Hello. I hope this post finds you well. I just got back from cue-to-cue, which, for all of the non-theatre people reading this, is a technical rehearsal in which we run cues – sound, lights, etc. – to make sure that all of the technical elements match the designer and director’s intentions and are where they need to be in the show. Tomorrow, we will plug those same cues in with the acting. With only about 4 days until the show opens, we have officially entered what is known in theatre as *pause for dramatic effect* HELL WEEK (dun dun DUN!!!). Anyway. I didn’t come here to talk about theatre. I came to talk about lights. Christmas lights.

“You show the lights that stop me turn to stone. You shine it when I’m alone….”

The above is part of the chorus from one of my new favorite songs: Lights by Ellie Goulding. It came out about a year ago, but I didn’t hear it until last month and I’ve been in love ever since. I tend to draw quite a bit of inspiration for various creative endeavors from the music I listen to (like my last photo shoot which was sparked by Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks or my music/band photo shoot from summer ’10 which was inspired by CSS’s Music is My Hot Hot Sex). And for the past month, I’ve been hit with a million inspirations just from listening to Lights. (Of course, all of those ideas involve experimentation with light.)

Well, last night, I needed to take a breather and calm myself down after a simple phone call turned a bit ugly. After hanging up and feeling overwhelmed, I turned on the strand of Christmas lights I have hanging around my windows and reached for my Nikon. I am finding more and more that photography, the kind I do alone (read: without a dozen models running about demanding for me to make all of their visions come true), acts as a force of stress relief in my life. So I started taking pictures.

It’s funny how some of the most beautiful things can come out of moments of fury.

In the time spent playing around in the darkness of my room, I realized how much I’ve wanted to try the bokeh effect. And there I was, lying on my bed looking up at these lights just thinking about how much I love having them shine. I thought about a lot of things as I snapped picture after picture of these colorful lights. Mostly, I thought about how badly I felt when I hung up the phone but how easily I could forget being upset when I was doing something I loved.

(For those of you wondering what that large fabric thing is on the left, it’s one of the fake flowers on a lei. We had a luau to celebrate the end of the school year last year, and our staff decided that no poser luau was complete without fake leis. Mine currently hangs on one of my bed posts.)

Maybe I don’t quite know what path I’m going to take with my life. I don’t really have a plan, but do any of us really have things figured out? And occasionally I fall prey to forgetting what makes me happy in life; but don’t we all? But I do know this: I’m trying to find those little lights that will shine on the right path for me. I know that photography is something that makes me feel alive, like I’m actually contributing something to society. Like this blog. I mean, I originally started it for myself, to be a place to display my work and write about how it affects my life and how I’ve grown. But now, it’s more than that. I’ve garnered a faithful group of readers who come here to share this part of my journey with me.

Right now, my lights are blurred, like bokeh. And all I want is for those lights to come into focus, for me to finally know what it is I’m supposed to be doing. And maybe it’s taking me longer to get there than most people, but everyone is different, right? Everyone’s journey leads them in different directions to the places where they are eventually supposed to be. I just haven’t quite gotten my lights into focus yet. But I’m certainly trying.

As cheesy as all of that may sound, it is 100% honest. Consider this a post of encouragement and inspiration from me and my Christmas lights to you. May you take control, discover your dreams, and live your life to the fullest. Everyone is a light just waiting to shine its brightest.

“You show the lights that stop me turn to stone. You shine it when I’m alone. And so I tell myself that I’ll be strong and dreaming when they’re gone. ‘Cause they’re calling, calling, calling me home. Calling, calling, calling home. You show the lights that stop me turn to stone. You shine it when I’m alone. Home.” – Ellie Goulding (Lights)


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