Met up with a few people this past week for a drink. The meet ups were all separate, but the conversations were very similar. They were stressed about things in general, and I think they just wanted someone to listen. I am always happy to listen.
I know how hard it is to talk to other people about things that bother me. I can count the number of times I've opened up to people in my life on one hand. I rarely do it. But when I do, I know how relieving it can be to get something out instead of keeping it bottled up inside. So I appreciate the fact that these people feel they can talk to me about such things. When people open up to me, I tend to do the same. Not always the best thing to do I guess. It can be a bit selfish on my part, but I know I have a lot of the same stresses that others have, and I think its good to share concerns when they are similar. I spent a lot of hours talking this week, and I'd like to think it helped those people stuck with me. We'll see. It definitely helped me. Hopefully there are more conversations and I didn't scare them off.
These talks brought up a lot of memories of my mom. Pretty much the only person I could ever force myself to talk to. I remember those hugs you get when you go home for the holidays after not seeing your parents for a while. I always looked forward to those, and miss those the most.
Needless to say, I was spent at the end of the week, and needed a distraction. Something new.
Typically I would just hop on the bike and take off somewhere for a few hours. That freaking thing is a great distraction. There is no feeling on earth like riding around on a bike. Way more fun than a car...you don't have the feeling of a steel cage around you as you fly around the roads, and you get to dress up in ridiculous looking superhero body armor. At the same time, you are forced to focus on the basics when riding, like not getting run over and dying. If you let your mind wander to things that are troubling you, you tend to fly into the back of a truck or get hit by suicidal pigeons. It was too cold that day.
Another go to option for me would be to find a random bar and grab a few drinks alone. This option can be fun occasionally. Trying new drinks, talking to random people you meet at these places, or disappearing in the crowd can be a way to get away from it all, but more often than not it's a temporary solution that costs you too much money and makes you feel like garbage the next day.
I had wandered around the city the whole week getting a few shots for my album, so I really didn't feel like going in again that day. Walking around gives you a lot of time to think.
I didn't feel like reading...couldn't focus, didn't feel like cooking....didn't feel like doing pretty much anything.
I found a spot on my wall that could use yet another print or frame, and started going through my Hong Kong pictures to see what I could put there. Perfect space for a large print, but in the end I didn't feel like spending the money. Some other time.
Then I remembered the photographer I met on this trip. We were both roughing it out in the rain, getting shots of the harbor and skyline. I remembered wanting to have a contact card I could hand to people I meet when traveling, making exchanging info easier, so I started playing around in Photoshop with some ideas.
I started off with some basic layouts, using my standard logo.
Then I tried moving the circle logo into more of the background.
Played around with some options for the back of the card.
Photoshop has never been my strong suit. I usually stick with Lightroom for the bulk of my photo editing. But playing around with different layers and layouts got the creative part of my brain going again. I think too much alcohol and a tight Arai helmet have been squeezing that part of my brain for a long time.
Took a few screenshots and sent them out to a few friends for their opinions.
Luckily they were still sober (or sober enough) on a Friday night. My one friend who went through this when starting his company (check it out and join a free raffle), gave some good feedback, and I settled with this layout for now, with the intent of putting one of my photos on the back of the card. I'll keep tweaking it before getting anything made up.
Definitely a nice distraction to finish off a rough ending to the week for me. I think my mom would like what I came up with.
As always, I welcome any comments or thoughts.