8/31/2016

62

‘I’m a fashion photographer. I’m so inspired by people and places, and styles and fashion. I love capturing the moments and the magic of people and friends. I have a friend…Kimberly…her style is unique, her personality is one of a kind. She’s very composed and creative and she puts such an artistic spin on clothing. The hardest part about fashion photography is composing the right poses with the right lighting in the right places. I also photograph strangers and that takes a lot of nerve, as I know you can imagine, but I have a crazy heart for people and I enjoy establishing a connection, just like what you and I have just made. It’s a real truth that photographers don’t need a face. Their work and their art speak for themselves and whatever they create speaks more to the world than anything else.’

8/31/2016

‘My life in general is a challenge. I’m trying to be happy and to do what I love without getting myself down too much with depression. Biking keeps me going. I didn’t really feel like doing anything today and I was almost in tears because of it but I decided to get on my bike in West Valley City and bike to Liberty Park. When it comes to depression, you really do have to keep trying…you have to be willing to talk to people and to seek help when you need it. I have a good support network with my co-workers. This is funny because I don’t usually talk this openly to strangers but I think it’s important to remember that we’re not meant to be alone and that we really should talk to each other sometimes. It’s nice to talk like this to you.’61

8/31/2016

60

‘I lost my legs in September of 2011 in a freight train accident. After that, I gave up on the Utah ideal of skiing and hiking. But, I found a non-profit that works at Snowbird and they taught me how to ski and how to get out and do all those things. Now I’m a competitive hand cyclist and I’m a World Cup medalist in alpine ski racing. When someone tells me I can’t do something, I take it as a challenge. My doctors told me I’d never wear prosthetics and people told me I’d only be a recreational skier but that I’d never compete. Well, I do walk on prosthetics and I do compete and I do all the things people told me I couldn’t do. It might sound self-centered, but I draw my strength from within. I get a lot of support from my family. I was one of those teenagers that didn’t want to spend time with family. I was too grown up for that. After my accident, I learned that they really were the only people that would always be there for me. I fully believe that if I hadn’t lost my legs, I would be in a much darker, angrier, and sadder place than I am now because that’s where I was before I lost them. Believe it or not, the accident that took my legs actually saved my life.’

8/25/2016

63

‘I feel like people really need to try harder to listen to each other and understand and accept one another. We need to try to see what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes so we can understand what another person is going through. When you take the time to do that, it’s probably one of the most grown-up things you can do. I’m having to do that right now with my relationship. I’ve discovered that it’s a great feeling to truly understand someone. She’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my entire life. I feel like I’ve known her throughout all my past lives. I feel like she found me in this life and now we’re together. We’ve both felt the same way…as though we’ve known each other forever. I still worry about being able to express myself about being in love with a girl because, even now, we have to lie to some people and say we’re sisters. We wanted to adopt a puppy once and we were turned down because of our relationship. But, you know what? I will say it out loud and I’m not going to hide it.’

 

8/24/2016

66

‘I got out of prison recently and I’m finally getting my life together. I went to prison for shoplifting. The judge gave me six months in the county jail and then two years of probation. Well, I put my foot in my mouth and refused the probation so they added another year and a half to my time. I was on drugs at the time but I’ve gotten off drugs and won’t mess with that anymore. The hardest part about being in prison is that I’m over-age now. I’m fifty-three and there are younger and stronger bucks that come into prison. I can defend myself if I have to, but I think I’m getting too old for prison so I gave up the crime, I did my time, and now I’m ready to follow a good path. I’m working. I just made $80 today as a construction laborer. I broke up some concrete and that’s some serious hard work. But hey, it’s an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Now, I’m grateful to be getting on with my life and I have nothing to complain about.’

8/24/2016

‘We all served in the Hong Kong mission. We all started together and even though we came together from so many different walks of life, different countries and cities, we all went through the very difficult experience of going on a mission. Going on a mission is something our church expects of us and we do go voluntarily but we saw each other go through different trials and challenges and seeing how we changed and grew…sharing those stories of how those experiences changed us all personally…that’s what made the experience all the more meaningful. Friendship, such as we have, doesn’t come about by just dancing in the sunshine. It comes during the times when you really need help or support. Everyone in our group…we’re really there for each other. Whenever we need strength, we each have someone to lean on.’

65

8/22/2016

‘Get into the core of things…when someone gets into the core and the flow and develops some art and when they fully envelope themselves in the art, whatever it is, there’s a primal thrill. It’s the thrill of creation. We’re all creators in one way or another…it’s important to find out what our inner perspectives are and when we do, we can then share them artistically with others and inspire each other. When we focus on each other and forgive each other, we find happiness. Pain is our greatest teacher and, if we let it, it can lead us to a release if we look for it and avoid staying stuck with it. I think creating…the act of creating, the hunger to create…can be very liberating and fulfilling. I want to be happy. I want to be healthy and to feel good and creating art, in whatever form I choose, gets me there.’

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