Usually I don't choose a word of the year. I used to do it a few years back, but I eventually found that I could never find a word that would guide me through the year. After a couple months it disappeared into the background never to turn up again. I then decided that a word of the year is not for me and just because everyone else is having one doesn't necessarily mean that I need to have one as well.
This year though was different. The word found me.
Just like in the past years I didn't think of a word. The thought didn't even pass my mind. But suddenly, out of nowhere, it was there - "explore". And I thought "how fitting for this new chapter in my life", the life after work at the high school. Since I had left my job last summer my days were full with my other job (teaching German) and my Etsy shop that became very busy as soon as September rolled around, but has slowed down a bit now that Christmas is over. Now I can explore.
No, I won't fly solo around the world - I'm not Amelia.
I sat down with my art journal and explored "explore". Beneath all these layers of paint and papers is my writing, my thoughts and hope for my version of explore. I want to spend more time in nature again, maybe even try some nature journaling. I want to learn bird identification by their sounds. I want to write more and read more non-fiction. My garden calls to me every day and I plan to transfer it even more to a low water garden, using less and less water on drought tolerant plants. I still need to learn - explore - a lot in this regard. There is also art journaling that I would like to explore more deeply - and for that reason I enrolled in Laly Mille's art journal class.
But most of all I want to go back to photography and explore it more. I have missed "serious" photography these past two years a lot. Yes, I took tons of photos with my phone, but I actually want to get my dSLR out again and play around with my camera, be creative with different settings and depth of field. I know how much this makes my heart sing and how I view the world from different perspectives. It makes me more observant. I'm dreaming of trying new things, maybe even black and white photography. I want to use my skills because I know that photography is the art form I can do best and I enjoy the most.
I will still use my phone since I am not always able to carry my big camera everywhere. The phone is definitely much handier (is that why it's called "handy" in German?). But I have found a backpack that has a front compartment that is designed for "real" cameras and has a quick access door on the side so it's easy to retrieve the camera from the backpack without taking off the whole backpack when I want to take a photo. I'm still thinking about it because it's quite pricey, but I'm very tempted.
I loved to create this art journal spread! While doing it I enjoyed my coffee with lots of milk and every now and then some sweet cream (thank you Trader Joe's for carrying it). Here you can see one of my favorite mugs bought in my favorite national park. This is my drink for today's T Tuesday post - thank you, Elizabeth, for giving us this opportunity.