Captured by a Free Spirit.
Hey there! My name is Cori and I’m a 22 year old aspiring photographer living in the greater Los Angeles area. I'm a free spirit, originally from Malibu, and later I migrated inland to Glendale. Growing up wasn’t the easiest task for me or anyone for that matter, but I always found solace in my art. Whether that be music, painting, or photography. My outlets are, and always have been, endless. Some of my earliest memories include cameras, printed photos, negatives, and slides. Going through the boxes of family photos and my dad's surfing slides had to be my favorite past time. Always inquiring “mom, who's this?” or “do you ‘member this day?” I was infatuated with the idea of capturing moments.
Fast forward to present day; I work in a photo studio, go to The Los Angeles Center of Photography. and freelance all at the same time. Getting here took a few mushroom trips, some time devoted to my spirituality, and countless difficult conversations with my mom. Nevertheless, I made it. I can’t say it was easy to get here, convincing my family was the hardest part. My best advice for that situation is to hear your family out and be respectful. However, do whatever the fuck you want. It is always going to be your life so take that risk! That’s what I did, now I have a job that I love and get to learn even more about my passion.
I have so many aspirations for the future. Mainly I’d like to do documentary style photography and do my part to open our society’s eyes to the destruction we’re doing to our home. Also, shed light on how a plant based diet can have such an impact on reversing those effects. I see myself farther in the future opening up my own studio for creatives to record music, utilize photo studio space, and develop their digital/ film photography. That’s only in the future though, you always have to be mindful to enjoy the present moment. For now I’ll be at the studio spreading love and taking photos.
When you have a connection with someone, it is almost required to be open with them. Any kind of connection that counts is one that is trying to be or is, transparent. Often times we present our selves as what we think people want to see. We let these images that we feel others need cloud our raw form. How can we expect honesty if we can't give it?
We are told in our lives that we have to be there for one another. What I have failed to realize is that people have made that sound way easier than it is. It's as if your telling a child to speak without teaching them how. Feelings, just like children, need to be nurtured and given time to grow. On the other hand, they have to be taken seriously and be shown respect. Growing up as an only child with a single mother I have learned to deal with many things on my own. One of these many things were my emotions. I have had no trouble sharing my thoughts on certain opinions, but sharing my truest of feelings with anyone but has been a foreign language that I am still having trouble trying to speak.
As my mind grows with age so do my emotions. I have since stopped try to avoid the conversations and actions that require me to get uncomfortable. Just as standing in a room naked can make one uncomfortable, sharing one's most private thoughts can be just the same. This was one of the hardest hills to get over in many of my personal connections. People around me started to fear that I had no feelings at all because of my lack of expression. In the end, I felt the loneliest I have ever felt in my life.
Moving forward I have decided that I don’t want to know what lonely feels like anymore. As hard and gut-wrenching bearing your soul to someone is, it’s worth it. That look of acceptance and loyalty in your loved one's eye when they accept your soul in its most raw form is the most rewarding feeling to ever grace a heart.
alone vs. lonely
Recently I was talking with a friend and the conversation topic was about what it's like to be alone. While we love our personal space, where is the line between being alone and feeling lonely? Being an only child with a single working mother, I'm no stranger no solitude. I remember playing with my barbies by myself, doing homework by myself, even sometimes trying to navigate my emotions by myself.
I found for most of my younger life I sought out connections with people to avoid being home alone. In this, I've found some of the best people that I still cherish to this day. Although I was surrounding myself with people that brought me light, I still felt hollow. I found myself scribbling melancholy thoughts in my journal and wondering why I still felt lonely. I had a great group of friends that kept me going through the day but then my brain had a chance to stay still, I felt that heavy blanket of fear of being by myself. Something in me realized that I was chasing activity because I had grown hatred for physically being alone. The physicality of being alone had never really been happy experience for me. I needed to figure out how to enjoy being by myself.
Loneliness is almost as if you're screaming in a crowded arena and no one can hear you. There is a cliche saying that you can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. Cliche or not, its the truth. I have been surrounded by the people I love the most and still have felt like none of them can see me. I felt that no one knew me, heard me, or even felt my presence. No matter what I did I couldn't escape being alone, so I decided to change my approach. I started to fill the alone time with activities that brought me joy. I read books with no distractions, worked on my craft, or just watched my favorite movies. I started to like being by myself and felt more grounded in my own body. In this new era of alone time, I discovered my likes and dislikes. I was figuring out who I was and what made me feel whole. This time was becoming a safe space that I could return to when I needed to center my self. With all this self-discovery, I learned how to be a better friend and daughter.
Don't be afraid of being alone, embrace yourself. Try to find ways to enjoy yourself without the presence of others. Others can bring so much joy to our lives but when the dust settles, it's so important to find peace in ourselves. Learning to enjoy myself taught me that being alone doesn’t make you lonely, it just gives you an opportunity to do things that you like to do without any compromise from others. So watch your favorite movie for the sixty-third time, go to your favorite store and buy that pair of pants that make your ass look good, and make sure you take time becoming your own best friend.
My name is Bri. I am a twenty- one year old trying to survive in Los Angeles.