Saturday, March 30, 2013

2012 done.

Project Life 2012 is finally done. I had it hanging over my head for a while and I finally got around to finishing it up. Here are some fast facts about the album:

dates documented: January 1 - December 31 2012
number of pages: 62
number of photos included: 1,123
number of photos taken in 2012: 6,580
time to completion: 15 months
cities captured: Chicago, Syracuse, East Lansing, Denver, Houston, Madison, New York, San Juan, Los Angeles

I can't believe it's really done. I can't believe I actually kept up with it. I mean, there were about a thousand times where I asked myself why I had decided to do this in the first place because most of the time, it was stressful. SO stressful. 99% of the time I was behind and trying to catch up. But that was completely due to the nature of the parameters I had set up for myself at the beginning of the entire thing. I wanted to document every single day of 2012. And I realized about 30 days in that I was absolutely insane. I mean come on, what kind of normal person documents what they ate and what they wore every day for a year.

This book contains photos and journaling that I love and hate (my initial goal was to love every spread - yeah right). I can't even look at some pages while other pages remind me of the giant-sized blessings that I experienced in 2012. There are some pages where I wish I could go back and experience it all over again while other pages remind me of the not-so-wonderful moments I had endured, particularly the last quarter of the year. I almost didn't want to include those photos because I actually skip over those pages when I flip through the book as they have such intense (and negative) memories tied to them. And although the documentation of 2013 is much different (less stressful, less photos and really only photos that I love), I'm so happy that I forced myself to document almost every single day of last year. 

Although this year's project life is definitely more aesthetically pleasing and cohesive, the purpose of 2012's album stands for something completely different. This year's book that I am currently working on is lovely but what I documented in 2012 was real. It was raw. Yes, there are unfortunate photos of unappealing chinese food. Yes, there are photos that are so grainy that I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to include them. Yes, there are photos that are just so bad that I want to rip them out and just leave blank because emptiness would be so much prettier than what currently fills its place. But each of those moments made up 2012. A year that blessed me and broke me. The album is real. And it documents the good, the bad and the ugly. And although some pages suck, as a whole, the entire album and experience was so awesome. And that is exactly what our lives are like. Our lives are made up of moments that are fantastic and not so fantastic, stitched together to make a much bigger picture that's way better than any of those individual fantastic moments. I love that I can look back and know exactly what I was doing that day a year ago. I love that I can see what I ate, what I wore, what I saw and what I did. Because it really is the ordinary and the things that we spend our time on that make us who we are. And sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad and sometimes it's ugly. But all of it, yes, even the ugly, make it so so beautiful. And this little book is a reminder of that. And when others wonder why I take photos and save every piece of scrap paper, that reminder is exactly the reason why.

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