Today is the 300th day of my fourth year of my 365 Project.
For those of you mathy types, that means that by the time today ends, I’ll have taken (without fail) at least 1395 photographs to define the past 1395 days of my life*. And you know, if you know me, that I don’t just take one photograph a day – that odds are at the end of any given day I will have a selection of shots from that day to choose from.
Some are works I am truly proud of. Some are just okay. And some are just purely placeholders for lack of any better moments.
A year ago this morning, I stood on a beach in Muskegon with friends following the June Love Drop in Michigan. I know this because when I look back on my picture of the day, it’s a picture of the shadows on the beach at the edge of the water. That made me look up other shots from that morning, including the one above.
I also know that three years ago today, my daughters and I filled up massive amounts of water balloons and had an epic water balloon fight that was over in minutes.
I cannot believe a project that I joined on a whim has become such a big part of my life. When I began all these days ago, I was armed with a point and shoot and an iPhone camera and no real idea if I could stick with the project or that I would enjoy it. I certainly didn’t realize that I would fall in love with photography and in the midst of this whole deal find something that I truly love to do and am passionate about – that I would find yet another way to embrace my creative side and to show people a bit of a slice of how my brain works and how I see the world around me.
And so I am relieved when I look through these slices of my life – relieved that I have these moments captured – that I am tied to my memories by more than fleeting thoughts. My photographs make those moments concrete for me once more instead of letting them vanish.
When each year is over, I put all my pictures together and I watch them set to music – it’s roughly 12 minutes – and I watch a year go by, frame by frame. I watch it and I smile and I hurt and I laugh and I feel because it’s all still there, right in front of me in pictures.
And I’m grateful for that. Even with the bad pictures. (They’re not all good, y’all)
We never really know what a year will bring. You kind of have a vague idea at the start – birthdays, big events, trips planned – but those little moments, and not so little moments, they sneak up on you. And you have to embrace those too.
And I do. Daily. One at a time. Photo by photo. Year after year.
*So help me if my math is wrong and one of you corrects me, I just may cry. So don’t. Just…don’t.