Birthday Road Trip: Part 6

Marfa, Zooey Magazine Marfa, Zooey Magazine

Marfa, Zooey Magazine

Marfa, Zooey Magazine

Marfa is a strange town, I'll start with that. We accidentally scheduled our day on a Tuesday (everything is closed on Tuesdays, FYI). Kind of a bummer. But, in the end, it gave us such a good excuse to slow down which is hard for me to do. I recommend scheduling downtime for yourself on your road trip (I know that sounds weird). We stayed at El Cosmico which, if you know anyone who claims to be a hipster, you have probably heard of this place and likely know how awesome it is. I am here to inform you that it is extremely awesome. We stayed in a safari tent, which left me feeling like I was in a Wes Anderson film. We had gotten to Marfa earlier than any of the other guests and practically had the place to ourself. Time went by miraculously slow here. We laid in crocheted hammocks on the edge of the campsite and read for hours, then went back to our tent to snack, play games, and read more. We lounged around and watched “The Life Aquatic” with Steve Zissou (when feeling like you're a part of a Wes Anderson film, what better of a way to celebrate?). Then we took some star trails. We fell asleep early, and woke to another wind storm and decided to leave at 4am. Hey, why not?

Before starting this road-trip, I had not-so-secretly been pretty insecure with myself (especially in photographs) which led me to never let anyone get any photos with me in them... A bit ironic since I'm a photographer? Any way, I just wasn't happy with the way I looked or felt. Even though it seems innocuous, I was always bringing myself down in some way or another. Somewhere along this trip, I thought "what the hell is it all for? All this self-bullying?" and realized I had been making myself feel bad for things other people love about me and things I'll never be able to change about myself. So, me being the goal-oriented person I am, decided to challenge myself: you must make yourself love the way you look in every photo you are in this trip. At the beginning it was hard, it was more of a "okay, whatever, I’ll live with it." But, surprisingly, after only a day I noticed myself actually pointing out the good parts without having to tell myself to. This morphed in to me actually liking the photos I was in, and eventually I started feeling much more confident. When we came back from the trip, I felt like a new person. Instead of dwelling on what I hated about myself, I was learning to love what I couldn’t change.

(Read Part 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5)

Story // Kelsey Newkman Editing // Michele Davis Photography // Feather & Twine