My headphones echoed as I sat on a wooden bench bequeathed by some wealthy couple in hopes of getting their underachieving offspring accepted to college. Focusing the lens on the edge of the tongue, I took a second look through the viewfinder and tossed my dirty white buck in the air.
The shutter of my camera thwaapped like an automatic Nerf gun as the buck hung for an instant, suspended a few feet above the recently exposed grass and then awkwardly flopped back down. What started as a means to pass time seven seasons ago, grew and evolved into a defining part of my life. At first, I waited to tell my friends and family of my new crush, deliberating until the spark caught and I knew it wasn't another one of my many short lived and often unrealistic excitements.
Something was different. Maybe I was mature enough to stay committed for more than a few weeks, or maybe I had found something that fit my intense and stubborn personality. Telling myself it was both, I dove in like an eight year old into Karate classes, hoping that one day I too could chop bricks in half and wear a black belt.
As the seasons marched on, I muscled through the slow and enjoyed the best, leaving my aspirations of business school and board meetings behind like a beleaguering ex-girlfriend. Motivated by a new passion that fueled my curiosity and confident in the success of my new experiences, I started acting on more impulses and seized opportunities with the disregard of a love-struck teenager.
Before I knew it, a few coincidental activities became routine and I was captivated by something that I never knew existed a year before. I enjoyed the security of finding strength in something created by passion and creativity, yet available to only a few.
As the situational end of my relationship with Maine and the free time necessary to work on photography and write for my blog marched forward two posts a week at a time, I slowly started to realize how fortunate I am to have had them. Like with any tasty beverage, I didn't realize how good it was until the last sip.
I waited and rationalized like the inevitable end to a serious relationship. "Tomorrow the sky will be brighter and the grass greener," I told myself a few dozen times after the last hope of winter died early in March. Finally, on Tuesday, I packed a lone British Walker White buck in size 13 into my pack along with my Canon 5d Mark II and biked to school. Sitting by myself on the wooden bench, turned on Angie by the Rolling Stones and pulled out my camera.
"Come on baby dry your eyes
But Angie, Angie,
Ain't it good to be alive?"