My first time deciding my last time.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
I remember reading the sentence through the cracked glass of my iPhone while melting into the white linen couch on some stage in Miami.
They were all of the words I’d been looking for for months strung together in one perfect little line. That Edward Abbey knows his stuff.
The sun was sinking a little lower, and the crowd in front of me seemed to be bobbing around a little less.
I told myself I wouldn’t work on much that weekend, but I’d been hung up on this one project as about 45 more were blurring by. I was beginning to lose it.
In nature growth just happens. But why do human beings obsess about it.
Is it ultimately exponential — does it always lead the decomposition of something else – would anyone care if it did?
What traits imbedded into the roots of pollination – the molecular structures of mold – the intricacies of Fibonacci’s numerical explorations—
has mankind taken, restructured and claimed as its own?
What modern interpretations have we attempted to choreograph around
the chemical romance of spontaneous combustion and apply to our innermost decisions?
I asked myself.
I took time to put myself into the situations and chose to put the other usual mental deliberations on hold.
My thoughts and open tabs were interrupted momentarily by a charming British accent fighting the music to ask about a key.
I expressed my disinterest. I was finally feeling a little less grey.
The questions were tugging at me so hard for months that I ultimately decided I didn’t want to create anything ever again, and I certainly didn’t want to write about it.
My last first rodeo had been my last. But I’d still finish the project.
During these few months, I was working as the photography director for Gainesville Fashion Week. The quiet theme of the year was “inspiring growth.”
I took the role while wrapping up my last semester at UF, freelancing for the Sun, starting my first full-time job, helping facilitate a few other random endeavors, and trying to be very much of the human being I am genetically destined to be – degenerate.
It seemed to only make sense to put work into the art exhibit at the end.
To say I’d create something entirely new and harder than anything I’ve done.
It was to be around the theme — Inspiring growth — and it seemed easy enough.
It wasn’t until I decided I wanted nothing to do with it any more that I remembered why I do any of this.
It was a frightening and humbling place to dig into, but I’m glad that I did.
Who hasn’t gotten sad? Who hasn’t felt uninspired or questioned the meaning behind the ways we run our lives?
Who hasn’t had to meet their ego face to face and stare into the fabricated version of themselves?
It was a frightening place to dig in to, but it takes a reminder of what we already know to move past what we don’t.
Long story short, I learned to ask myself why, again.
After asking for months, I finally remembered my answer.
As I type, things seem to be getting a little less grey.
It’s time for a new rodeo.
Special thanks to Patrick Smith, Albey Coronel, Niko Pifferetti, Nicole Collazo, Benji Haselhurst, Davis Hart, Ashley Young, Tanima Mehrotra, Lindsey Buz, Jennifer Staples, Victorria Sanchez, Olivia Sanchez
and Adrian Alahs