My Year in Four Photos – Think Kit Day #1

December 1, 2013 By Tom

So, I’m doing this whole Think Kit daily blogging prompt for the month of December.  Every morning Small Box and their Think Kit concept emails me a new blog topic and the goal is to write about it.

My format for the month is going to share the blog prompt at the top of the page and then my response below.  So, let’s get the creativity going for a 31 day challenge:

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox, today’s prompt: “Document your year in photos. Did one photo encapsulate your year? Maybe it takes a gallery. And don’t forget to caption, describe, or or document what made an image so important. Let’s see those photos!”

My mind has been working overtime since getting this prompt early this morning.  It resulted in a long conversation before I ever got out of bed and I struggled with what sort of image(s) would encapsulate the crazy year I’ve had.  After a few hours to dwell on it, some coffee and a pastry and a drive to pick up the dogs from the kennel, I realized there were 4 photos that could tell my story well.

London Beauty:

one of my favorite photos from 2013 that I took

Despite having  a chance to travel a ton in life, one of my favorite trips ever was a 5 day excursion in London over Valentines Day weekend.  A beautiful time of year to experience the sights and sounds of a great city, an example of the somewhat spontaneous growth I had achieved from the previous year, and a travel partner who loved exploring the city (and the pubs) as much as I did.  This wasn’t just a vacation, it was a statement of getting (slightly) out of my comfort zone and continuing to push my desire to explore the world and experience new things, something that had been almost extinguished after feeling like I was living under a magnifying glass from June of 2010 through December of 2012.

Finding the Speak Easy:

my first day visiting the Speak Easy, Pi Day.

I owe my discovery of the Speak Easy to my friend, Law School.  Without her, I would not have stumbled across the place that has become a second home to me in these last months, even if it took me the first few months of my membership there to get the hang for what I could learn from the space and what I could give the space.  Business networking, friendships, knowledge, trust and relationships have resulted in my discovery of this place; it truly was a game changer in how I interact and intertwine with the broader Indianapolis community, and the space has created a safe place for me to begin new adventures in my life.

St. Lucia Sunning:

things can change in a moment

There’s some symbolism here, a truly wonderful vacation that brought me back to Indianapolis with a full heart and a clear head.  Ironic in a way, since 10 days after this, I asked L to leave our home so I could cool my head; starting a chain of events that were so explosive I can only describe it as a series of cascading failures.  The reality is that no matter how things sort going through this divorce, that week in St. Lucia will always be what I think of in terms of happiness and love and that in the many moments of that week, the toes in the sand and the drinks in the pool, I was exactly where I wanted to be with exactly who I wanted to be with.

Finding a Way Out:

Am I stuck, or do I just need to find a better way to move forward?

In full disclosure, this was the first photo that came to mind.  Last month I found myself stuck, caught in between the dirt and an oversize tree root that was blocking forward progress, with nowhere to go as the wheels spun on the slick mud.  I had my Partner in Crime with me and not much else, I was grossly unprepared for the level of off-roading the Jeep was doing.  I didn’t have a shovel, or a winch, or a tow strap, we fought like hell to get out of the mud but made no progress.

After wrestling with the situation, we made a short walk back to the main campsite, asking friends whom I just recently met to help us out.  Combining the effort of a team willing to get muddy and push and a team using the heavy lifting of another Jeep to get me out of the situation I was in, we succeeded.  I would have been stuck if it wasn’t for my friends or if it wasn’t for the willingness of others to step up when I was in need.  Likewise, I would have been stuck if I had only focused on how I got there and not the real issue of trying to problem solve how to get out of the sticky predicament.

This photo highlights what I’ve truly learned in 2013, that you have to be willing to ask for help from friends and family when needed, especially in a tough situation.  Likewise, you need to be willing to get creative while diagnosing the options available, even when you want to throw something and walk away from a frustrating situation.  Partner In Crime and I turned being very literally stuck into a bonding moment, something that could have caused tension or blame and instead we laughed about it all the way back—just like we’ve done in every other situation we’ve come across in the past few months.

Until tomorrow,