Guest Post: Karen Moran
Guest Post: Karen Moran // @ad_chickadee
After being down-sized in December 2008, I drastically decreased my spending habits. I now made Starbucks at home, canceled my fancy schmancy health club membership, moved in with a friend and even volunteered my social media expertise for the St. Augustine Amphitheatre just so I could see some killer concerts for free, not to mention beef up my resume.In my 20 months of unemployment and 4,995 miles driven all over the state of Florida for run-around interviews – I became inspired by my surroundings – and picked up my Nikon. While I've always loved photography, I really only took pictures while on vacation or attending a birthday party, wedding or some other function. There's just something about capturing a moment in time that most people may not see through your lens. Admiring the beauty of the salmon orange Florida sunset or the way a friend is gently holding his soon to be wife as they slow dance at another friend's wedding. Seeing our country's greatest treasure - and fortunately no longer on the endangered species list - just before she takes off.
Now keep in mind, I'm very fortunate to live in a beautiful place where nature and wildlife surround me. But there are also those every day moments with friends, my Chloe puppy that I adore more than anything or a semi-empty stairwell of the St. Augustine Lighthouse that made me feel even more blessed. These "little things" made me feel more blessed - because had I not gotten laid off - I would have never had the opportunity to see them, experience them, be in pure awe of their beauty. During my unemployment, I honest to God had to have taken in excess of 3,000 pictures if not more. Hours of sitting at my laptop scouring every website, job board, inkling of the prospect of a job humanly possible. Still being in my jammies at 2 in the afternoon, un-showered and in dire need of a toothbrush. After days and then weeks straight of this I had enough. SMACK! went the laptop lid, in the shower I went and then....well, then I grabbed my camera. Sitting out in my back yard that bumps up to a typical lush Florida marsh over-flowing with birds I never knew existed, almost being bitten by a snapping turtle, a cute little white heron named Petey who visited a friend's fish shop everyday for fresh shrimp or the armadillo that Chloe chased...right into me while I screamed louder than a gaggle of high school girls. All of these great moments are not only burned in my memory - but captured by my new best friend, printed, hung and sometimes given as gifts to the undying gratitude of friends. So the next time you're feeling down - pick up your camera. Take a picture of your bare feet propped on a table with a nice frosty adult beverage adjacent you. Snap that really close up shot of your daughter smiling that ginormous silly smile only children can. Turn the camera on yourself or to a funky angle of a vintage cherry pick-up truck I've been tempted to trade my Bimmer in for. There is no do over people. We only get one chance. Take it all in and cherish every single silly, frivolous, hard and sometimes debilitating moment of it.