Many years ago my mom gave me a book by Maya Angelou called "Even The Stars Look Lonesome." Now, you should know, my mom is always giving me these self-help, self-esteemy-type books because she thinks I need to become a happier, less-stressed person. She is most probably right, but for years I have been fighting it, holding on to my crazy stress-filled existence and packing those books away in the bottomest parts of my closets. But this year, when I moved by myself out to Long Island, to really live on my own for the first time, for some reason I brought that Maya Angelou book with me. And one night, alone, (I'm always alone at night here on Long Island) I started reading it. I actually ended up loving the book, and as I was reading the last paragraph of the book, it almost seemed as if my mom was channeling Maya Angelou to send me a message. It went like this:
"Many believe that they need company at any cost, and certainly if a thing is desired at any cost, it will be obtained at all cost.
We need to remember and to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for.
It is in the interludes between being in company that we talk to ourselves. In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves to ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God."
I think living out here on Long Island on my own, I have begun to see who I am. Part of who I am is this blog, and being able to put into words the ideas about photography and journalism that I am learning out here. Another part of me is being able to see my mom as a complete human being; a beautiful woman and not just a mom and to be thankful that she loves me so much.