Around this time last year I started to feel funny.
Not the 'allergies are killing me," or "I ran for too long" kind of funny. I felt a disturbance in the force. I felt off.
I did not feel like myself.
I come alive in Spring.
When the world is turning green, flowers are blooming and I begin shooting at least twice a week.
I spent all winter cooped up filling my journal with sketches of owl guardians and forest folk.
I had tons of ideas just waiting to be created and come out of hibernation.
When the warm weather rolled around I didn't pick up my camera like I believed I would.
Artists get in ruts all the time, we get smacked down and we get back up.
But it didn’t pass. Life was pulling a Gandalf the gray on me.
I just remember sitting face down on my carpet wondering, was this it?
Had life finally caught up to me and it was time to get a ‘real’ job and move on?
I retreated to my garden, a place that always gave me a peace of mind.
I'd spend the morning thinking, praying and wondering about the next few years of my life.
But that, too, started taking a toll on my body physically, moving soil around and whatnot.
I finally broke down and took a random trip to the chiropractor at my mothers urging.
That bubbly, wise, back-cracking man informed me that my neck wasn't quite right.
My neck bone was bent and it was pinching a nerve down my left side.
After trying to recall all those ungraceful moments, a mountain stumble was the only thing that I could remember that really hurt.
But you know how it is, it hurts for a few days and then you're back to normal... or so I thought.
My chiropractor explained to me that this injury had been affecting all these aspects of my life: my energy levels, the use of my left side, and why I was in constant pain.
All the hallelujah chorus, heaven lights were shining down on me!
I wasn’t losing my passion for what I loved, I was just physically hurting.
How the heck did I not realize it?
I have never had an injury like this one.
I like to stay busy, and when my week is full of photo shoots, coffee with friends, and building new pig houses I get excited.
Trust me, I’m super thankful, but being injured is my worst nightmare. I can’t carry my camera around my neck or climb trees like I used to (resulting in a lack of photos).
The list of things is long and the recovery time is longer.
I can no longer steamroll myself until I am out of gas if I want to get better.
This experience has changed my perspective and my workflow. For a person who doesn’t rest, I've had to learn how.
Where is the happy medium between being productive, resting, and just being lazy? Just when I think I’m getting good at one, I feel lacking in the other.
The truth is, I struggled writing this. I’m never looking for a pity party, in fact, I’m very good at pretending that I’m physically immortal. I just wanted to let everyone know.
I promise I'm still here, still creating at just a slower pace. I don't have any plans to stop.
I appreciate every one of you for staying by my side in the process, those who have said kind things and those who have been patient. I am taking this all in with a learners heart. Some days will always be better than others, I never know what God has planned for me.
Now I am back to working on creating a crown out of these orange mushrooms I found in the woods this week. If I can't create images as often as I like, I'll be spending my time creating fantastical props! I can't wait to show you all.