Archive for January, 2009

January 26, 2009

| letting go |

letting go is hard. it is easier to hold on to what is familiar. what is comfortable. letting go means entering the unknown. it means unfolding yourself and stretching the boundaries of who you thought you were.


there are so many days that I would much prefer to remain in the little caccoon that is my life that I created for myself. it seems safer. warmer. much less scary. but I am realizing I don't have a choice. my time to let go is arriving. I am not sure if I invited it. I wonder if I should open the door for it, or if I should just turn the lights off and pretend I am not home.


but the pieces are starting to fall. to let go of the walls. sometimes I peel the pieces off, other times, I try with all of my might to get them to stick back up on that wall. but I am finding that it doesn't matter what I do…the letting go is happening anyways. I am changing. sometimes it delights me, this person I see emerging, other times it terrifies me.


I look at myself and wonder who is that? has she always been here? why did I let her go away for so long? this person that I stifled for so long…she has returned. there are days I fear that it will be a mistake. I am terrified that my husband may not love this new girl quite as much as the one he married. because I am changing. I am different. sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes much more in your face.


but I am finally, undoubtedly, letting go. I am letting go of who I think I should be. of who I think you want me to be. and I am being me. just me.

January 22, 2009

| happy, happy dance |

do the dance. be happy.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

a friend posted this on Facebook and I had to share it. I like things that make me smile. that make me want to jump up and dance. that remind me that I am not the only one that has not-so-hot moves 🙂

January 21, 2009

| I’m a slacker |

I just realized that I have been a very bad blogger. Do I even have any readers left? Are you still out there???

We went to SeaWorld last Friday, and I have been annoyingly obsessed with the video function of my camera. Do you know what that means??? That means I took lots of annoying videos of SeaWorld. And since my life is so uneventful that I have nothing exciting to share, I thought I would make you suffer through my videos 🙂 are you lucky or what?!

disclaimer: I sortofmaybe have a bit of a trucker's mouth. I did awesome and tried to remember that my video function has audio also, but I sortofmaybe got a little annoyed at the kids sitting behind me that were kicking me in the back and I sortofmaybe said a bad word during the Shamu show….so if you have kids in the room you may want to mute it 🙂 disclaimer over.

Shamu show Believe. *so sorry about my annoying commentary. just sayin'

SeaWorld Believe vid. 1 from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

ummmm…..this would be where you may want to mute 😉

SeaWorld Believe vid. 2 from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

SeaWorld Believe vid 3 from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

SeaWorld Believe vid 4 from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

next up…sharks! This one is kind of boring, but I think if you have never seen sharks before, it may be neat.

Sharks SeaWorld from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

one of my favorite exhibits was the Baluga whales. They were so playful and incredibly peaceful to watch. I think if there were not so many people there I could have sat at this exhibit for hours

Baluga Whale SeaWorld from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

Silly sea lions….these guys were hilarious. the birds? not so hilarious…they were kind of scary! *you definitely want your mute turned to OFF for this one…they are hilarious to hear barking.

Sea Lions SeaWorld from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

and last but not least..the dolphins. this was another one that I could have sat at for hours. if you listen closely, you can hubster teasing me for videoing more stuff 🙂

Dolphins SeaWorld from kristie kulik on Vimeo.

so there you have it, SeaWorld. If you can't get there, don't worry about it….it's overpriced anyways! lol

January 12, 2009

| lighten up |

we need a lighter post here, wouldn't you say? what better way to lighten up than with some fantabulous sneakers, right? I luuuuuuurve these sneakers on so many levels. The only think I don't like is that they do not go with every single item of clothing that I own. Because I would be a happy girl if I could wear them everyday.

So I while back I had gone out and about in my glorious little red shoes, and when I got home I kicked those babies off and plopped down in front of my computer. and I kept looking at those shoes. and the light on the shoes. and the thing is, us photographers can't help ourselves with things like that. So onto the floor I went to get a quick snap of the wondershoes.


and then the pugcake provided me with an outtake. she had to come over and see what I was doing 🙂


January 10, 2009

| learning lessons the hard way |

as a photographer, I get caught up in taking the perfect picture. I am hyper aware of if my focus has fallen, if I should have had a smaller aperature, if I could have found better light. because of this, I discard a lot of photos, because I am always in search of perfect, and if it doesn't meet my standards, I am not happy with it.

I learned a valuable lesson, and one I am thankful for, though it is bittersweet. I delete photos. lots of them. thankfully, I do not delete my raw files. ever. while in lightroom I do my sorting. I get rid of what I am not happy with, deleting it from lightroom and the disk. but I always save the raw files. and thankfully so.

While I was in Georgia last month, I took some quick portraits of my dad. At one point his dog Buddi hopped up on his lap, and I snapped a few shots. I was absentmindedly taking these shots. I didn't adjust any settings, and in the end, I was not happy with them, so I deleted them. And then, this past Wednesday, Buddi died. Suddenly, the fact that the exposure was bad, that they were out of focus, no longer mattered. And because I didn't delete my raw files, I was able to re-load them, edit them, and now have something, however small, to give to my dad as some sort of comfort.


they are not perfect. they will win no awards. but who cares. they show the love between a man and his dog. his best friend.

the other lesson? don't procrastinate. In the twelve hours it takes to drive to my dad's I spent my time thinking about how great it would be if I did a quick portrait session with Buddi. Pet photography is my favorite form of photography. It is what I am best at, in my opinion. And then I got there. And I did not do that session. And now I feel guilty. This year it is my goal to break that habit, because lesson learned: life is short.

a shot from two years ago when we were visiting:


"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog."  –Gene Hill

January 5, 2009

The Story of Me.

I have thought about this a lot. I allude to alot on this blog. I sing my woe-is-me's, but never really tell you why I am wallowing. I whine that I am struggling, yet don't tell you the depths of those struggles. Do I have to tell you? No, I don't. Do I want to…honestly? I don't really know. But the thing is, I put myself out there every time that I write. For me, this blog is more than a blog, it is a journal that happens to be public. it is an incredible outlet for me. I have a difficult time not putting my all out there. not because I love the world knowing my business, but because that is simply who I am. that's just how I roll. open book = me.

Yet I haven't been fully open here. As I said, I allude, and then crack a joke and go on my merry way. But the truth is I am going through a very difficult time. and because of my being an open book, it is difficult for me to carry on as if I am a-ok. because I am not. so why try to convince you? I have thought and thought and thought about this. I discussed it with the hubster, who, by the way, is SO not a fan of my open book policy 🙂 There are a couple of blogs on my blog roll that are deep. they are heavy with emotion. there is one that shares an incredible life story that brings tears to my eyes when I think of all that the writer has been through. And I found that when I am finished reading these blogs, I somehow feel comforted. I feel less alone. I am reminded that life is not always pretty and wrapped up perfectly. and that that is OK. So I figured, what the hell. My goal this new year is to let go. For me, part of letting go means just accepting that my story is what it is. Is is no better or worse than anyone else's. It is mine. Oftentimes it hurts, currently, it hurts alot, but that is simply because I am aggrevating it. I allowed it to sit dormant and fester within me. And now I am poking and prodding it, and that is a painful process. But I know that once that process is through, I will feel better than I have felt in a very long time.

So let me preface this with stating that I am not writing anything for sympathy, for advice, for a pat on the back, etc. I am writing to release a demon. I am writing because it is a small step in my process of letting go. I am writing because sometimes, that is the only thing I can do.

from A Seperate Peace by John Knowles

"Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him. It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person "the world today" or "life" or "reality" he will assume you mean this moment, even if it fifty years past."

I read this quote while reading the book for a school assignment. The moment I read it I knew exactly what it meant. It made such complete and perfect sense to me. I knew it would stay with me forever.

My moment in history was when my brother commited suicide. Plain and simple.

The short of it- we grew up hating each other. With a passion. We took sibling rivalry and multiplied it by pi. It was not a pretty relationship. He tried to hurt me, a lot. He tried to choke me. He threw me down the stairs. I have a small scar on my forehead where he threw a chunk of metal at my face. And then, we went to highschool (due to him being held back in grade school, we were in the same grade for what feels like always). And something sloooooowly changed. We didn't hate each other so much. I learned to love my brother, and I like to think that he learned to love me.

And then on that cool May morning, I learned to hate him all over again. I hated him for ruining my life. For taking his. For not thinking. For not having the mind to realize that it would be me that would be walking into that bedroom, like I did every single other morning, to wake him up.The night before, he broke into my father's house, stole a gun, came home and in the middle of the night shot himself in the head. And. I. Found. Him.

That is my trauma. My struggle. My demon. The mess my brother left behind, both literally and figuratively.

That was almost 14 years ago. And here I sit, just now confronting it. Because I apparently have some kick ass avoidance skills. I dealt with it by not dealing with it. I vowed from that first day that I would never discuss the events of that morning with anyone. And I didn't. I kept it all to myself. And let it slowly destroy me from the inside out. I struggled through these past 14 years…mostly in the first few years. then I moved, got my life together, so I thought, and happily ever after.

Until about a year and a half ago. Then my world slowly started falling apart. Aparently my walls I built could no longer handle the pressure that was pushing on them. Suddenly, I was having flashbacks. While doing dishes, working, driving to the store. I would suddenly be transported back to that morning, to all I saw, to the screams. I couldn't concentrate. I felt like I was losing myself. I thought long and hard about the decision my 16 year-old self made, vowing to never allow another person into that moment. And I realized that if I stuck to that decision, I would lose my mind. So I made the call I dreaded making. I called the only person I could trust this memory with, and of all people. that was my marriage counselor. And so every week, we dig around in this old wound. Before the first visit, when I knew there was no avoiding the fact that I would have to talk about it all, I cried all day off and on. I was terrified. I started re-thinking this choice. I tried to convince myself that I could rebuild those walls, and make it all go away. I tried to convince myself that I didn't need to go and do this. That it wasn't really as bad as I thought it was. That I didn't need help in this journey.

And then reality smacked me in the face. Of course I needed the help. Of course rebuilding the walls was not an option. I was having flashbacks dammit. I just want to do my shopping in peace thankyouverymuch. I do not want to keep living a haunted life. So I go. I rebel at times. I attempt to avoid talking about the things that really hurt. There are things I can't remember, and I fight to keep those memories forgotten. But I know that the more I remember, the more I can put it all behind me. I struggle with attempting to mourn my brother…something that I never properly did. I struggle with facing all that a suicide loss brings. I have a lot of anger. And just plain hurt. I was having an email discussion with a friend whose sister commited suicide last year, and I typed the following words: "It is a strange loss that we suffer. It is not just that someone has died; someone left us, on purpose". For years I struggled with why my loss is so very diferent from any other, and just like that, in an amail, my answer spilled out of me, as if it was hiding there all along. I just never understood it until now.

There are days that I just get plain old sad. Not over the trauma and how it has affected me and haunted me. I get sad for my brother. For the boy that didn't think that there was any other way. That had so many personal demons. That was so troubled and misunderstood and yet so sweet. I get sad for me. For not having my brother. For the memories that I will never have of him. I get sad when I see brothers and sisters together. jealous and angry too. I get confused when I am asked if I have any brothers or sisters- after all of these years, I have still not figured out how to answer this question.

And so….that is my story, in a very small nutshell. That is what is floating around in my head, in my dreams, what complicates my life…and makes me who I am.

January 1, 2009

…And I Will Wear Red Lipstick

So I will live as I see fit
There will be those that will not like it

– #27, Dave Matthews Band

I will wear red lipstick in 2009.

1-01-09 sp-45-WEB     

Because I can. Because I want to. Because I haven't for so long. I am taking red back. That's all there is to it.

I was taking fat pictures today, yes, that's right, fat pictures. Have you ever taken fat pictures of yourself? It is NOT fun. I am fat. I have been for awhile. And although I have been for awhile now, it is still a new thing for me. I have always been the skinny girl. I cannot grasp this new body of mine. I can't grasp that I actually weigh that much. And because I can't fully grasp it, I can't fully tackle the situation. When I look in a mirror, I think oh. that's me? really? So I realized I need pictures to remind me of that fatness. To look at and see that I am not actually that skinny girl that I see on the inside. I need to realize that what I am seeing on the outside is reality. And this is not just for vanity's sake, though I do admit vanity does play a leading role in all of this. I want to be healthy. I want to go for a walk and not feel like at any moment I may collapse and die. I want to feel good about myself. I want to go to the beach again, someplace my soul loves but my self esteem loathes. I want to be able to play with my dogs and not get winded. And I want to get control back.

So I took the pictures. Ugh is all I have to say. But it was good for me. And if I ever get to the weight I feel happy and healthy at, maybe, just maybe, I will share the photos here as a victory, but until then, they are locked up so very tight!!! And after the excrucuciating task of seeing myself exactly how I am, and not how I wish I was, I decided to reward myself with some fun pics. What better way to start the new year than with some self-portraits. And just a warning, I intend to do self-portraits once a month this year, as a way to document the changes that I fully expect to go through this year, both physically and mentally. So get used to this mug. sorry!