of regret lately...for turning down the MFA program and for trading the dream of art galleries and darkrooms for memory cards and Photoshop. For taking a step backwards...geographically and creatively. For never heading to NYC and living the dream and for always waiting for things to be comfortable before I would do them. For never covering my entire arm in tattoos and following my favorite band around the world or for never selling everything I own and moving to Africa. I could have done it all. I could have lived any life I wanted but when it all comes down to it, I'm so scared of failure that I don't let myself live.

things are changing.
sometimes so fast that I hardly even recognize my life.
I left everything I knew to move back to a place that I wanted to forget and lately I've been searching for where I fit in. Every memory I have of this place tells me that I hate it but when I'm driving down the dirt road to work in the morning and the warm sun flickers through the trees, I can't help but feel like I made the right decision. I have the space to create and woods to photograph and cornfields and horse stables and the smell of Christmas in the summer. I have it all and my own fears of failure and rejection keep me from enjoying it. I'm scared to try and make friends because what if no one likes me or to try and fill galleries because what if no one wants me.
I thought that things would get easier as I got older but it only seems like they're only getting harder. My decisions seem to mean more and time wasted feels like time lost.
So, today I am making a decision to live my dream life. To quit worrying about which gallery in the city, state, country will hate my photography or who won't want to be my friend. To be happy with my life outside the big city and appreciate my giant backyard and my pecan tree. To put aside all of the ridiculously high goals I've set for myself and enjoy every small victory that comes my way. To post this blog entry without scanning it for errors for an hour. To let go.

*I wrote this blog around the time that I moved back to Sumter. It seems like forever ago and exactly like this afternoon. Keepin' my head up, thanking the good Lord for the amazing group of friends I've found myself right in the middle of and shooting film like I'm packing galleries.... even if I'm not.


  1. Awe Jenna I know how you feel!!! I didn't ever have those exact dreams but i had a lot that I never fulfilled and probably never will. I dreamed of joining the peace corps or maybe becoming an anthropologist. I vowed I would never shoot anything but film and never give in to the digital abomination. I wanted to live in Hawaii forever after I graduated from the Brooks institute;) I wanted to change the world and be an innovator. I was never gonna get old, fat, and white as a ghost. FAIL on that one big time! LOL ;)
    I look at people like you and envy your confidence and all you have accomplished. I envy your work and wouldn't be surprised in the least if every gallery was after you. So I guess it's all about perspective;) BUT just remember you aint dead yet sista!! You have a whole lifetime to chase whatever dreams you want. Good on ya for recognizing the beauty around you and thanking God for it;) You are about 100 steps ahead of most people;)

  2. Hey friend! So, I was just stalking your blog, like I do 'cause I'm a stalker like that, and i stumbled upon this one. And even though you posted it awhile ago, I thought i'd comment because I totally know how you feel! There have been so many things I haven't done because I've been afraid of not being good enough - so many jobs I haven't applied for, so many people I haven't pursued. It even took me a year to start serving at church because of my messed up self. But anyway, I just want you to know that your presence here and your friendship have been a great blessing to me! It seems silly, but the first choir rehearsal I went to, I was sooooo scared. I felt like I was in middle school again thinking about who, if anyone, would like me or talk to me. And then you were all like hey I'm Jenna. Who are you? Do you sing soprano, and I was like Thank you Jesus! So yeah. Anyway, I am glad you're here. Ok. Past my bed time. P.S. Thanks for showing us that house! We really like it :)