You’ve already have had your fair share of “Final 2018” posts. This will not be like the others. I will not be using any of the “best of 2018” apps or posts. Mainly because most of those posts are photos of me post LVAD or in the hospital waiting for my heart transplant. The highlights through my eyes or through my lens has been the incredible path of photography. I picked up my first “serious camera”, spent a good amount of taking shitty photos, editing and finally in a place of confidence. Here’s the photos I feel are my best of 2018:
Photography has become my new passion. It all start years and years ago via my Blackberry and eventually my iPhones. I loved having a good camera with me at all times, but I just never wanted to have to lug around a DSLR or a point and shoot. Unless I was on vacation or at a Yankees’ game, would I bring a camera with me. I would take photos in a way that would capture exactly what I was looking at. I wouldn’t edit them. I wouldn’t change them. I would just take them, so I could always have that moment with me.
Presently, I now seek out sunsets and any scenic landscape that I want to consistently be able to look at. See, when you spend as much time as I have in a hospital and recovering inside at home, you live and die with those photos of those beautiful sunsets or scenic point of views that you’ve randomly taken over the years.
I think that’s why I am so into photography now. I want to absorb all that’s around me at all times, visually. If I’m ever back in the hospital for any reason, I’d have tons of photos I could look at to take me back to the moment I shot them.
My intentions with photography is to shoot visuals that inspire and invoke emotion for anyone looking at them. To be able to bring these photos with them, whenever they need to momentarily escape, find some inspiration or find some level of grounding.
In the coming weeks, I am releasing a photo book, of my recent experience being admitted in the hospital, being treated for a blood clot in my LVAD heart pump and waiting for the heart transplant. I am excited to show you and invoke any questions or thoughts you that may come to mind. Anything I could do to educate, inform and inspire you, I will do.
I am sitting here at night doing my usual writing. Dialing in my podcast, refining my inspirational speeches and I glanced at the calendar on my laptop. It hit me that tomorrow is a pretty special day. It is my 12th year free of cancer. I usually celebrate with a bunch of friends, have a few drinks and such. This year is different. It's a bit bittersweet. Reality hits, and it hits hard. I would normally be grateful for how amazing I was feeling, and how healthy my life has been. Once I had the heart attack, honestly, I didn't know I would get to the point of celebrating. I didn't know how/if my life would ever be the same again. Now that I'm almost six months out from the LVAD being put in my heart, I have MUCH to celebrate. I have a different, AMAZING life. I am living. I am thriving. I am doing the best I can, to get my health back. I have much more to accomplish with my health and the direction of my life. I have the most amazing girlfriend, family/friends, anyone can ask for. I have SO much to work for, so much to live for.
Every time we pass by a tree in our daily lives, how often do we think about the process it took to get to that size? Never. Maybe a few tree huggers here and there but most of us do not even consider this thought. Most of the trees around us are really, really old. On my walk today around the park, I noticed there was a new tree planted. It was a cutie. It definitely had a good start to it's growth but it was definitely a baby. I stopped and stared at the tree for a couple minutes. I took a few photos and said outlaid, " That tree is me." No I am not a tree. I feel like my life is in the same growth process of that tree. Slow and steady. I am constantly recovering, and constantly changing, but I am growing and progressing in the same forward direction... up.
I took a 3-hour nap today. It gave me a massive shot of energy. It was late in the day and my body really needed it. I really enjoy writing at night. Tonight it’s late night jazz. I’m focusing on the writing assignment given to me by my editor. She wants me to develop my list of scenes. It’s a bit chilly in here and I have one of my Patagonia vests on. I’m just really enjoying this evening. Out of nowhere, I touched my lip and it is just bleeding everywhere. I had got a cut on my lip a few days ago, that probably will take me weeks to heal. It’s just such a massive splash of cold water in the face. Reminding me always that my reality is always here. Sometimes it's refreshing. Sometimes it's just that tiny thing that gets under your skin. This case it's the lip. Blood everywhere. I have to make sure I clot it before I take my nightly blood thinner. Maybe I could just turn up the volume of the jazz and it’ll drown out the blood.