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Archive for December 2014

Photography Aspirations: My Latest Money Shots

So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to visit my regional park to do some thinking.  Just for kicks, I grabbed my camera making this the first time I've picked it up for the first real time in over a year. 

But afterwards I finally decided to stop being intimidated by photo editing software, went through and edited a good amount of photos and had some of my coworkers, who just so happen to be professional photographers, critique my work.  I promise I tried to stop bothering these guys by taking one of those photography classes that pops up in my Groupon feed, but somehow I had my zip code messed up in my profile and kept getting offers for a city two hours away. So yea, I guess it pays to be in the communication field and know people.  

Anyway, through group consensus, it was decided these are my money shots.

And just for good measure, my roll dog, Nellie got dragged on the trip so she deserves honorable mention.  This is her looking for the next squirrel to chase.

I was sick last week, but I'm going to do my best to post again this week.  If I don't get around to it though, have a very Merry Christmas.

~With ♥ from Halima

What do Nikki Giovanni and My Mom Have in Common?

The last year I performed in the Nutcracker.
I was a flower. 
As those of you who follow my Instagram account know (shameless plug; If you don't follow, please be inspired to do that and to check out my new Facebook page), Mom and I were hanging out last weekend.  We went to see The Nutcracker for old times' sake.  This particular production was put on by my current dance studios' students and it left us  trying to erase its memory through glasses of Hennessey and Malbec at dinner.

We started talking about the difference between this production and the one put on by the studio where I was trained.  One thing led to another and we started discussing the downside to my former studio.  If you haven't already, you can read about that in my post, Being the Token.  

I've never been much of a talker, so I guess I never told Mom about the things that were happening to me at the studio.  This weekend she asked.  I told her with the exception of my four or five friends, I hated the girls at the studio.  She asked if they had been mean to me.  Tears welled up in my eyes and I couldn't even put words the ways they purposefully tried to alienate me.  Mom said she was sorry she had to put me in a situation like that, but believes our community needs ground breakers and knew I could handle it.  Besides just being a ground breaker, she wanted me to get the best ballet training available.  She ended with the words, "You got the experience."

Mom's words reminded me of a statement Nikki Giovanni made at a lecture she gave at my college some years ago.  Giovanni told the story of a failed attempt at a love affair and ended with the sentiment that she didn't regret anything because she "got the story." At the time I thought getting the story was important as a writer.  Now I know getting the story is important as a person.  It's okay to be in a situation that's uncomfortable or even one that hurts or makes me angry because, like Mom said, I get the experience.  I take what I was meant to learn for those situations and use it to be the best possible me.

~With ♥ from Halima

Why Are the Holidays so D*!@n Hard??

I swear, holidays conspire to make us work hard at achieving their promised happiness. My best guess is it's some twisted scheme to make us appreciate them and each other more, but I digress.

So a day after my post about Thanksgiving and spending time joking with my Mom about last year, my Mom calls to tell me she's sick. By Wednesday of last week, we find out she has pneumonia. I try to make it to my parents' house to check on her and start prepping dinner the next day, but on the way am met by a snowstorm and overturned car on the highway.  By the next day, Thanksgiving, my brother and I were learning how to prepare Thanksgiving dinner.

Although a little disorganized, we managed to pull it together without any of the usual first timer Thanksgiving stories to tell.

The turkey was a group effort between my Mom, brother and me.
My mom was able to get out of bed, join us for dinner and truly enjoy herself, amazing us with how love and laughter could give her strength she didn't even know she had.

On my drive home that night, I was shaking my head and wondering why the holidays always throw something wildly unexpected my way. Then I had that moment where I realized I still love them because they end up bringing out the best in each situation. I smiled for two whole seconds before my car's maintenance light came on.

Meh, oh well...

~With ♥ from Halima

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