Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Y 10:57 AM

I think if someone had told me what, and how, this year would have ended..... err.... wrapped up, I woulda said, "are you shitting me?" But ultimately it isn't how one begins but rather how you end and fortunately for everything that happened there were far greater rewards in my life that far outweighed any of the negative, and or daunting experiences.

I begin 2014 resigning my position at TRAX Records for many, many reasons, but one of them was because I needed to be able to lead my own life for a while. A life where I was not managing a label and running my own things, etc. I decided to finally allow myself some time off from a rigorous work schedule that begin from being in school since I was 3. Mainly I just felt like I was unable to be young towards the end because I was too worried about staying on the hamster wheel but ultimately I felt like I was running out of steam, things to say, and a grasp of the reality that I need around me to be able to be fully human, or at least so I feel like one.

After January I focused my energies on my book (which was supposed to come out last year, but my computer busted at New Wave the night before I was going to leave to San Francisco). I finished my book after a breakup with someone who really taught me a lot about myself but also finally made me feel valuable in departments that I thought I had no worth in. Through the beginning of the year I switched over to becoming fully vegan and being at the gym almost all the time, and walking Choco and Coco. Also, I did release a record for Record Store Day in the UK (TRANSTrax).

Around May, but even prior to that ( I had a lot of fun on cam) I was beginning to blossom into my own sexuality, which sounds stupid but when you're constantly moving and focusing on the grind those things took the back burner. I was, even since 2013, feeling my oats. And yes, they were being soaked. So for a while I just wanted to focus on myself and focus on the things that made me feel good. I was around boys for a while, and letting them enjoy me. In May I met a guy and from there began a whirlwind crazy relationship, one of which, I still think was great, and quite honestly the type of shit everyone goes through when they're like 16 but in this case I was 25 and socially retarded in several departments.

After we broke up and my first back injury ever at the gym, I decided that instead of feeling bad about myself that I was just going to lead my own life and do things I was scared of. I decided to go full force with guys and see where it lead. While I only had a short month of this, it really ended up opening my eyes that the situations, and those experiences made me feel empty, or no better than before. It was like I was doing things just to see if I could do them. Unfortunately during these times I began neglecting the core components of my life (my babies, and the gym). I was doing Insanity for two whole months but due to space issues I could not finish the last month, but it was during the last month (August) that I began getting to know someone on a different level. At this I even released my own first mini-movie Sunday.

After I decided to finally fucking travel, a luxury I was never able to have before. I went to San Francisco and spent a layover twice in Los Angeles. I know to a lot of people it's probably stupid or banal, but to me it was finally seeing something else, and living a life that was not the same one that I had lived for over 25 years. Chicago is nice but.... yeah. I was finally feeling a sense of WOW-ness all over again. It was almost like how I was feeling when I was a freshman in college and getting to know the city. But like a lot of things in my life, one new thing was not enough.

I ended up throughout the last end of the year just living and trying to shove experience after experience down my throat just for the sake of being to do them. I was traveling, meeting a new guy, making a home with my now boyfriend, adopting two cats, having two homes, going back to school, etc. I ended up doing so much that by the end I was less WOW and becoming more unable to unknot and fully appreciate the beauty and experiences that I was leading. Yes, I did try to be present at all moments, but there was so much going on that I don't know how well I could have done that.

Towards the end of the year, and a huge mistake, but one I'm glad I committed, I was finally able to reflect on what was happening to me in terms of solid concrete issues going through my mind. I was able to identify and really solidify the type of person that I am, at least today.

Today I sit here in my home in Logan Square with one of my new babies laying next to me and with Ashlee Simpson pandora playing in the background on our tv (Xtina's "Genie In a Bottle"playing) looking at writing on my new mac with my new camera next to me and I'm still trying to untangle just how amazing last year was. But at the same time moving forward and realizing that I can't continue taking a break.

During 2014 I finally decided that I can not continue shooting with film. Quite simply, shooting with film has become so excessively expensive to shoot with that it has become detrimental to my process and my body of work because I can't fully express myself because the costs alone are censoring me and preventing me from fully being myself. I feel at peace with my decision, and I feel at the same time a sense of sorrow because shooting with film has been something so important for me but ultimately I would rather be able to make photographs than wait until I can afford to do so.

So in all, last year was so massive for me that writing about it now has honestly made me realize just how enormous it was and how fitting it into one post is nearly impossible. But I'm just proud of myself for having a year that was just so different. My dad and my brother apparently had a conversation once when they saw me walking Choco in 2013 about how it was sad that I never went anywhere. The only places they saw me going were up 3 - 5 miles of Dundee Rd and back home. And I'm glad that in 2014 not only was I able to expand my bubble, but to burst it.

New photographs from this year:

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