As I look back on 2016, as cliche as I know it sounds, it was a whirlwind, busy year. I had photography trips planned out a year in advance, and many miles were spent on the road during my downtime from a full time job. After a loss in my family at the end of 2015, I did not take much time to stop and reflect, electing instead to keep pushing and keep my mind, feet, and camera occupied.
The upside is that I realized many personal goals and visions this year; most important to me by far was my success in having my photography commissioned in hospitals and clinics to enhance healing environments, a cause that is very important to me, and even more so during the past year.
Just 3 days before my 46th birthday in October, I went in for a routine mammogram, ultimately resulting in a staggering breast cancer diagnosis.
There were many silver linings through this experience, though: I have a great support system of friends, family, a supportive workplace, and my significant other, who has been incredible through all of this. Although the type of breast cancer I had was particularly aggressive, it was caught very early in Stage 1; because of it’s aggressive nature, however, I’m looking at a 2017 filled with recovery from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
In addition to dodging a huge bullet, talk about irony coming full circle: recently, I was checking in for an oncology appointment at Sutter Health downtown, and there are my photographs on the wall! I did not put 2 and 2 together until I got there, but was a not so gentle reminder that I am on the right path, and everything is going to be OK.
2016 is barely over, but this much I do know: 2017 will be the year to slow down, to reflect, to cultivate relationships and have a far greater appreciation for the less frequent adventures I will have this year.
Ansel Adams said these famous, often quoted words: “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop”. These photographs are by no means significant, but meaningful to me, and I hope, maybe to a few others as well. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017!