Seven Sisters swimvitational // 03x52

On MLK Day, Americans across the country come together for a day of service, picking up the baton handed to us by past generations and carrying forward their efforts. As one people, we show that when ordinary citizens come together to participate in the democracy we love, justice will not be denied. So make the commitment to serve your community throughout the year -- and make MLK Day a day on, not a day off. [sourceBut you cannot believe how much I am in need of a day off! (Okay my struggle is incomparable to the social [in]justice in the world, but allow me this one transition sentence?)

I thought that having a day off on the first day back from winter break was ridiculous. Can't the holiday be stuck somewhere in the middle of winter break and spring break? But during the last week of 2014 I was in Taipei to visit relatives, during the first week of 2015 I was in Osaka for vacation, during the second week of 2015 I was in Florida for a training trip, and over the weekend I was in Massachusetts for a swim meet, so right now I need this little break to lie in bed and chill (and edit pictures).

The swim team took a road trip up to Massachusetts for the 7 Sisters swimvitational hosted by Mount Holyoke. After staying in condos by the beach for a week in the sunny state of Florida, the Comfort Inn by the nowhere in the snowy state of Massachusetts was a little lackluster. On Friday and Saturday I was walking around the inn trying to spy something photograph-worthy but was coming up with nothing.

The inn was dingy with bad lighting and small rooms. The bathrooms reeked of chlorine, which is what you get when you squish four swimmers into a three-person room with two beds. Breakfast was served on plastic plates with plastic utensils, and really, how many different pictures of bagels could I get?

I'm making it sound worse than it was, but I was not feeling very optimistic about this week's 52 project, and I'm only three weeks in! But as Jack London says, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a camera club." You need to create it. You need to be your own inspiration.

This 52 project is a challenge, and with every challenge you overcome, you grow. So I began thinking of alternatives. I knew that the possibility of getting nice photographs in the inn would be shabby, so that went off the list. There was also the problem of sharing a room with three swimmers who were resting for a swim meet, as I should have been. If it weren't for this project, I would have been sleeping like a baby right up until it was time to board the bus for the meet, but anything for the blog, right?

I take a step back and return to my goal of maintaining perspective because adventure is out there. Remember the magic of mornings? Remember the magic of snow? Remember how exciting it was to sneak out when it was dark? Actually that last one I've never experienced; I was am the most angelic child ever. Well, this was my chance! To sneak out, to wake up with the world, to see the sun peek over the horizon, to see the snow sparkle in reply, to get some kickass pictures.

Sometimes you need to take a step back, and sometimes you need to take a step forward. From a distance, the town was ordinary with suburban houses spattered along the road and convenience stores guiding the way. I could imagine a small town girl sitting wistfully on her windowsill just wishing for something to happen, anything to happen in this nondescript place.

There was a limit to how far I could wander because I didn't want to get lost, which was terrifyingly plausible due to my lack of sense of direction, so I stuck to one direction along one long street. And it was rejuvenating. The houses slept under a coat of snow. The forests of trees hid secrets between their leaves. Each pop of color that sprouted from the ground was a miracle in the form of beautifully arranged petals. The ombre sky faded into unknown space. And I was there to capture it.

Be present, because it's always the little things, and if you're not there to see it, you'll miss them.

Fun fact: Did you know that Brunch at Audrey's was originally called Miss Average? That's why the description in my sidebar says, "My life is pretty average, but it's the little things that count, right?" There is beauty in averageness (seriously, Google it). I've kept the description despite changing my blog name, because there is some averageness to brunch: it's the average of breakfast and lunch.

PS: 02. 01.