Kilroy was here

I fluctuate between wanting to obsessively chronicle everything, and hating getting photos of myself taken + trying to “live in the moment.” In case it’s not super obvious by my recent blog posts, right now I’m in the former state, after maybe a few years in the latter.

I’ve realized that the desire to make an impact on the world can manifest in smaller ways than a choice of career path, like when I went on vacation and realized that the only/main way I could “leave a mark” on a place that felt meaningful and transformative to me was to take a bunch of photos. I don’t think that’s the main reason other people take photos in a place, but I also know that I’m not alone in wanting to touch the places and things and people that have touched me. (That’s why Kilroy existed! That’s probably also a big reason why this blog exists…)

Part of this shift is probably me getting older, and more than that, being on the precipice of another major shift in my life (college graduation). In 2014, the year I graduated from NCSSM and started my freshman year at Princeton, I set a goal to post a photo every day so I could remember what I thought would be an eventful year in my life. I don’t know if 2014 was particularly more eventful than the years following it, but I looked back on the photos recently and felt a huge wave of nostalgia. The gestalt of a photo album or subset of one can really capture the feeling of life at the time. And for someone who has a bad memory of her past self, reviewing the photos reminded me that I wasn’t as bad as I thought 🙂. This is all to say that one of my 2019 New Year’s resolutions has been to make a similar photo album (I found out yesterday that you can add videos as well!) as another time capsule that I can review later.

Why I’m restarting my blog

The reason is actually pretty simple, but I wanted to have a public explanation in writing.

I visited the Bauhaus-Archiv in Berlin, and they had a wonderful special exhibition on the works of Jasper Morrison. There were two parts to the exhibit: one was Thingness, a retrospective that showed various works of furniture and other everyday objects that Morrison had created or collaborated on over the last 35 years; and the other was The Good Life, a selection of photo essays from his book of the same name. I really enjoyed reading about the Morrison’s design/thought processes in Thingness, but I was truly ~inspired~ by The Good Life.

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In each of the photo essays in The Good Life, Morrison writes about something that he noticed and photographed – he reflects on why that thing piqued his interest and imagines what sorts of conditions caused it to come in existence. I’m doing an awful job describing them – you’d probably get a better sense by reading a couple.

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I was fascinated by these seemingly simple photo essays, and they made me want to write content that evokes similar feelings.

In many aspects of my life, I’ve been appreciating the truth of clichés more. And in this case, I’m reminded of the advice of successful content creators: “Create the content that you want to see.” I don’t know when my attitude towards blogging became so formal and rigorous and constrained, but now I know I want to do less of that and instead write in a way that’s actually enjoyable to me, about content that I actually enjoy.