Lilacs & Life

In 2009 I won 4th out of 800 in the New Hampshire Governor's Lilac & Wildflower Commission photography contest. It was pretty sweet. My photo was featured as the month of April in their 2010 calendar and printed in the Littleton Courier. I also won 5 tickets to Canobie Lake Park. (Unfortunately, I received the tickets in August and they expired in October. Being a student and working at Polly's on the weekend...yeah...didn't get to use them.)



The Entry
Since then I've been meaning to enter again, but never found the time. (What? You're a photographer. MAKE the time.) Now I'm making the time.

I feel as though I've been so focused on the end product of a degree, that I keep forgetting to live my life. Since middle school I've been telling myself that the next step will be easier, yet I have succeeded at always making it harder. In high school I excelled at writing, and now it's been over two months since I've composed a post. The last time I wrote creatively was for a history class where my short story had to be based in the 20's. (It came out pretty good actually.)

Have I ever mentioned that I went to my senior prom in a flapper dress Nanny and I found at an antique store? Yeah. It happened. Unfortunately, as I was the photographer, no one took pictures of me, so here is a pathetic little selfie.

But as of last Friday, I am a college graduate. (Granted, it's only an Associate's in Liberal Arts, but I earned that beast one year after graduating high school and with no loans. All scholarships. =D) At Lyndon I wanted to be a journalist. At the bank (where I work...as a teller), I wanted to pursue a Bachelor's in Business Administration. What? That's not me. Yes, I love finance and making money (seriously, who doesn't?), but a business administrator? HELL no. It wasn't until after I drafted my schedule when it hit me: "Why am I doing this?" My justification for pursuing the degree lied in its convenience. I had already accumulated quite a few business credits, and could graduate in a year. (Class of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Pretty snazzy.) But was it worth all the debt and frustration in the process?

Here I am with Nanny, my most amazing grandmother. Her proud support of education has kept me going all these years. Check out the highest honors tassel! =)

Nein! Thus, after an introspective dinner date with my best friend (and a drooling session over Leo and Tobey in "The Great Gatsby"), I have decided to only enroll in classes that fascinate me. Since making the decision, I feel so incredibly free. To not have to worry about homework is such an amazing feeling. Now I go to work, come home, and do whatever I want. It's fantastic! Next week I will begin my summer courses, but I'm only doing World Religions online, then adding Black & White Digital Photography in July. Obviously the latter is more my speed, but the other fascinates me as well. My new plan is to accumulate as many credits as I want, and when I have enough, throw them together in a degree from LSC. Probably one in English. Definitely a minor in Photography.

Regardless, I'm doing what I want. I'm enrolled in classes that will instruct me in my desired field, and engage me. I will also be saving so much money, as I will be primarily studying at my community college for now. Hopefully when I take more classes at Lyndon, I'll have more money!

I believe that this decision will lead me down my desired path. I will be writing more, and I've even begun to take more pictures. Not only am I entering in the lilac photo contest, but I plan on entering in the Fields of Lupine Festival as well. (I'm an admin on the facebook page. Like it!) I'm so excited! With my newly found time, I will be spreading my images around in contests and magazines, and will hopefully be published. The same applies to my writing! In Bethlehem we also have this fantastic organization called "WREN", where I will be taking a few workshops including how to write an artist's statement, create a website, blog and tips on how to kayak! I've also checked out the Littleton Studio School, and signed up for Color Theory. The format of workshops is so appealing to me, as they're direct and focused on a specific subject. I also find that I meet a more diverse group of people. Furthermore, they take less time than a college class, and there's no homework!

So therefore, my career plans are seeming to come into fruition. Well, I'm pursuing them more. Learning is a passion of mine, so I look forward to all of these opportunities. With this extra time, I am also planning a few trips. Sam and I are heading to Montreal in July!

Silly Sam Shenanigans! So serious.

In conclusion, I've learned to live. I've been so focused on accomplishing greatness, that I forgot what I was doing it for. Now I know. Although I will continue to pursue academic greatness, I would also like to release my greatness from within.