New Adventures New Lessons

New Adventures New Lessons

a new path_Tracey_Clark

This year I didn’t declare a word for myself. I thought a lot about it though, what I wanted to create for myself 2015, and did make some intentions. I shared my quest to discover what makes me ridiculously happy. That’s still happening and I know it’s helping me to identify what makes me as giddy as a school girl. Giddy is good.

Another little something I’ve been putting into action this year has been a new approach to my everyday life. Namely, my focus on all things new. For the first few weeks of the year I found opportunity after opportunity to try (or at least attempt) a multitude of new things. Nothing crazy different or super-drastic…just small, almost silly things; taking a new route on my morning walk, trying a new food, tackling a new task, wearing a new piece of clothing or accessory, attempting a new approach to something. It’s been amazing how such small efforts have made such a positive, empowering impact on me. I decided I wanted to integrate more new things into my life this year. I was sharing my findings with a friend the other day and was marveling at how much good was coming from all of the newness. It was like a light bulb moment.

New isn’t scary. New is good. New is fun. New is easy.

If I set this up right, you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Wait for it…

This morning on my quest for something new, I decided to take the dogs on their morning walk to a brand new park. It’s a park I drive by every day and comment about how wild, and pretty, and open it is. About how the light illuminates it and how the white fences are enchanting and how I’ve always wanted to take pictures there. Today was the day. It was the foggiest, dampest day we’ve had in a long time, which actually drew me to it. The weather was misty and mysterious and it was if the park was beckoning me. Did I mention, I just got my new iPhone 6 and have been dying to play.

I loaded up the dogs in the car (something new in itself, because we usually just walk my neighborhood) and we drove over over for our new adventure. From the parking lot, we strolled along the paved path to get to the open field. The dogs were excited, as was I, snapping a few shots here and there as they stopped to sniff every wet blade of grass. Heading up the hill, traipsing amidst the tall grasses and muddy paths I noticed Junie (the more gentle and sensitive dog of the pair) was becoming more nervous than excited. As I stood up from taking a few pictures of a wildflower, I realized she was having a seizure. I knelt beside her, trying to keep her calm, as I always do when she has her episodes (something I’ve shared over the past year) and waited until her tremors stopped. Even as she began to get reoriented, she was still shaking with nerves, fearful of being someplace so foreign for her. All the while, her sidekick, Grady was still bounding with enthusiasm, like being in this new place was the best day of his life.

See where I’m going with this?

I carried Junie, muddy, wet, shaking, all the way back to the car as Grady skipped and jumped along.

I spent my post-walk morning, cleaning dogs, doing laundry and reflecting. It wasn’t at all how I had envisioned the day going. Did I mention I was wearing a white parka?

muddy coat_Tracey_Clark

Here’s the thing: new can be awesome. But, it doesn’t come without risk. New can also be scary, messy and hard and it can go terribly wrong. That’s the reality of it. But, it can be really good and empowering and triumphant and I’ve decided that, despite the risks, it’s worth giving it a go.

  • Carolyn Wright
    Posted at 17:55h, 06 February Reply

    Oh no, what a day you had. Awesome positive perspectives though! Go you! I really needed to hear this story today as I had a bit of a crazy morning so thank you so much for sharing. I follow you on @instagram too (carohp)

    • Tracey
      Posted at 18:34h, 06 February Reply

      Thanks Carolyn. I hope your day gets better…here’s to perspective. : )

  • Valerie Atkins
    Posted at 23:57h, 06 February Reply

    Your words have brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. The last 18 months I’ve found myself in no-mans-land, upheaval and a bit in the wilderness. I am eager for renewal and I know that God is doing a work in me, but it’s really hard to step out and try something new.

    I just wanted to say that your words have touched a piece of my heart and brought me encouragement to change my mindset, break free from the past and just take a step into the something new. I need to start believing who I am in Christ.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 20:31h, 09 February Reply

      Valerie, I am so glad my story encouraged you. Renewal is a blessing indeed, but the quiet, uncertain, waiting parts of the renewal can be excruciating. It’s always a comfort to be reminded that we are not alone. Sending love and encouragement!

  • julie
    Posted at 13:42h, 08 February Reply

    Hi Tracey,

    Just a few words from a stranger to say a really big THANK YOU!I bought your book “elevate the everyday” several months ago when I was searching for inspiration to get my photo passion a new breath. It was a hard period just after the birth of my third child where I felt myself miserable..A kind of mom depression I think…I read the entire book in several hours, a pen in one hand and an exercise book on the other hand. And at the last page of the book I knew that it was the path I was looking for years: daily family photojournalism..It’s my kind of thing although if I don’t have any graduation or professional titles.. I just LOVE keeping memories trough my lens.And I thrive on myself and hope to improve my skills with practice!
    So, thank you so much for this Tracey, you’re my Hero!

    PS: Sorry for my english, I hope it’s understandable!!

    • Tracey
      Posted at 20:29h, 09 February Reply

      Thank you so much Julie for this comment, you are so kind to take the time to write about the book and how it’s helping you find photo inspiration in challenging times. It means so much to me to hear from you. Wishing you the best!

  • Maggie Pinque
    Posted at 02:16h, 09 February Reply

    I love this take on a new year, Tracey. I have thoroughly enjoyed your pictures on Instagram as you go about your daily day finding the new in the ordinary.

    • Tracey
      Posted at 20:32h, 09 February Reply

      Thank you Maggie! : )

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    Posted at 19:41h, 09 February Reply

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  • Kathryn S.
    Posted at 17:19h, 15 March Reply

    “I’ve decided that, despite the risks, it’s worth giving it a go.” Me too. Thanks for the continued inspiration.

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