because creative energy is never wasted

Soooo...back in the summer, I saw this really cool photo challenge online - and I thought to myself, "why not try it?" Self-portraits sounded pretty simple, energy-wise, especially compared to other photo projects I've tried. I knew that I'd end up doing one post of all 30 pictures, instead of a daily post, but I was okay with that. Take one picture a day, for thirty days. Done!

Except that, by the time I finished the challenge, I was fully immersed in the busyness of a new semester, the rapidly-growing demands of wedding plans, and so on. Then add in the fact that we didn't have internet at home, and it meant that my 30 (approximately) self-portraits were doomed to languish in a folder on my computer. Truly, it's been a bit sad how many times I've seen that folder of photos and thought, "oh, I should really post those."

Then, about a month ago, I read this lovely piece and realized that I needed to start letting go of the unnaturally high expectations I had for myself when it came to my creative projects (including photography and blogging). In her words, I needed to "let myself off the hook." Yes, I feel like I'm eternally behind in my creative endeavors. Yes, that creates frustration. But no, I don't need to be overly harsh with myself about it. I am grateful to Lemonade Makin' Mama for this wisdom.

Fast forward to this week. As I went about cleaning out some folders of photos, I decided that the cliche of "better late than never" was okay when it came to my blog. Which means that, rather than letting those 30 days of self-portraits go to waste, I'm going to share them. * Sure, it's two months later...but why not go ahead and honor the fun experience I had with this project? And so here they are. It makes for a long post, I know - but I hope you'll enjoy my look back at 30 days of self-portraits, self-expression and self-amusement.

 (2 August - walking with a friend after work)

(3 August - seeing "Two Guns" with my love)
(4 August - a lazy morning with Gru)
(5 August - feeling good about a productive day at work)
(6 August - repotting new plants)
 (7 August - amusing Wildcat Guy with my Kit Kat-eating method)

(8 August - writing lesson plans)

(9 August - a snack on Friday afternoon)
(10 August - seeing "Elysium")
(11 August - cat-watching before church)
(12 August - laughing at all the stuff I'm carrying)
 (13 August - heading home from work)

(15 August - practicing for the wedding)
(17 August - celebrating my first time as a faculty member)
(18 August - picking out a wedding ring)
(19 August - sporting awesome shoes for our orientation day activities)
 (20 August - after a 1.5-mile walk)

(21 August - wondering what I've gotten myself into)
 (23 August - wearing a pretty shirt for the after-work women's happy hour)

(24 August - a quiet Saturday morning breakfast)
(25 August - excited to spend the day at the pool)
(27 August - feeling ready for my first class of the semester)
(28 August - the worst best tray of letters ever)
 (29 August - up early for the Presidential Run/Walk club)

 (31 August - planning menus and making the grocery list)

 (1 September - repainting a frame...hmm, speaking of unfinished crafts)

(2 September - trying out wedding manicure colors)
(3 September - feeling proud of my consistent exercising)

On an interesting side note, about ten days into the project, I realized that it would be neat to try a variation of this - that, instead of just self-portraits, limit it even further to something like hand portraits. That came partly from the three days early on when I didn't want to take pictures of me, so I took pictures of my hand (which I hope makes sense)...but as the project went on, I can see where that idea influenced my pictures. Maybe another time.
Where I am: home
What I'm reading: The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell
* It also means some other things I've been promising to share will still be showing up at some point in the future.Oh, the anticipation!!


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