Mario Villalobos

Something Familiar

It’s May, and nature is coming alive. Last week, I went on an early morning walk to the park with my camera and found everything green and wet and full of life. It was my first walk in a long time, and I missed it. I miss the feel of my camera in my hand, the weight of it, the heaviness of the lens, the feel of my backpack on my back and my hoodie over my head. I miss how my senses are heightened as I scan my surroundings, looking for my subject, of the thrill of the hunt. I miss the sound of the shutter, of pressing it after composing my shot, of getting down close and in the face of nature, of getting my sneakers wet, of blowing into my hands to keep them warm. This is life, and I miss it.

I’m at a crossroads, I think, and I don’t know which path to take. I’m looking back at the road I’ve travelled and wondering if I took a wrong turn somewhere. Should I go back or should I keep moving forward? Should I see this through or should I reconsider? I’m full of doubt but also of excitement. I can do anything I want, and that sense of freedom is scary and invigorating. Who do I want to be? What do I want to accomplish? I don’t know, but I want to find out.

I’ve been here before. It seems like I end up here every time I start questioning myself. Questioning myself is good, I think. It means I’m always looking to improve. It means I’m paying attention to my life and what’s happening around me. It means I’m at the peak of one mountain and I’m looking up at the next one. But sometimes I just want to rest and have someone else take the reigns for once. Unfortunately, I’m on this road alone, so I have to pick myself up and keep going.

May is my birthday month. I’m a year older, a year wiser, a year closer to death. Sometimes my mortality scares me, but other times, it doesn’t. It forces me to look in the mirror and decide who I want to see. Who do I want to see this year? Does it matter? As long as I keep moving forward, it doesn’t matter.

And that’s my answer.