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Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Mental Hairball Is Gone

For the time being, at least.

Whatever was clogging up my mental workings appears to have been coughed up and now I'm feeling much better, thank you.

Thank you for the many many kind and loving wishes, emails and comments. I'm sure that your special brand of patience and goodwill was a large part of my swift recovery.


It's a really funny paradox to feel angst over losing a job you didn't really like and you knew you should be leaving anyway. I guess my inner Control Freak, who would have much rather been the one to say See ya, wouldn't want to be ya! was disgruntled at not being given that opportunity, thus creating the mental hairball of fuzzy, dark depression. As a friend used to say to me, "here's another f*cking opportunity for growth and development."

But it's a new (rainy) day and I feel fine.


While I was in my funk, wearing stale sweats and eating plain rice, I kept revisiting my photos and my faces for i live here: SF and it was really the only thing that made me feel good. I realized that in this project, even though I consider it still quite new, I've been meeting articulate, passionate people who have taught me things I didn't know.

In meeting them, I've wandered parts of the city I hadn't been to before, favorite places of the people in the photos, places they wanted to share and have be part of their photographs. They told me about their lives, why they live here and what they care about. A lot of information for a first date, but all interesting and positive things.

For the most part, these people are total strangers to me before we meet. I have no idea what they look like. And then after a few minutes, they're showing me their favorite parts of San Francisco, and we're talking and sharing our thoughts and interests. And then at the end of the shoot, when I've edited their photos, when they are so excited about how their photos turned out and are so very very happy, I feel like a million bucks.

I just can't get over how cool and rewarding the whole experience is, and how much I love it and look forward to these meetings. For those of you who haven't yet met Cari or Megan, I hope you will stop by and see what they've written. And there's more in the pipeline, so that's really something I look forward to, and I hope you do too.


In this last week, I was really worried that I had run out of things to write about here at tangobaby. Even reading other blogs and leaving comments seemed like an effort, and that scared me because I love blogging, all aspects of it, and it made me sad to think that all of a sudden, that particular well of pleasure had dried up without warning.

But the thoughts are trickling back, and I know that the more I write, the more they'll start flooding back, and so relief is in sight there, too.


My mom has always been my biggest and best supporter, fan and understanding soul. A few weeks ago, even before all of this falderall with work, she sent me a check and told me to buy something for myself: batteries for the camera, a lipstick, whatever. It's from her little savings account, so that makes me feel guilty as heck even though I know it makes her happy to send me the money.

But I feel like at my age, I should be sending her money. So I hadn't cashed the check, thinking that I would save it to spend on her when she comes to visit me next time, or for a rainy day. The rainy day happened to be in my head though, and while I was sitting there, looking at my photos, I wanted desperately to do something with them that would make them look even prettier.

After a day of being tethered to my chair, I made this site below and I'm very proud of it. I used the money my mom gave me to buy the template and the domain name, and even if it's a total vanity project, I feel like I've really accomplished something and it cleared the dark clouds in my mind. I had no idea what I was doing when I started and by the end of it all, I was routing DNS thingys and hosts and things I still don't understand but it works.

See what you think (click on the logo to take you there). And thank you, mommy, because you were my first believer.


Char April 9, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

Jules - it looks wonderful. It really does. I know your mom is very proud.

a painter April 9, 2009 at 1:01 PM  

Most excellent! Your work looks really great. It is nice seeing the work grouped together--very impressive. Love the name you chose. Time and money well spent!

Silliyak April 9, 2009 at 1:04 PM  

My inner Golum used to scream, "Personal Growth...IT HUUUUUURTZ!!!!!"

Word verification "hypnout" That should be a word for something

seeree, phd April 9, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

Dear Tangobaby,

Sad as I am about this, you are the only person that I know living in San Francisco, and I don't technically know you, though your blogging does entertain me - even mental hairballed blogging. My fiance and I are really thinking about visiting SF for our honeymoon (the first week of August). Could you maybe blog about your top 10 most favoritest places/restaurants/etc?? I would love to hear the opinion of where to go in SF from someone who so obviously loves SF. Guide books are nice, but just don't express the love of the city as much as you do.

The new site looks fantastic! Kudos and Good luck!!


paris parfait April 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM  

Dear Miss Parker,

I was traveling and unfortunately unaware of your blue funk. Now that you have snapped out of it, may I say I'm not surprised that you took something negative (job loss) and turned it on its head, most admirably? Very nice work with the new site. Well done, you!

And it's so obvious that better days are ahead for you and your photography! (And how sweet is your mom??!!) xoxox

Anonymous April 9, 2009 at 2:06 PM  

I'm happy that you're feeling better Julie (it IS Julie isn't it?). I understand completely the blog funk and having nothing to say, I really do. And I'm about to go and click on the link to femme Fotographie as soon as I've posted this comment!

Be well and take care!

It's Just Me April 9, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

I linked it on my sidebar.... You know I have nothing but photo love for you and your work. My order is already in after all ;)

Gabby April 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

welcome back among the walking meshuggana. You are family. I bet if they took our dna, we'd have lines back to the same village with colorful people with too much body hair and a penchant for eating organ meats. but I digress. You know I love the new site. & that logo is to die for.

shabby girl April 9, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

Fantastic!!! And I love the name! You're such a clever girl!

Grey Street Girl April 9, 2009 at 7:20 PM  

I love the mental hairball analogy. So true. Glad you're feeling better! And, I love your SF project. The website looks awesome!

namastenancy April 9, 2009 at 10:42 PM  

I knew that you'd pull out of it but I also felt that feeling lost and bewildered was completely normal. Yeah, we all have (or had) jobs we hated but they gave a structure to our lives. When that structure is pulled away, it takes a while to find a new balance. But you are so full of energy and creativity and intelligence that whatever you do will be simply wonderful! Still, take it easy on yourself. Be kind to yourself and not so harsh and unforgiving. The world does that easily enough. Love yourself as much as your friends (moi aussi) do!

Kathryn April 9, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

Love the site - it looks terrific!

Gaston Studio April 10, 2009 at 7:40 AM  

SPECTACULAR! I think this is absolutely a great tribute to your work and to your mom. Monies well spent!

So glad you're mental hairball is now disgorged!

Happy Easter!

robinbird April 10, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

you already know how i feel about you and your photography. the loss of 2 jobs (big important jobs i thought) in my adult life were the events that led me on paths that i was really really trying to avoid. i had to drive along bumpy roads with no spare tire and without triple AAA. losing a job, (meaning financial security) is in the top five hardest things i have had to go through so far in my life. it doesn't seem like that now but i read your experience and i remember. like you, i had to just get moving, do something. you created an amazing new website with no f**king idea where that will get you. for me it was so much more mundane: one time it was take a math class. ugh. the other time it was rent an office of my own. lose money, put out more money. how does that make sense. the point is that i believe in the strongest possible way in the theory of life that tells me "do the next right thing in front of you." don't hesitate don't over think. just "do and trust, then do that again the next day and the next."

as an aside i am very disappointed to hear i was jilted and you became engaged to someone else. someone with a candy ring no less.

and i think you might want to write jill sobule an e-mail. through her agent, or by whatever means available. i'm just saying.....

It's Just Me April 10, 2009 at 1:05 PM  

Come visit my blog before the end of the weekend so I can throw an extra chance in the drawing for you.

Maggie May April 10, 2009 at 3:32 PM  

you are a true artist, to take pain and create

Christina April 10, 2009 at 3:56 PM  

I got the tears rolling when you talked about your mom. Oh, how sweet.
So glad you are back. It was hard to breath in this world, without you. ; )

Relyn April 10, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

Oh, your site is just beautiful. Truly amazing. I could go on and on, but I will email instead. Lovely.

SE'LAH... April 13, 2009 at 5:57 AM  

Your site is beautiful...So glad you are back. Let the good times roll...

Starlene April 13, 2009 at 7:27 AM  

I love it, I love it, I love it! It made me feel so...peaceful and open. The simple design and the choice of music is perfectly geared to put one in a certain frame of mind...very good. If that is the true, uncomplicated you shining through...it is just gorgeous! You did such a wonderful job, Julie! I want to link to the site...a button or something. Can I?