Thoughts on November

This year, perhaps more than any other, the months have been sliding one right into another. They seem to start and end with really intense events, not that the interior of the month is really any less, but first and last in particular have been notable. November was no exception, with a lot of photographic work coming my way in addition to the regular happenings of the month.

This month of photography related events started with A Day With A Pro event in DC hosted by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, where it’s no secret I want to attend for a summer intensive or more. The instructors, Mary and Andy, were fantastic and it gave me the opportunity to learn some new skills, get a better idea of what I need to do to make my business successful (and how much freaking more there is to learn), and helped with the sometimes crushing impostor syndrome I often feel while trying to do this whole photography thing. The next morning I had an in-home family photo shoot to honor the homecoming of little Taryn from the NICU. Later on that week I attended a lecture by photographer Jim Burger at the Creative Alliance who stressed the time it takes to get close to your subjects to really capture that intimate view of their life. I had two more family photo sessions with dear friends, here in Baltimore and in Pittsburgh, assisted a wedding photographer for a day, prepped my prints and postcards for a holiday mart, and attended another lecture, this time in DC, by Chris Buck who talked about how he started photographing musician’s shoes because he was too nervous to do anything else.

We had some visits by friends and family and got to check out the new Guinness Brewery here in Baltimore. I saw King of the Yees at Center Stage and went to opening night of The Crimes of Grindelwald, then processed to obsess over it with Binge Mode with my friends for the next week. I binged season 4 of Shetland in one day with Kyle (WHICH IS A DELIGHTFUL SHOW YOU SHOULD ALL BE WATCHING!!). Baltimore got its first snow and I may have been the only person in the state who was actually excited about it.

For Thanksgiving, we made our annual visit to Pittsburgh. I got to have some cat and horse snuggles out at the barn with my mom and even though I didn’t get to ride this time, just being there around those gorgeous creatures and breathing in their horsey smell was enough to lift my soul. We pulled together a celebration for my mom’s 70th birthday with all her closest friends, many of whom have been like family to me over my life, and it was everything I could have hoped it to be. We were all up so late that night that after we got back from a museum visit the next day everyone took a nap (mine was about 3 hours….). Subsequently, Todd and I walked to Squirrel Hill and paused outside of Tree of Life to say a silent prayer for the victims and the atrocity of the shooting. We spent the evening at one of my favorite coffee shops, the 61C, where I used to go late at night in college when I needed to get out of the house and where I’d write for hours. The trip wrapped up with visits to friends, a foray to the zoo, and a meeting with our financial adviser.

I’m starting to wind down for the year, despite the festive season and two more trips planned in December to New York City and then to PA to visit Todd’s family for Christmas. I’m meditating on “meaning”, reflecting on this past year, and thinking about how I want this next year to unfold. I think it’s time for some big things to happen.

I hope you all are able to settle in and nest a bit and enjoy the ability to slow down, even with the bustle of the holidays.