Posted by susan on August 12th, 2010. Filed under: getaways.

While in Europe I had a film camera that was just about as old as me. Having only mastered the ins and outs of a throw away, I felt lucky to have a camera that would stay with me for the long haul. I was a student studying abroad – naive, innocent and inexperienced, but I was free. With that camera I set out to capture every piece of the world I could, and turn each one into a tangible, visual memory.

Today, when I go through my photos I tend to feel a lot of remorse. I look back and wish I had a better camera, that I was a better photographer, that I had the means to buy endless amounts of film so I could take enough photos to get every shot right. Sometimes when I look back, I feel like my ability to really capture something great was trapped by circumstance.

But that is only one way to see it.


When I got home, the first thing I did was develop my photos. It was like Christmas. Once I finally had the chance to go through them all I found that many of them were faded, black or blurred by poor lighting.

At the time though, that didn’t really matter.

When I was flipping through the giant pile that represented my six month journey, I wasn’t disappointed in the quality. What mattered was that I could pull a memory from even a semblance of an event or scene in every single photo. I came back from that trip with more knowledge, experience and awareness than before, yet the innocence part didn’t really fade.

As I grow older, though, it becomes easier to let it. Sometimes, it’s easier to default on disappointment than it is to sift through the blur and poor lighting to find the quality.

It’s good to be reminded that sometimes, disappointment is only perception, and that feeling of being trapped exists only in how you choose to see it.

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