Hapuna Beach with the Adams Ohana

Well, it appears that my pandemic sabbatical has ended. Visitors are returning, sessions are happening, and my daughter is going to Kindergarten in a classroom – at least for the time being. The past year and a half has been something incredible, in the sense that if I travelled back in time, to tell my past self of what was to come, I’d look at myself and say “You’re not credible.” 🙂

It has been something though. To whoever is reading this, I truly hope that you’ve been safe and healthy. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost someone, or who have lost a part of themselves in all of this. I’m thankful no-one close to me suffered much from Covid-19, and it was actually a decent year for my family, all things considered… but I know I’ve changed inside. Something about the isolation, the sudden end to my business, the continued presence of the virus, the proliferation of bizarre social media opinions-paraded-as-facts, and the lack of cohesion in the US government changed me. Like a tree whose bark had been torn off, by the start of 2021, I felt raw, emotionally vulnerable, and weary.

So I have to admit, it has been difficult returning to the old ways. July was a busy month for me, and I’m thrilled that I still find a visceral joy seeing a shot and capturing it with my camera – I still really enjoy finding that feeling with families. But it has been tough to adjust to. I’m more tired these days, and less of a dreamer than I was. I’d gotten used to a Hawaii with no visitors, and it was so nice. Now they’re back, and I’m back with them in a sense, and everything is stressful and busy. I don’t blame people for wanting to come here at all, and for the most part I welcome the relief, but I can’t help but feel lost and found at the same time.

No sweat, though! I am certain all of this is temporary. The deluge of folks wanting to get some R&R here will wain, and I do think my sense of misplacement will wain with it. There’ll be a balance. Equilibrium will come. A bit of normalcy.

But even that will be temporary. Because if the past year has taught me something, it’s that the world can and will change. It isn’t all just good. It isn’t entirely stable. But It isn’t all just bad, either, and I believe that so long as we remember to be selfless, and open, and empathetic to everything around us, it will be okay. There will be change and we’ll be forced to change with it, but through that we’ll become stronger. Resilient. Wiser. And reflective. We might not be able to travel back to warn our past selves, but we can take note to learn for the future.

So now that my sabbatical has ended, what am I to do?

To quote a favorite movie of mine – “Never give up. Never surrender!”

And to that end, here’s one of my fave families, the Adams Ohana.

Thanks for being here, all. I appreciate it! I’m still getting the hang of it, but I appreciate it. Be safe out there!


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