There are times when a year is simply a year, and times when a year is a lifetime.

I enjoyed a coffee with a visiting friend yesterday morning, and as we sat talking it became apparent that I have changed completely during my twenty-sixth year on this earth. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of changes: one new apartment, one new car, two new jobs, one successful transition to part-time student, an undisclosed number of shoes purchased, thousands of pictures taken, one blog started, and one wellspring of creativity awakened.

This is undoubtedly my quarter-life crisis, a relatively new buzzword so significant that even the great American poet J. Mayer discusses it. The notions and concepts of the quarter-life crisis aren't exactly new, but the spreading acknowledgment of this phenomenon at least gives a name to the feelings of insecurity, loneliness, confusion and shifting identity that characterize my generation.

Like any crisis, there are a number of ways I could have emerged. I am in the enviable position to say, without hesitation, I am satisfied with whom I have become.

My newly awakened creativity has manifested itself mostly in photography as I challenge myself to grow artistically. My photographic style and influences is a topic for exploration at a later date, but one of my recent undertakings has been a series of black and white portraits. This is the latest addition to the series. I like how most of the picture is energetic and crazy, full of stark contrast between the black and the white, while the knit in her sweater is softer in colour and texture and provides an anchor for the rest of the frame. Without the sweater as a foundation, the picture would appear unfocused and undefined.

I'm beginning to realize that the first quarter of my life has been spent building that foundation on which my inner artist can finally be unleashed. And unleashed it will continue to be.

29.4.08. Cropped to 3X5, boosted contrast and exposure, reduced lowlights.

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