I stumbled upon a few notes of nice memories in my Stickies folder today (hello Mac users), and as that they are all from a year ago give or take a week, and that I am a bit in awe at the change in my life compared to where I was 12 months ago, I felt compelled to share them today..
NB: I warn you this may be a bit warm and fuzzy, but thats how I felt after coming across these happy scraps..
..A year ago I was living in California, working as much as possible and trying to save money to go traveling with camera-in-hand (I was leaning towards Southeast Asia). The savings were finally starting to come together, and I was hoping for an early spring start. Enter the invention of Skype, and my utilization of it one Fall day to talk to two of my wivvves, some of the best friends, beautiful people, and slightly weird/imaginative/crazy.. i.e. awesome compatriots a girl could ask for. Caitlin & Andrea’s voices, jumbled, excitable, were ringing through the speakers hooked up to my computer and in an uneven chorus bombinating through the house at a volume that was larger than life.
‘ASHLEY! We’ve decided something — why don’t you move to London instead!? You’re the one who’s wanted to move here since you were 18, and now two of your best friends live here, and all the Brit girls from UCSC , and Andrea wants to come back after the holidays! It would be so much better if you lived here. What better time than now to move? Forget Asia – COME TO LONDON!!’
laughter. a pause.. then,
‘You’re right. No, Yeah. Okay, I’ll come to London.’
‘No, come on! COME TO LONDON!!!’
‘I’m serious. That’s a great idea. I have the money. Ok, I’m going to move to London.’
A few long seconds and I was convinced. The girls didn’t believe me. Several Skype and iChat conversations were needed to convince them that I wasn’t just professing fantasies doomed to be unrealized. One such snippet I found today.. its nice to know that your friends like to have you around:
hahahah!!! come to London! come to London! iknow.
i keep trying to get you to move to whatever city i happen to be in at the moment
i just want you in my pocket
Maybe in our elongated absence they had forgotten that I volunteer to go first when skydiving over snow covered Alps.. ..having only decided to do so a few hours before (it’s too expensive, made me a kind of broke but, piece of advice: It’s worth it). After about a month of consistent insistence I finally convinced them I was indeed moving. Sometimes I am riddled with indecision but others, when the adventure invites and my intuition is blithe… I have my legs dangling out the side of a plane with the biggest, goofiest grin on my face.
Another little snippet in the Stickies file, this is from my friend Steve as I told him I was moving to London. I just really liked what he said,
Steve: Yeah then you should book that flight honey.
Fill up your ipod and get out there.
Sometime in the days before I moved to London I was again on Skype with Caitlin, I believe just after she had gotten in from a snowball fight in the big white blanketing of London. She told me about this photography exhibition that she had just seen and was lamenting the fact that I was getting to London mere days after it ended, citing that she thought I would really like it… and sneaking in her opinion that she thought that my work was good enough to be in the show (again, the joyful support of good friends). The exhibition was the annual photography contest at The National Portrait Gallery…
…The fact that I am here almost a full year later, working hard to build my new website to debut in conjunction with this year’s opening of that same show, because this year one of my photographs is in it is just… the full circle nature of this experience has imbued me with an immense sense of pride, validation, and with renewed trust in my own instincts and personal choices. Not to mention a very tangible way to share my thanks with my family and all my friends who have given me unrelenting support, even when I hesitated or panicked . . . . . .WOAH. When did this turn into a sappy acceptance speech? Sorry about that. Not to insinuate that what I just said is disingenuous, because its not.
Let’s put it this way. If Chloe were in the room and reading this with me right now, even though she would later admit that I made her heart puddle a little, first she would look up at me and say, “I think I just vommed in my mouth.”
Bottom line: It looks like split second decisions have a big fan this week. Big happy, goofy grins abound.