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Personal Narrative: How Photography Changed My Life

As the sunset tucks down, I space out to grasp onto thoughts of realization. Days passed by as if they were battling with the wind. I cannot embrace every memory, because some just happen too rapid that remembering them is ineffectual. Curiosity starts building within me due to my wonders on memories everyone knows I went through except myself. When I was twelve I opened a family album for the first time. As I flipped each page I did it in such slow motion that it was as if by flipping the pages too fast it would trigger the moments in the photographs to disappear anonymously.

As I keep studying them, only one photograph sparks curiosity in me. The photograph seems like a fossil due to the amazement it has brought in me. The border of it is brownish looking with black spots surrounding it. As the years have gone by it must have wrung out. I cannot remember one single detail of that photograph, or remember who it was taken by. The sunset is not tucking down, it ratherly is shining bright as to show off its beauty to the photograph. There is a white horse standing stiffly showing fear. He looks afraid to even blink due to the baby on top of him.

There is a young beautiful woman guiding and touching the baby by the two arms to make sure if she falls she can catch her. Her hair is dark brown with flowy curls falling down to her waist. Her body is of hourglass shape, but in the photograph she does not seem to be any taller than five feet. After, absorbing each small detail of the photograph I start a conversation with my mother, “Mom, who is this young lady with the turquoise spaghetti shirt and black shorts,” I asked. “Your aunt Wendy. Look at how she is making sure you will not fall.

You were only around eight months in this picture. She had insisted for you to ride that white horse and I knew she adored you so very much that I could not help but to say yes! ” exclaimed my mother from the other side of the room. That photograph contains so much power that it caused millions of contemplating thoughts and emotions to run through my mind about the seventeen years I have been alive. The older I grew the more my facial features and body figure arose out of their secret cage. Little by little relatives began noticing that I started to look like my aunt Wendy.

It induced sorrow in those who loved my aunt Wendy. “ It is as if you are my daughter and she never died,” my grandma would say. A young woman I do not recall, once carried me and loved me with all her heart. How selfish of me to not remember her as I grew up. I hesitate to even take the blame on myself for not being able to remember the sound of her voice, or her laughter; which my mother says is freakishly similar to mine. Time has seized some childhood memories to the trash without my consent. That photograph emphasizes one of many photographs I never remember taking.

It feels as if I was in a coma during my early childhood years. My mind so vacuous on those thoughts, but my heart so full of disturbance due to my inability to cherish the emotions felt in that photograph. When I was sixteen I experience an eccentric dream. My photograph was no longer lifeless in this dream. It was early fall, where all I could see was sprouting bright greenish grass and variety of color leaves under the stiff white horse I was sitting on. This young woman, whom I knew was my aunt, was holding me by the arms.

I wanted to scream “No, aunt Wendy. I am going to fall! Put me down! ” but as I opened my mouth words would not seem to get out. I could see my feet, but they could definitely not be compared to the size they are now. Once I realized I was a baby in the dream, the desirable emotions I impossibly wanted to feel started creeping in. In the dream, it was as if I was one soul in the body of two humans, except my sixteen-year-old-self was in looking through a third-person perspective, and my baby-self was living in the dream.

At the end, there was a blast of wind who blew the occurring dream to infinity and beyond. Once that occurred my aunt Wendy appeared once again dressed in a white dress and holding the photograph in her hands and saying “ I love you and never lose that smile of yours no matter what, life was over for me years ago. Now, it is time for you to live it without resentful emotions of not having any opportunity to speak to me. ” I have reflected upon this dream millions of times, some in my head while others out loud to speak to her unheard spirit.

The words she told me in the dream are always going through my mind. If I fall down, I immediately stand back up. The resentful emotions once felt due to my aunt’s death disappeared after the dream had occurred. In my childhood I was naive enough to think that my appearance caused sorrow in those who loved Wendy. I never stopped one second to realize they smiled so brightly at me when I was the first one at the table to hear stories about her. This photograph has made me realize to cherish all the moments I go through and forget those that bring me down.

Being wise is important in life, and this photograph was powerful enough to help me build that characteristic up in me. Those thoughts of realization and wonder are still permanent within me. No matter how quickly time tries to snatch moments away from me, time is not a barrier for me. I learned to appreciate no matter how quick the memory goes by. Photographs are powerful enough to make you feel emotions in your darkest times. It can trigger thoughts and dreams like it did with me. Photographs are the fossils in your lifetime, so do not be afraid to take any at all.

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