“Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first I came among these hills…”

–William Wordsworth

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Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m awful at this whole keeping-the-blog-up-to-date thing. But I might as well post something now, while I’m thinking of it.

Here’s a blurb from my previous post on change:
“I have been experiencing a lot of change in my life recently — moving out, becoming independent, more responsibilities at work and life in general, my impending senior year of college, thoughts about where I’m going to end up in the future — and I have grown to realize that I actually like change.”

In an ironic way, you could say that I’m in a very similar situation this very day (uncannily almost exactly a year after my last post). Here I am, facing another life-changing time in my life. I graduated from college, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll be moving into my very own apartment (so very independent). I started a new job in the field that I wanted (I even get some spiffy business cards). Suffice it to say, I am very much encountering the realities of “adulting.” But here I am, still enjoying the changes that I have been through, and looking forward to the changes I will be going through.

But that wasn’t the main reason why I wanted to write a post today… Did I mention I got to travel to Europe this summer? For three weeks, I got to explore the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, with a very good friend. And it was absolutely amazing and beautiful and eye-opening and so, so cool.

While I took hundreds and hundreds of pictures throughout the trip, I decided along the way that I wanted to take portraits of locals in each town/city we visited. Thankfully, when I wanted to back out (because I had no knowledge of the language and would probably seem like a bumbling idiot), my friend told me to just do it. She taught me the Czech phrase I would need, and the portraits began (I eventually realized that I tended to gravitate toward intriguing old men… that’s not too weird, right?)

Like I said before, I have so many pictures from this trip. And these are obviously not the most professional or masterful portraits ever. But, to me, these portraits will always be special. Because they were random encounters with real people living individual stories, during a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Some of them may have a hard life; some of them may have a simple life; and some of them may have a happy life. But I think I was drawn to these people because, unconsciously, I wanted to capture the wisdom they’ve earned, or their quiet enjoyment of life, or their continuing pursuit of living a full and free life.

And, in honor of those whose lives were cut short, I want to be sure that I look forward to the life I am blessed to live and the changes that come my way.