2016 slapped us all in the face.
It was a year in which many things did not behave as they should, and many things chugged forward as they always have, like a well-oiled locomotive. The sun still rises, the sun still sets, and all the while there is nothing new beneath it.
I am grateful for learning the same lesson that people everywhere learned: that the world is on fire and I want to help, and to do that I’ve got to look within. Fix first (or put my best foot forward anyways) my broken thought patterns, my underlying prejudices, my own selfishness, and my neighborhood. It is true, after all, that big change starts small – in your country, in your state, city, block, and heart; the latter needs special attention.
I find comfort in two things, the first being that humans are seemingly, endlessly resilient, and have endured worse than our current social conditions (the health of our planet being a different issue, and unprecedented). The second is that achieving world peace appears as if it’s far past the tipping point, out of our control, and this may be true. But, the fact that the nature of peace starts at the micro scale, the constructive conversations that you can have in your house, gives me hope, because that is something that we can in fact control.
So, cheer up captain, we don’t need to brace for impact quite yet.
On a more positive note: 2016, what a year! It brought in travels to new states, new countries, friendships forged with new people, and furthered with familiar faces. Many hours were spent on the road with nothing but coffee and gasoline keeping the car plowing down the highway.
Here is a brief ledger of favorite moments:
- Seeing the sun rise over the Pacific ocean from a mountain in Kauai, with any existential thoughts drowned out by the crowing of waking roosters.
- Camping in the snow at the base of Mount Rainier, and watching the cloud-filled night sky clear solely directly above the peak to reveal a million stars, as if a finger from heaven swaddled the Washington gloom away like cotton candy.
- Finally learning how stocks are priced.
- Helplessly watching myself transform into the biggest pain in the butt for everybody in my AIARE Level 1 avalanche course (driving car off the road, borrowing every piece of gear, looking like a fish out of water while learning to skin, attempting to snowboard down a mountain with a brake on said snowboard, and temporarily losing my $400 beacon). To all of the guides at North Cascades Mountain Guides: I love you.
- I’ll end here with a fifth: watching my Dawgs rise up and put on for UW. SCOOO DAWGS! #woof
Truly, what a year – many lessons learned, perhaps one of the greatest is that there is nobody better to be than yourself. Do you booboo.
Physics says that for every action there has got to be an equal and opposite reaction, and it’s true: life rarely maintains without its hardships.
2016 taught me that sometimes you might read what you were originally convinced was a book, and sadly find out that it’s a chapter instead. If there’s one thing I know about books, it’s that certain chapters are great, and better than others, but regardless of the disappointing chapters to follow, the book is always good.
My hope is that you and I can tip the scales and defy physics more than a little, and live a life with far more positives than negatives.
As for photography, I love it just as much as ever. Though I find myself busy with other awesome things, I always seem to want more time behind the lens. In all honesty, 2016 was not as productive photographically as I would have hoped, but I did still see beautiful things and come away with some captured moments to share with the world.
My hope is for 2017 to be even greater than 2016, and to learn even more from God by keeping my ears open to hear. It sure is a big question mark as to what all it will entail… Hopefully baby steps towards a life lived in the outdoors with a camera in hand. The plan is, for now, to go to New Zealand and pick up the native accent, continue to learn about business and photography, make home wherever I’m at and not wherever I came from, become a better person, and help others to discover their destinies with the ulterior motive that I might discover my own.
It is what it is, and it’s pretty good.
Happy New Year!
Here is a collection of some of my favorites (not always my best) from this last year, displaying many of, but not nearly all of the adventures, excursions, nights under stars, frozen fingers, laughs, and everlasting memories.
Favorite “Love Your Mug” Shot
My favorite shot in this ongoing project goes to Jeffrey Coats, for his nice face.