It’s been about a year since I decided to become a nomadic wedding photographer for the westernly wonderfully weird, and I totally forgot to write a cliched reflection on it!
Basically, it’s awesome. It’s exhausting. It’s exhilarating. It’s all about making love to Trader Joe’s to survive. It’s about driving around in dusk searching for a campground that’s not booked. It’s about convincing myself I don’t have to pee quite yet…just one…hundred more miles. It’s about getting to reunite with community, a tribe, that has nothing but a shitton of love for me over and over again – my ego is SO into this! But also it’s really about not taking people and their presence in my life for granted. It’s about me and everything I own being dirty, always. It’s about wearing the same clothes 3 days in a row, not because I don’t have tons of expressive items to choose from, but because I don’t want to move the 7 things sitting on top of my suitcase in my car. It’s about Black Beauty being the most bad-ass hybrid ever to trek the western US. It’s about her turning into a disorganized mess every 2 months to the point where I just have to take every single thing out and start over – and I think “this time, I’ll organize it better.” It’s about the silly little motel rooms I find in the middle of nowhere with mismatching furniture and bizarre outlet placement, and the different shaped couches in the warm homes of my friends. It’s about never feeling settled, about always moving my stuff in and out and up and down and shoving it here and shoving it there, and always wondering WHY I need 3 bins of costumes? But I do, I need them all! It’s about letting the moment be my guide and learning that plans are fun to make and then let go of. It’s about forcing myself to practice asking for help and to rely on people. God, does it get easier? It’s about putting my hand out instinctively every time I turn to ensure the precarious set-up on my front seat doesn’t topple over. It’s about brushing my teeth in the gas station restroom. It’s about ogling rocks and getting wet under sunsets and feeling so unbelievably humbled by the beauty of this very, very small part of the planet. It’s about being alone with myself, but sharing what I’m doing with all the people I care for in my mind. Or, experiencing it with them. All these people, from all over. I feel their love and admiration and delight coming from all directions at me and I let it come, and I push it back into them, because you’re brilliant. Every hiking buddy, every soulfriend, every companion, every dance pal has a unique and intentional place in my universe. I fucking love it.
Never before have I been so electrified by the thought “I have no idea what I’m going to do next month!!!” because the other side of that means it could be ANYTHING. And I love my job, and I love the fact that it allows me to do this. I wish this lifestyle for anyone that wants it. I’m sure it isn’t sustainable. At some point I imagine I’ll be like “holy fuck I am SO DONE. Just give me a fucking garden and a dog and an address that isn’t a car!” But until then, I’m just getting started.