Changes are coming

Almost all of today was spent working on this website in various ways. You wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at it though. I spent stupid amounts of time trying or organize and classify posts that I’d already made. Now I’ve decided that instead of creating new domains, I’ll subdomain this one out to fill whatever purpose I need. Eventually this page will be moved to blog.eric-albee.com. I think it fits much better and I’ll be able to have my portfolio on another subdomain. In another one I’ll have my other projects. It’s not a perfect system but it’ll give me the opportunity to create sites in a more dynamic way.

Each subdomain acts as its own site. Meaning it can have its own layout and set of rules. It looks somewhat professional and it’s a great way to organize. You’ll have to forgive me though, I’ve used every ounce of brainpower on trying to get this stuff to work. I made a mistake and it cost me $75. *shakes fist in air. Sometimes teaching yourself how to do things accidently costs money. Anyways, I’m going to hit the hay. I can barely think straight. -.-

BLOGtober day twenty four!

Redesign, redesign, redesign

Tonight I’m a caught up in organizing everything. Every few weeks, I hit a point where I want to remove all my work from the internet. I want to “start again”. I get bored with whatever I’m doing and decide to redo it all. Usually I avoid doing that and I reprocess old work instead. I distract myself to safeguard my designs

These nights generate the newness that comes with running a blog. I’ll adjust what I have to better fill my needs. This means redesigning layouts across my sites: The Anatomy of a Dreamer, Everyone Wanders, and this site. Making changes to navigation and pages. New categories surface and tags stay a mess (that would take months to process).

The struggle I have is that I have many parts of me that don’t come together in a beautiful way. My personal life and blog includes a lot of complaining and contemplation (i.e. this post). Professionally, I want to compile the best of other artists, as well as interview them, and organize their work in a meaningful way. I also have my photography that I want to share online.

It’s difficult to shove these three parts together. I want to write honestly and personally without spending a day or two editing what I have to say. That falls in the ‘personal’ category. Professionally sharing other artists’ work shouldn’t blend with my own personal posts. It displays opinions that the other artists may not agree with. Our differences are fine. Then, in sharing my photography, I want to display only my best. I don’t want to mix in all my emotions or opinions about x, y, and z.

Maintaining 3 sites would be no problem. I’ve managed more in the past. The trouble is whether the cost of the sites is worth the result. The first year of hosting with JustHost is around $72. The next year it’s bumped up to around $175. The first year would be fine. I can afford to pay $200 for 3 websites. But $600 a year in the future seems unreasonable unless I’m making money from these sites.

The goal is to share information. I don’t want blogging to turn to a money-making venture like I see many other people doing. I want to share information without being one of those “entrepreneur” guys. The ones that post incessantly on Facebook and nag their friends about ways to make more money. I don’t want my focus to be on the money.

Through today’s “organize everything” mood, I’ve found another $70 layout that I love. If I do end up buying the other domains, I know how I’ll design them. I don’t know why this brings me satisfaction. Designing web-pages is an odd hobby. I’ve managed to collect way too many of them.

Anyways, I’ll think this over tomorrow and make a few decisions about the future of this site! Hope you had a wonderful week! TGIF though!

BLOGtober day twenty three!

The First Quarter of 2015 (5/365)

For the last three weeks, I’ve been trying to find an outlet for what I’ve been feeling. My life has rapidly changed since the beginning of the year and I’m at loss on how to describe it. Occasionally writing helps, so bear with me, this is going to be a vent/rant/sloppy mess of a blog post.

The year started off on a high note with an unexpected friendship. I grew close to a guy very rapidly and spent the first couple months talking to him. Most of my days were spent texting or being around him.

Work calmed down and I started getting requests to photograph events. Promotion and retirement ceremonies became commonplace. Larger events started taking place at work and I was requested to photograph them as well.

My attention was spread between the guy and the events I was photographing. In my free time, I struggled to focus on my own interests because I was so busy texting or coordinating with other people about the pictures. In attempt to relax, I tried getting back into video games and TV.

Instead of loosening up, I only distracted myself. The way I relax is through creating, photographing, blogging, and exploring. Watching TV only diverts my attention from doing what I love.

The last weekend in February I was incredibly stressed out. I photographed for a large event and people were pressuring me for the images. The guy I was talking to just had a family member pass, so I was giving him space. On top of that, work was starting to get busy again.

One night I texted the guy asking if he was alright. He had been quiet for a few days. I told him if he wanted someone to talk to I was there for him. He replied saying that he had been seeing someone lately and that he could see dating the new guy. When I asked why he didn’t tell me before, he said that we hadn’t talked much in the last week. He considered us more of ‘friends’.

The next day I got an email from work saying that they were going to have me move. In the military, it’s common to be reassigned to a different base – especially in your first contract. The place they decided to send me? Hickam, Hawaii.

Between getting jilted and the news that I was going to be moving, I didn’t sleep. For hours, I laid in bed with my mind swirling. I didn’t know where things were going with the guy but I didn’t expect it to stop so suddenly.

When you spend a large amount of your free time talking to someone and then they leave, it feels like there’s a hole in you. We weren’t romantic. I didn’t really entertain the idea of dating this guy. But we spent so much time talking, that when we stopped, I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

With the stress at work, the additional load of photographing events, this guy, and Hawaii, I didn’t know how to feel. Initially I rejected most of it. At work I sunk into a quiet depression. There was too much empty time; I couldn’t distract myself from my thoughts. My love of photography turned into a frustration. It stopped being art and became more stress on my back.

I could have denied Hawaii. Staying in Charleston for the next two years sounded like a good idea. The time would go by quickly and I could move to some other part of the country.

However, my feelings for this guy had turned into a bitter affection. I wanted some sort of resolution with him but there wasn’t anything left to say. He made his move. I started to analyze what we had texted each other. Was I wrong? Did I say something? In my head I obsessed over finding a solution. Maybe it was me. After all, I didn’t clarify our friendship into a relationship. I felt like it was my fault. Leaving for Hawaii meant abandoning the possibility of finding a resolution.

The next week I decided that moving would be a good decision. It became clear that there wasn’t going to be a smooth ending. There wasn’t anything left that I could do. He started dating another guy and didn’t even apologize about the confusion. Moving suddenly became an escape rope and a chance to start over in a new city.

One week after the guy and I split, an old friend talked to me. We were up all night hanging out like we usually did. Towards the end we laid out on his bed listening to music. It had been a long year for us in Charleston. We both were exhausted.

Conversation between us slowed and music enveloped his room. There were gaps where we’d have a few minutes without saying a word to each other. After a particularly long pause, he told me that he had something to say. My hand was across his chest at this point. His heartbeat was picking up but still there was silence.

After a few minutes, he told me about how he liked me. Leaving was going to be hard on both of us. It was rougher than either of us imagined. We spent the following week close together.

All these emotions slewed around in my head. The creative outlets like blogging and photographing were so distant. My friends felt far away. Being suddenly abandoned disoriented me. Hawaii destroyed any expectations I had for the future. This guy made me feel like I was on top the world.

This has been the first quarter of 2015. I don’t know where the rest of the year will take me. I’m caught between terrified and excited. Leaving friends here is going to be difficult, making new ones won’t be easy, and moving to the middle of the ocean is definitely a change. No matter what happens though, the rest of the year will certainly be interesting.

Anyways, this has become longer than it needs to be. I’m sorry for the rant. Have a good night/morning/day, wherever you are!

On a side note, both my cousin Tabitha and my mother Wendy have started blogging today. So before you leave, be sure to check them out! I’m so proud of them!

Page 5 of 365

Nine Years [in pictures]

Lately many of my friends on Facebook have been posting throwback images. I wanted to join in the game by tossing out a picture every year for the last nine years. It’s hard to believe that I started taking pictures almost ten years ago. While each image is taken at a different time of the year, I feel each one summarizes how I looked for that year.

Around 2006, I got a perm and grew out my hair. As the curls faded, I kept the long shaggy look. In 2009, I started doing stuff with my hair again and cleaned it up. I cut it to half of its length and kept a shorter look. Even after the perm was gone my bangs went crazy. Then in 2012 I, for reasons unbeknownst to me, started pulling my hair back. I wore it that way until I got it shaved in 2013. Slowly its come back but it’s been a long process.

What’s interesting is the length of my hair seems to correspond with how open I was. In 2008, I was really shy and awkward. My ears stuck straight out and I covered them with hair. As I got used to them, I cut my hair shorter and shorter. Now I’m less shy and more social. I don’t know if they correspond with each other but it’s interesting to think about.

Also my chubby cheeks faded away and my face narrowed. My face looks oval now because I no longer cover my forehead with hair. I think my eyebrows look like they point higher in the center now (like a reverse angry face). If I spent more time looking, I’m sure I could find images that would be better for a comparison.

Anyways, if you have the time, you should sit down and gather old photos. It’s interesting to see how you’ve physically changed over the years. Putting them side-by-side gives you the opportunity to directly compare how you’ve changed. It’s a fun way to see how you have been marked by time. Who knows what we’ll look like in five or ten years. Maybe then we’ll have to do this again and see how we’ve changed!

Growth

If you want to grow, that means you’ll have to change. Growing is a kind of changing, a favorable change. Becoming a better artist, a better writer, or a better person is about changing who you are now into who you want to be. When you want to improve yourself, you have to accept that you will change in certain ways. You’ll lose undesirable traits, as well as parts of yourself that you don’t want to give up.

Who you are now is a combination of who surrounds you. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If you look at your closest friends, you probably share a few traits. Maybe one of them really likes hard rock and always plays it when you’re hanging out. Eventually you’ll take on some of their traits simply from exposure to them.

Currently I live in a divided community that likes booze and video-games. The person that I want to become doesn’t align with who they are. Trying to be an artist, writer, or anything else is difficult when the people you are around don’t understand you.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s important to understand that when you want to take on certain traits, you have to lose some too. If you be something that you aren’t, you have change in some way. Otherwise you’d already be that person. Who you surround yourself with defines your limits. If you’re hanging around lazy people, you’re most likely going to be lazy too. Find the group of people that you want to be like and get with them. Surround yourself in those who you want to be like.

360/365

We’re too Quixotic

If nothing stays the same in life, why do we believe or hope that things will remain the same? We know that we will grow older and that one day our parents will pass. Friends we had in high school will grow up and move away. Still we expect that our friends will always be there and we’ll be young forever.

Why not abandon the idea that we know what’s going to happen next? Treat every moment like it’s your last. When you walk into a room, know that it may be the last time you step foot through those doors. Appreciate the experiences you have. Inevitably there will be a time when you will never return. There will be a last time. Take a moment to really experience what you have now.

Sometimes our expectations ruin what could be great experiences. When you hug your friend, you expect that it will happen again in the future. When you kiss your lover at the end of the day, you believe that it will happen again and again. But one day it won’t. You’ll hug your friend goodbye and that will be it. You’ll have a last kiss with your lover, but we don’t know when it will be. It’s impossible to know.

Appreciate what you have while you have it. That means really let that hug sink in. Kiss deeply and passionately. Listen to your coworkers even if it’s been a long day, you don’t know if you’ll have the chance again. You don’t know if you’ll walk into this room again. Everything ends. Love while you can.

346/365

Do people change or do we change?

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Looking through old photographs from my middle school years I wonder how much I’ve changed. As I look at old friends, I can’t help but feel like they’ve stayed the same. Yes, they have added years, instead of going to the movies, they go out to drink, but has anything really changed? Have I changed?

In those years I hadn’t traveled independently, moved away from home, or really gotten out to have the experiences that I feel have shaped who I am today. Still, looking at my friends, most of them are ultimately the same, just more adult-like.

I hadn’t even started photography, the thought of blogging hadn’t crossed my mind, these photos were taken on my 1.5mp phone camera, and I, well, still wore Hollister. Now I’ve completed a project where I took a picture everyday for a year, I’ve written each day for the last 335 days, I’ve spend months traveling around Europe, and one of my closest friends lives in Denmark.

Are we who we are because of what we’ve done or is it deeper than that? Will I remain the same underneath as I have been my entire life? My friends still act the same way as they did 10 years ago, am I the same way? Do people change or do we change?

335/365

31/31 Blogtober