Photo Essay

My Therapy for Loneliness

Perfect Posture

I had lived in Miami all my life. Everything I knew, all my friends, the places I liked to visit... they were all within reasonable distance. If I wanted to go shoot some pool, I could call up one friend. If I wanted to go to the movies and see the latest sci-fi flick, I could call up another. It was easy, comfortable, and almost routine.

But a few months ago, an intense need to be on my own and have my own space started to develop. I simply couldn't live with my parents and brother anymore. I wanted some freedom. So, I started looking for an apartment with my boyfriend. We found one, I moved away, and everything seemed right with the world again.

Then, the loneliness kicked in. The realization that my former way of living was gone finally dawned on me. No longer was I close to the places I loved, the people I knew, and the way things used to be. I had spent 25 years of my life living a certain way. I was used to having people around me all the time. Whether I was at school with my classmates, at home with my family, or out and about with my friends. It was gone. And it started to slowly eat away at me. My boyfriend had pretty much always lived a solitary life. He was used to locking himself away in his studio for hours and never even seeing the light of day. But not me.

One day, I decided to take my 75-300mm lens out to the lake near my apartment to see if I could get any interesting shots of the birds. The next day, I did the same thing. It was then that I realized it. When I went out to take pictures of the birds, my loneliness wasn't so bad. I was active, I was out and about, and most of all, I was having fun.

It then became a routine. For about two weeks, I went out whenever I had free time and walked around the lake. I would go around two, maybe even three or four times, and each time I challenged myself to take better pictures than the ones I took the day before. It was relaxing and rewarding, especially when I came back to my computer and saw the results.

This collection is a tribute to the simple activity that helped me deal with a very stressful situation: the heavy burden of loneliness. Though the ducks will never understand, the crane will still avoid me, and the neighborhood pets just think I'm "the nice lady next door", my gratitude goes out to them for simply being there when I needed some company.

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