Exactly a week from today, I’ll stand at my gate in the Indianapolis Airport, eagerly waiting to disembark on my first round of flights where one will eventually land in the city of Prague. For those who might not know, I have a photography internship this summer through a mission organization called Josiah Venture. While I still have a lot to prepare at home, I’ve been thinking about various goals I want to achieve during my time abroad. I have seven goals for the summer, which could be challenging to maintain / remember, but I’m determined to keep them!
Goal 1: Keep a weekly blog
I’ve always had a connection with writing. Even in middle school I wrote, at least what I thought to be poetry, to process through my pubescent emotions. Keeping a blog will not only be wise for my emotional health, but will be a creative and fun way to keep those at home updated with how I’m doing. I don’t have a set word count or length each entry will be, since the amount of time I have to write each week will probably differ. I can see the required journals for the academic side of my internship helping a lot with my efficiency in writing as it will assist me in remembering day to day activities and events.
Goal 2: Send updates through MailChimp
As well with keeping a blog, I intend on updating those who financially supported me through MailChimp, an online service that provides design templates and easy communication when emailing mass amounts of people. While my blog will be more personal, I desire a more professional tone in my writing as my purpose and audience shift.
Goal 3: Hydrate or die
Intake of water is SO crucial, especially when traveling and using tons of energy. Keeping my hydroflask full is not only a good thing for my body, but a good reminder to break out my watercolors every once in a good while when I'm not on the clock.
Goal 4: Be kind to my body
While staying hydrated is internally important, external hygiene is something that unfortunately takes the brunt 9 times out of 10 when traveling. Doing the little things, such as face washing before bed, dry shampooing if there's no time to shower, or rubbing the face down with some oil wipes will do wonders and at least make me feel cleaner when I'm on the go.
Being kind to my body could also include exercising, such as running on an off day or doing smaller ab, arm, or leg exercises in smaller quarters before bed. It could also mean choosing not to eat everything I'm offered at mealtimes, picking what I need that's nutritious vs. picking food that might not be so nutritious. I don't expect to be fed USDA organic food, but there are ways to be strategic when it comes to what I'm putting in my body.
Goal 5: Work hard
Not only do I hope to learn more about photography, but to learn from my other teammates as well, regardless of their specialized medium. On JV's Communications Team, there are designers, photographers, writers, and videographers all working with mediums I have either had an interest in or have played around with in the past. While I’m surrounded by such a creative group of people with a wide range of skills and proficiencies, I seek to glean any bit of knowledge I can from them.
Goal 6: Pray hard
Because I will have a lot of learning to do, I want to approach this summer from a position of grace and humility. It’s easy to look at other’s work and start to feel threatened by the amount of knowledge or skill they possess. It’s easy to believe lies about myself that tell me I’m not good enough or that I don’t belong or about my ability to create as an artist. In order to combat these lies, I want to memorize Isaiah 61:1,3:
1The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners... 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
Not only do I want to maintain this mentality during the summer, but I want to encourage my other teammates to do the same. I want us to be on task with our projects, but I want to have eyes to see where the Spirit is leading us / what God’s bigger purpose for us is this summer. Maybe we’re supposed to not only take pictures at these camps, but to see the people we take pictures of with the same eyes the Father sees them with. Maybe we’re supposed to encourage them to see themselves with those eyes too.
Goal 7: Play hard
Lastly, I want to enjoy this season and to truly have fun while I grow this summer. There’s this Netflix TV series called Abstract that showcases well-known successful artists and designers, interviewing them about their process and how they got to where they are now in their careers. There’s an episode with Typographer, Paula Scher where Scher states that one has to be in a state of play when creating a design, otherwise nothing is created. I’ve found this to be true in my own artistic process and hope to expound on it all the more.
I’m incredibly excited for what this summer will bring for me in all areas of my life. I’m looking forward to the growth that will take place in terms of my career, but also for myself as an individual. Look out for more updates on my blog through social media (mainly instagram)!