Melissa and I walked a hella lot and I took pictures.

I guess I’ll just start by saying that life… life hasn’t been easy lately. And honestly, that’s, like, such an understatement. Life has been really goddamn fucking hard these past couple of months. Two swear words in one sentence might seem kinda excessive but um, I seriously can’t think of a better way to describe what I’m going through at the moment. I’m pretty much screaming internally 24/7, desperately hoping and wishing and praying that everything will just slow down or even stop altogether, just long enough for me to catch my breath. It’s like… burnout x 10,000. I’m trying to convince myself that everything will be fine. It’ll be fine. It’ll be fine. But the cold, hard truth is that right now it is so. not. fine. I’m still grieving. Grieving the loss of a close friend, yes, but also the loss of a cherished belief I held prior to everything that happened, the belief there’s always good to be found in the bad and that it’s the most trying times in our lives that shape who we are as people and build our character. Okay, maybe that second part is still true. But you know what? I didn’t fucking need to experience this in order to grow as a person. NO ONE needs to experience this in order to ‘grow’ or ‘develop’ or ‘find themselves’ or whatever. NO ONE.

Waking up is hard. Because, what’s the point? We just keep going and going and going and working our asses off to pay for shit like rent and phone bills and electricity and public transport. And the second you think you’ve got one aspect of this crazy world figured out, you’re presented with a new challenge even more complicated than the last. Also, what is it with us (or at least me) and taking on so much more than we can handle? Why is it so hard to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty AF? That said, I have had to say ‘no’ often lately. Which means (you guessed it) I’ve been feeling guilty AF these past few weeks. But, really. I can only do so much. And quite frankly, I’m already doing way too much, what with attending school and working six days a week.

A lot of things are currently changing in my life, including how I’ll be using this little space of mine on the internet going forward. While photography is still my #1 passion, closely followed by writing (which I hadn’t been doing very much of due to a lack of time, before. Or maybe just laziness. Or the fear that if I wrote too much in English I’d ‘lose’ all the French I’ve learned… which is dumb.), my professional and educational interests are beginning to take a different direction. I of course haven’t fully developed myself as a photographer, but here’s the thing… there’s no such thing as ‘finished’. I’ll be constantly evolving, continuing to take way too many pictures, everywhere, all the time, and my style will evolve as I do. But I no longer need to attend school for photo, as I know what interests me and how to work productively in a manner that suits me. In June, I’ll be wrapping up my photography studies and earning my first diploma-thingy. I have plans for next year. We’ll see where things go. Anyways, this is where the blogging comes in. I want to be more personal, to write more, and to collect more precious, little moments here. I’m no longer going to beat myself up for not writing in both English and French. All will depend on my mood, I’ll express myself as I’d like. It’s not like anyone cares.

I took these pictures, the ones in this post (obvs), towards the end of February. In February I fell hella sick. This was the first day I felt well enough to venture out into the world, and I did so with my friend Melissa, who I’ve known since the sixth grade. My nose was still runny and I had a slight cough, but the weather was lovely, uncharacteristically lovely for February, really (um, global warming, much?). We walked and talked and I shot photos for the first time in ages.

The sun is slowly but surely starting to shine again. I’ll get through. One day at a time.

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4 comments on “Melissa and I walked a hella lot and I took pictures.”

  1. Abby I am so so sorry. You have every right to feel angry and sad and hopeless right now. You just let yourself experience all of this how you are. And I’m sure you will come out the other side stronger but end of the day this SUCKS and is unfair and that’s never going to be ok. I’m just saying I adore you and you can do this.

    Also these pictures are stunning and happy and I love them.

    • You are the best, Kayle. I’d give anything to be able to rewrite the past right now and change everything for my friends, her family, and I but that’s obviously impossible and it just makes me feel so helpless. We’ll all get through, but it sure as hell isn’t going to be an easy road. At least spring is coming, the beautiful days really do help.
      And thank you. We have to seize the happy moments. xoxo

  2. These photos look magical, especially with the sparkling river. It reminds me of when I walked past the Notre Dame Cathedral that one time I visited Paris (lol) and I saw so many people sitting along the river simply enjoying the day. Although life isn’t always as beautiful as it seems, I wish for more moments like these!

    My roughest semester of college was fall semester of junior year; I had my heaviest academic workload ever. After that semester, I dropped all my extra-curricula to focus on my mental health and to rediscover what excited me. Although it was unfortunate that I disappeared from campus life, I am so glad that I gave myself the time and space that I needed, especially as it gave me the opportunity to find a community outside of my college bubble and connect with local bloggers in Philly. I think it helped me to have a life outside of college so that I didn’t always feel the stress of it. Some of my friends took the opposite approach from me and loaded up on their courses after that sucky semester so that they could graduate early and get the hell out.

    You’re dealing with so much right now and have so much on your plate; you have every reason to say “no” to things! I think that if you focus on your reasons for saying “no” to these things and deeply believe that it’s for the best — for YOUR best — that guilty feeling will subside more easily.

    One day at a time <3 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Sunny days in Paris are the best. If only the weather was always like this, dark and gloomy days make pushing ahead real hard. But this weekend has a gorgeous forecast, spring is coming, slowly but surely!
      Oh my goodness… academics… I haven’t done ‘real’ school since I was about 15 so I’m terrified to go back next year (I’ll fill you in on that soon… yikes.) I hope I’ll be able to mentally withstand the pressure.
      And that was such a wonderful thing to do, dropping activities can be difficult but if you need to you need to. The most difficult thing is breaking commitments you made. I hate it when I say yes to something I know will be too much, do it for a while, break down, and then end up having to quit. It’s like… I should’ve just said no in the first place and saved everyone a ton of hassle.
      Thanks for your tips, focusing on the reasons rather than the fact that I’m saying ‘no’ will validate me and my feelings more. I could use some self-validation….
      xoxoxoxo. One day at a time… <3