I don’t make a habit of looking at the past, I have to much going on in my current and future to look back. But sometimes the past sneaks into your daily life. Yesterday the start of the Amgen Tour of California started in a town next to the town I grew up in. My first and best friend from kindergarten posted a video from her parents house of the racers coming by. How odd is it that her and I, after not seeing each other since 5th grade, both know about cycling?
I say “know about” because it’s true. Unless a race comes through your town or you have a friend who races, bike racing is completely foreign to most American’s. I knew Lance Armstrongs name for as long as I can remember, but I never knew that there was bike racing outside of the Tour de France. When I went to my first race and shot my first set of photos, I thought – “Man, one day I want to shoot at the Tour de France.” Now, knowing cycling like I do, there are so many other races that hold special places in my heart. That shooting the T-d-F would be cool, but is farther down on my list of places I’d like to go.
Another part of my past that crept up yesterday was a past relationship and a life that I rarely look back on. Between 2003 and 2005 I dated a very nice guy named Jeremy. He was an architecture student at Lawrence Tech and I was going to school at Ohio University to become one of National Geographic’s top animal photographer… We dated long distance for a year, it was Love. I realized that OU wasn’t what I wanted in life, moved back, we moved in together, we broke up not long after that. But that narrow’s down our relationship to start and end.
I did a lot of “finding” myself during that time. Or so I thought. I pierced my tongue, I got more tattoo’s. We got a small dog. Because of his degree, we spent a lot of time talking about the future, planning out our dream house, designing and I would try building models out of his school scrap leftovers.
In my effort to try and avoid traffic yesterday, I went up side streets thinking I would beat rush hour. But I was wrong. I probably took an extra hour to get where I was going, and took a little trip down memory lane while I was at it. On Lasher Rd. between 15 Mile and Hickory Grove there are the biggest and most beautiful houses I had probably ever seen. Huge houses with guest houses attached. Jeremy and I used to drive up that street picking parts of each one to add to our dream house. We eventually created a 14,000 square foot house with movie rooms, dark rooms, game rooms, everything you could imagine.
And now, writing this from my current living room, a cushy Salvation Army couch, surrounded by 100 year old woodwork, my 2 big dogs and living this new life, that past with that huge house we created seems so foreign.
I don’t believe in regrets, I never have. I believe everything happens for a reason. And I love the life I currently live.
I have the best friends, amazing boyfriend, great job, wonderful family, and get to do things the former me would never have dreamed of. I use to talk about the future a lot with Jeremy. But he never had answers that I liked. He never had enough of an answer. His answer was that we’d get married, live in a house that he designed, go hunting up north on weekends and I would “do that photographing thing you like.” I always felt like an after thought. I can shoot guns, but I don’t hunt, sitting in a deer blind while someone tells you to be quiet is boring!
Anyways. Right now. Today. I am living a life that in no way could I have ever imagined. I get to travel around the country and photograph bike races, I live in a house that’s way smaller than the one I helped draw so long ago, but is bigger than I could ever need. I live with the most amazing man, our 2 dogs and 3 pretty spectacular roommates. I have a bike that I’ve been neglecting, but am more than happy to start riding again. I just joined a new soccer team. I work out fairly regularly. I’m energized about new projects. I’m excited to be working for a brilliant man at a small company, hoping some of the smart rubs off.
I thought working at Inside Detroit / D:hive was the best job I could have ever had. I was doing all the things in life I wanted to do and more. Then I took a new job and thought I’d never be happy at work again. I was terribly sad. I canceled the Detroit Crit. But then I put on The Michelob Ultra West Branch Classic. Then I planned on moving. Then I stayed. Now I’m working on a lot of really neat things with some really great people.
That was long and winded. But here’s what you should take away – If you’re not 100% happy, change it. It’s your life, be happy with the one you’re living.
The past is a good place to look back at. It’s good to know where you came from. And the future is promising and fun to think about. But what really matters is the present. What are you doing right now? And does that make you happy.