My photographs are primarily inspired by my childhood, whether that be specific memories or overarching themes/feelings. I make as a way to process the past, it is a compulsion to remember and have a record of everything. Much of my work explores ways of documenting that which has already happened. With each passing year, I am able to better connect the dots of my life, events of my past that directly link to who I am today. That being said, there are still plenty of occurrences from the last twenty-two years that have impacted me in ways I have yet to understand. Here’s twenty-five. Twenty-five times I felt something out of the usual, that I experienced something that probably shaped me in some significant way. I am not sure what they mean or how they fit together, but here they are, sitting patiently, waiting for me to figure them out.
25 Times I Felt Something:
- My great-grandmother died and I had to sit in the back at her funeral. Not happy about this, I came home and held a pretend funeral (to which I had a front row seat).
- Our neighbor regularly brought me baby chipmunks, rabbits and squirrels to play with before drowning them in a barrel behind his garage.
- This same neighbor also regularly fed me hunks of watermelon off of a rusty butcher’s knife.
- My grandmother didn’t have toys but she had a lot of porcelain Virgin Marys that she let me play with.
- I refused to wear clothes until I was four when my mother said ‘Little girls have to wear shirts to go to preschool’.
- When I was five, and the acres of tires near my house caught on fire, I made my parents film me as a newscaster, wearing nothing but a swimsuit, while black clouds of smoke billowed violently behind my head.
- When no one taught me to read on my first day of kindergarten, I was pissed.
- The first time I met the girl who lived across the street, she locked me in her closet.
- My dad worked in a toilet factory for the first decade of my existence.
- The most popular fifth grader at Sycamore Elementary School told me I was funny.
- Growing up, my mother’s motto was ‘no dinky’ which essentially meant ‘they don’t think you can do it because you don’t have a penis’.
- All I wore in junior high were mini skirts, tight fitting tees and pink eye shadow.
- My dad let me taste his beer and I swore that it instantaneously gave me a brain splitting headache that kept me sober (with one accidental exception) until the age of nineteen.
- In my not so angsty preteen years, I took somebodies paddleboat for a joyride around the community pond.
- My first kiss was with a boy who wore way too much strawberry lip balm.
- I have lied during every game of ‘Never Have I Ever’ that I have ever played.
- God sent a tornado to our campsite the evening of the day that I first broke a boy’s heart.
- Winter, junior year of high school, I broke my ankle and wore sweatpants everyday for two months straight.
- A strange premonition caused me to get in my car, drive to my grandparents and give my grandfather a hug. I was wearing a blue sequined jumpsuit. It was the last time I saw him alive.
- My cat died, I got bedbugs and I dropped my phone in the toilet all during the same week.
- For two straight weeks I ate nothing but tomatoes.
- I experienced my first alcohol induced vomit on Mother’s Day 2015 and stayed home with my head by the toilet while my mom went to church alone.
- Both of my roommates got engaged on the same weekend, four months later I got a new cat.
- I somewhat unintentionally trespassed on what I now believe was the property of some sort of cult and a man with a trach pulled a gun on me.
- A man in the car in front of me at a Taco Bell drive through stuck his entire upper body out of the window to wave a stack of hundred dollar bills in my face.
Here’s to another year of successes, failures, social awkwardness and uncomfortable situations.
Also, I felt is was important to share some additional info for #6. In August of 1999 Kirby Tire was set ablaze by arsonists. 7 million tires burned over the course of 5 days and smoke could be seen in Columbus, over 70 miles away. My childhood home was 6.3 miles away from the flames.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on my newscast, but if I ever do, you all will be the first to know. I specifically remember using the term ‘rubbing together’ a lot..