New Lenses

Nope, this isn’t a mix-up with my photography blog. I thought of this “new lenses” idea yesterday, when G-man tried to pull my photo albums off the shelf (yup, my baby-proofing still isn’t up to par… this kid can and will get into everything!) I hadn’t looked at the albums in quite awhile, that is, since I had Gabe, or maybe even since I got married. So yeah, I’ve experienced a few major life milestones since then.

I got out the two albums that I put together as a graduating high school senior, for my graduation party. Crazy to see how my perspective changed from then, as an 18-year-old headed off into the unknown (West Point, then the Army)–with a telephoto lens, you could say.   Very narrow focus, and everything looks big and important and amazing.  I was young, naive, looking to the future but unaware of what was actually out there.

Now, I’m a 26-year-old, married with a baby, starting her own business, out of the Army, about to finish her MBA.  No wonder my perspectives changed!  I feel like I’m looking at life through a completely different lens–a wide angle.   I’ve lived, experienced, lost, gained, been here and there, hence… the “new lenses.”  I see life in a much different way than I did 8 years ago. So this post is about retrospect, life lessons, and a little reflection and appreciation, as I’m trying to always remember and focus on the important parts of life: love, family, friendship… and if I can pick a few more, maybe food, photography, and travel thrown in there too 😉

As I flipped through the albums, the pictures became even more special and meant more to me than they did previously.  Why?  I’m a mom now, so I can relate better to all women who are moms.  I have a deeper love and respect for my own mother and my grandmothers.  The other reason the pictures meant so much to me now is that my grandma passed away in March, the day before Gabe turned 2 months old.  He was her first and only great-grandchild, and they never met.  In March, I thought I had looked at all the pictures I had of my grandma, but I forgot about these two albums.  It was fun yet bittersweet to relive all the wonderful family memories.  This was yet another reminder to me that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing: taking all the pictures that I possibly can.  I’ve had people tell me that I take too many, or ask if I get tired of taking so many.  No, no I don’t.  For the simple reason that 20-some years later, when looking back, these photos are the trigger in your mind, that bring back all the old memories that you might have forgotten about were it not for the pictures.  These pictures are the last link, possibly the only proof, of where you’ve been, who you were with, what you did, and how you felt at that time (reminder: back up your pictures/files!).  Many of us don’t keep journals, and e-mails and Facebook are the only words we get out in a day.

I’ll admit, this blog has become a sort of journal for me (since I can type a lot faster than I can write!)  And Thank God I had the motivation and dedication to write this blog, or I’d have forgotten how special the pre-Gabriel days were, when I hadn’t met him and wondered who he was.  That has been the biggest change in my lenses… yes, I still have the wide-angle–having lived overseas, experienced great moments, dealt with a few horrible bosses, suffered 15 months in the crappy desert of Iraq, toured Europe with the love of my life, and prepared our home for our little boy.  But now I have a portrait lens, a close-up, gorgeous look at the most important, beloved people in my life.  Both are important and special.  If I had to pick just one, you know which it would be.  Sure, it’s good to be aware of everything going on in the world.  For now, I’d rather focus on my little slice of heaven/life:

It doesn’t get much better than this!

How have your perspectives changed with the years?  Do you ever have a jolting moment where you realize just how far you’ve come?  What lens do you view your life with?

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