photography

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As a general rule, I reject the notion of new year resolutions. Sure, I get why people make them; the start of a new year seems like a natural occasion to make new changes in one’s life. But I’m not sure I have ever met anyone who has successfully kept true to their new year resolutions.

You know what they say; today is the first day of the rest of your life. It seems to me if you are really interested in making a change, why wait for a national holiday to do it? Despite my apathy for new year resolutions, I expect 2018 to be a pivotal year in my life. In lots of different ways and for lots of different reasons.

40 in 2018

Though I haven’t thought much about it (partly because I don’t want to), 2018 will mark my 40th birthday. In recent years, my birthdays have generally come and gone with little fanfare and I don’t know that I expect much different next year.

But for me, passing 40 years of age is a milestone I am not looking forward to. In my mind, I should be much further along in my life. And though I’ve made trade-offs over the last 15 years, because I love this place I live, I feel fairly unaccomplished.

I own no property. No savings and minimal retirement investments. I remain single and haven’t been in a committed relationship since moving to Hawaii; I have no family of my own. And perhaps most frustrating is the feeling I am still struggling to make a career in my chosen profession.

I imagine most people when they reach 40, feel like “an adult”. I often don’t as I feel like I’m still trying to find my place, my purpose.

A Catalyst for Professional Changes

Despite the looming milestone (and potential mid-life crisis), 2018 could prove to be the most pivotal year of my life after 2002, when I moved to Hawaii.

One way or another, I suspect I will see my current employment come to an end.

Governor David Ige, for whom I work, is facing a tough reelection this year. And while I believe he can stave off his primary election challenger, there is certainly no guarantee. As an appointee, I work at the pleasure of the Governor and would have to be rehired by his successor in the event of his loss.

I’ve been in this situation before; four years ago when Ige beat the sitting Governor, Neil Abercrombie, in the Democratic Primary. I was incredibly fortunate to be kept on for the current administration. I seriously doubt I will have that kind of luck twice.

While this situation creates a level of uncertainty in my job, I don’t completely mind it. Without significant changes to my role and responsibilities in the office, I am not inclined to stay to the end of a second term. I’ve gotten about all I can out of my current position and am ready to move on.

This was the case two years ago, which is why I decided to go back to school.

In July, I will complete my Masters in Political Management from George Washington University. I started the program with the goal of learning some new skills, as well as validating with an advanced degree the skills I’ve cultivated as a volunteer activist over the last decade.

Once I decided to do it, I never looked back. Despite knowing the financial expense and that I’d likely be paying for it for the rest of my life. I wanted to move up and out of my current position and the degree was the best way I saw to do it.

And though I am struggling to figure out what comes next professionally, I’m excited (and worried) about what opportunities may present themselves with this specialized degree under my belt.

A Year for Real Change

When I think about what this year has to offer, I am most excited about the progressive political activism that has been building since Bernie Sanders announced his bid for the Presidency. In the more then ten years I’ve been involved in Hawaii politics, I’ve never seen anything like it.

Progressive-minded people are running professional campaigns for elective office across the state in greater numbers than I can recall seeing before. We are organizing, collaborating, breaking down silos across issues. Progressives are coming together for a common purpose and a common agenda: make Hawaii a better place for everyone.

HAPA’s Kuleana Academy has churned out dozens of individuals ready to be solid candidates and activists that can serve as real and useful support to those candidates. I am a graduate of their second cohort.

And the organization I co-founded in early 2017, Pono Hawaii Initiative (PHI), is poised to make a marked impact on the 2018 legislative session, as well as the 2018 elections. For the first time, maybe ever, I really feel like I personally will be able to make real tangible change.

A Life in Balance – Personal Goals

Maybe for my whole life, I’ve struggled for balance and for mental and physical wellness. 2018 won’t be any different.

It seems I always have a list of things I want to accomplish, skills I want to improve. I’ve never been great at self-motivation, though there are obviously exceptions.

My parents often point out that I should spend more time focusing on my hobbies, more time relaxing, and more time enjoying the special things Hawaii has to offer. They’re right. Between my day job and the work I am passionate about, there seems little time to take a break for other interests. In what time I do have, I struggle to find the energy to do anything other than being at home on my couch.

Maybe most importantly, I need to be more healthy. Though I continue to struggle with some level of depression, it’s in check. I’ve learned over many years how to cope with its ebbs and flows. But I also need to address my slowly rising weight and general lethargy. There’s no doubt I’d feel better over-all if my physical health were better, but I nonetheless battle to find the motivation.

Aside from politics, I enjoy writing, photography, and music. I will try to continue to develop my skills as a photographer. I will take more time to explore new music to appreciate the artists and albums I already love. At the top of this list: continue to write regularly on this blog about the things in my life.

 

I’m excited and nervous for what 2018 has in store. Here’s hoping it’s mostly great stuff.

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While waiting for the noon hour to be able to complete a class assignment, I thought I’d drop a quick post as I once again try to keep up with regular blog updates.

Not too long ago, I came across a photo sharing site called YouPic. I don’t recall exactly how I found it, but it may have been while I was searching for online photography courses. At the time, I created an account, but left it unattended for months while I debated with myself whether the cost of becoming a “premium” member was worth getting access to the site’s myriad courses.

Well, earlier this week, after receiving from the site a discount code, I pulled out my credit card and made the leap. And so far, I’m reasonably happy with the decision. YouPic’s wide array of courses I think will be useful and the available interaction with other photographers who can rate photos you’ve uploaded based on “composition,” “creativity,” “technical quality,” and “content.” So far, none of the five, or so, pictures I’ve uploaded have been rated, but I’m hopeful they will be eventually.

I’m trying to make the site a place to improve my skills, but also using it (ideally) as a spur to get me to take more pictures.

So, I will hopefully be uploading pictures to YouPic on a fairly regular basis. But unlike my Flickr account, which I basically use as a large repository, my YouPic account will be much more curated. Only selected pictures I particularly like (and are “artsy”) will be shared there.

I’ve already linked it to my Facebook account, so you may have seen some of them already, but if you’re interested check out my page at: https://youpic.com/photographer/regardingfrost/

I believe the public can view the pictures without an account.

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I went to my Prime Photos in Amazon to look for a picture for today’s throwback, but Amazon did the work for me.

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This group photo, from one year ago today, was taken after (one of?) the first Hawaii For Bernie organizing meetings in Honolulu.

It marked the beginning of a rollercoaster year. Young and old, there are so many in this picture who weren’t previously politically active. Despite a disappointing Democratic National Convention and General Election, these folks are still engaged, determined to change the world.

I may not always show it, or say so, but these people are awesome.

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I used to spend several days over the Christmas holiday at a friend’s family’s property in Mokuleia. For those of you who know me, you know that it’s one of my favorite places in the entire world and I looked forward to spending the holidays there every year.

My friend has some changes of her own in taking place in her life, so I expect to spend fewer days and in that beautiful and serene place. And I was so delighted to start the New Year spending the day there.

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With the holiday season receding behind me, I’m hoping to return to a more regular routine. Which will include a return to more frequent blog posting….But as 2017 proceeds, my schedule will quickly become full. The first half of the year could easily see my at my busiest in years.

Look for specifics in the coming days. For now, I just wanted to share some more pictures. Most of these are long exposures, similar to those I took a few weeks back of the Honolulu Lights.

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So, it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted anything here. I haven’t been intentionally avoiding the blog. I just haven’t had anything to write about. Combine a dash of writer’s block with the general distraction of the holiday season and it’s a good recipe for blog neglect.

Admittedly, I don’t have really anything to share at the moment, either. But two weeks is already too long to go without so much as a peep.

There’s definitely some stuff coming up that will be worth writing about. Until then, however, I thought I’d share some pictures I took a couple weeks ago at the Honolulu City Lights.

You may have seen them already on Facebook, but if not here ya go.

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In case another post fails to materialize before the end of the year, have a happy and safe New Year.

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