Strength comes, not in the grip, but the opening of the hand.
― Steven Bruce

I recently tried archery for the first time. When I got into position, pulled back the bowstring, and aimed, I froze… “Now, just let go!” said the instructor. I COULDN'T! The paralyzing feeling was very strange. I had to find the courage to draw again, and finally LET GO.

I'm not gonna lie, these past few years have been pretty difficult. There is a lot I've had to let go of, and it hasn't been easy. One of the biggest challenges has been leaving where I grew up in and moving to a small town in . Life changed a lot, and I've been slowly grieving the version of myself that existed before. Photography and the work I did, especially in , was a huge part of my life and identity. Life is different here, and I don't shoot as much anymore. I could blame it on the ‘pandemic' or other things, but if I'm being honest, I do feel like I'm being pulled in another direction. It's okay; I know I'm on the right path, but it's still painful… like a that I just wasn't ready for.

Speaking of losses I definitely wasn't ready for… the recent loss of my dad is another big one. The lack of control in that whole situation was extremely difficult. I keep staring at this photo of his open hands, and it reminds me of the fear I felt when I couldn't let go of the bowstring… the fear that consumed me when I knew my dad was sick, but there was nothing I or anyone could really do but wait for the inevitable. The fear I often feel when I think about the future, where I am now, and ahead.

In light of what's happened, I've decided to make a conscious effort to view this year as a fresh start. I want to release anything that no longer serves me and try not to take anything for granted, because you never know how much time you have. I want to trust that the path I'm on will lead me where I need to be, and with open and outstretched hands, great new things will come my way.

I'm lucky to have this photo of my dad's hands. I was doing a shoot for some album artwork, and actually forgot to get this shot with the model, so I used my dad as the backup. Grateful now for that happy accident.

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