sometimes, you end up exactly where you are exactly when you need to be there.
and by sometimes, i mean always. at least, that’s what i believe.
considering the rough waters of my life at this moment, my current state of insane self-transformation, the uncertainty of who I’ll be when I emerge, and the very recent death of my grandfather, it’s hard to always hold on to this belief...
this particular photo set though is one of infinite examples of the truth to the universe's adept ability to line you up exactly where you need to be when you need to be there.
these images were shot outside of Salt Lake City at the surrounding salt flats of the massive salt lake itself. Despite my semi-frequent visits to this city throughout my life, pre-model life even, I had never been to this eery, serene, and truly beautiful area before. And neither had photographer Chris Widick, a versatile photographer based in Tennessee, who oh so “coincidentally” happened to be in Salt Lake City on business, and had a free afternoon and desire to shoot overlapping with my open schedule that advertised the same.
my first thought stepping out onto the dry lake bed, my boots breaking through the stale top layer of shattering earth to the soft salt and sand an inch or two below, was why the fuck did I leave my phone in the car?? this is GORGEOUS. Sometimes though, it’s great to get to enjoy life and the present moment just for yourself. No selfies or snapchats (which I happily don’t have) needed.
plus, Chris had the whole photo thing pretty well handled.
with no exact idea of where we wanted to shoot, Chris and I picked a rock formation in what we thought was the not-so-far-distance, and headed out in a straight line across the alien land. Immediately I was struck by the silence, the stillness, the complete lack of life – dry twigs and animal bones crunched under our boots along with the parched earth – and we were thrown into what felt like another dimension in which time and distance just didn’t work quite the same. within what felt like only minutes we had put considerable distance between ourselves and the dots representing our parked cars. the mountains guiding our path however seemed not an inch closer than when we had started, which we were both surprised to discover was already over half an hour prior. As all things familiar slipped further and further from us however, the rare sounds of another individual, laughing, crunching, wandering away on their own warped adventure, snuggled right up next to us, as clear and sharp as if this faceless fellow traveler was walking in our stark footsteps.
time slowed and sped up, the skies above us opened endlessly, and eventually the receded water of the great salt lake sparkled merrily in the omnipresent sunlight.
it is moments like that, experiences like this photo shoot, that remind me that 'hey jin – lighten up – the universe sez we gotchoo boo. everything is ok. and everything is beautiful. just breathe. we put this shit here FOR YOU boo. so enjoy it a little, huh?'
'oh – and why not take off your clothes, let the sun speckle every inch of you, as you stretch and shrink and yearn and learn and move through the fluidity of your posing that you love so so much?'
it truly is a beautiful adventure i am on. and during my current quest of self-discovery (so often feeling, more accurately, like self-annihilation, and in many, many ways that’s exactly what it is) these are exactly the kind of memories i need to hold on to. those moments that are present always, where i can feel the sun on my skin, smile at the sky, and express myself a little. because if not, then what the fuck is the point?
so do a little dance, take off your pants, enjoy being right where you are right in this moment, and i hope you enjoy these images as well.
and a little jin update for all you wonderful darlings who care to know: i’m currently in an insane state of grief, coupled with my determined path of .. i don’t even know what to call it. i've talked at length of all the ways i am currently investing in myself, and that is all still true, but even more than that i am insistently investing in my own mental health. my days are full of tears, meditations, journaling, fasting, reading, learning, laughing, friends, and the consistent destruction of my endless walls. it’s a rather terrifying place to be, as every day i discover things about myself that i never realized were true, as well as that essentially everything that i did think was true about myself was in fact complete and utter bullshit. through it all i am doing my best to be still, to be grateful, and to be comfortable with life’s unending state of groundlessness, and to just be joyous in the moment, holding on to the faith/knowledge that i am exactly where i need to be, when i need to be here.
jin is doing a complete overhaul of who i am, and the most terrifying and exciting part is that i have no idea who i’ll be when i’m done. as if “done” is ever a thing.
no matter who emerges from this crazy little cocoon i currently find myself in though, i’m so happy to have you along for the journey, and i’ll be sure to have some photos and overly-wordy-words to share with you all now, then, and always.