At the end of July, I did a little cottage core photoshoot in my mom's backyard while I was home for the weekend. Later that day, my 2 aunts (my mom's sisters) and my grandparents came over for a little birthday celebration (for my one aunt). Four weeks later at the end of August, I came home again after moving out of my apartment. When I got home, my mom broke the news to me that my one aunt was currently in the hospital as she had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and it was aggressive. I couldn't believe the words coming out of my mom's mouth. I had just seen her a month ago, how could she be that sick in just a matter of weeks?
I stayed at my mom's for a week then went back to NYC for 6 weeks. After my Airbnb stay in NYC was over, I came back home again. My plan was to do some laundry, repack, then head right to DC with my sister. But when we arrived home, my mom explained how dire the situation was, so I decided to cancel the next Airbnb I had booked in DC. My aunt passed away the next day.
While I was home again, I decided to do another cottage core photoshoot in the backyard, this time with a fall twist. It was surreal, honestly. I couldn't believe how it felt like just yesterday it was summer and I was taking photos on this same gingham picnic blanket, yet things were so different now.
If this year has taught me anything, it's to not take time for granted. I have a habit of wishing away time. I'm constantly looking forward to the weekend, to the summer, to vacations, to holidays. Especially this year, when there is so little to look forward to, it's so easy to daydream about the future and not appreciate the time we have in front of us. But my aunt's death has really put things in perspective for me and made me realize that life can be taken away from us without any warning.
Recently I've started to document the little things through journaling and film photography, and it's really helped me be more present and not rush through life. Looking back, I feel like I wished away my 20's, telling myself I'll be happy once I have a new job or have a boyfriend. Now that I'm in my 30's, I want to savor these years and not wish them away.