2014_in_review-1

2014: Lessons Learned

Went all the way down to the wire on this one, with just a little over 30 hours left in 2014. For kicks and giggles, I went back and read my 2013 year in review. Was a lighthearted journey through graduating college, getting rejected for jobs, and accepting other ones. So here I sit, a year later, and my frame of mind I don’t think could be farther than what it was a year ago.

 

This year, more than any other year in my life (I think), I learned things. More than I can even remember to be thankful for.

 

I learned what it was like to wake up in another country on new years day, and learned what it was like to shower with collected rainwater and make small pilgrimages into towns to get fresh drinking water. I learned how to sleep through an orchestra of wild dogs howling accompanied by 4 other men snoring. I worked on learning how to appreciate the things I have.

Two local children laugh on New Years Eve at the local community center in Top Hill, Jamaica Tuesday, December 31, 2013. The Top Hill community is largely a deaf community. Many children spent the night playing games and watching subtitled movies.

Two local children laugh on New Years Eve at the local community center in Top Hill, Jamaica Tuesday, December 31, 2013. The Top Hill community is largely a deaf community. Many children spent the night playing games and watching subtitled movies.

Maruine hangs laundry out to dry at the Maranatha School for the Deaf in Top Hill, Jamaica on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Maruine hangs laundry out to dry at the Maranatha School for the Deaf in Top Hill, Jamaica on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Verica Senior is a level 5 gradeschool teacher at The Maranatha School for the Deaf in Top Hill, St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica. "So you people really impact our lives, in the way you brought around changes to this place.", Senior said about the impact the students make on the lives of the staff and students of the Maranatha School for the Deaf.

Verica Senior is a level 5 gradeschool teacher at The Maranatha School for the Deaf in Top Hill, St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica. “So you people really impact our lives, in the way you brought around changes to this place” Senior said about the impact the students make on the lives of the staff and students of the Maranatha School for the Deaf.

The Top Hill community has a large deaf population, and every Sunday they meet for worship near The Maranatha School for the Deaf in Top Hill, St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Deaf church services are signed in a standardized sign language, as well as country sign, which relies on more straightforward gestures and is usually used by deaf people without a formal education.

The Top Hill community has a large deaf population, and every Sunday they meet for worship near The Maranatha School for the Deaf in Top Hill, St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Deaf church services are signed in a standardized sign language, as well as country sign, which relies on more straightforward gestures and is usually used by deaf people without a formal education.

I learned how to uncomfortably and nervously give a 2 weeks notice, because I had learned what it was like to get recruited for a new job. I learned what it’s like having just a few days to pack up your life, and move to an entirely new city, for a new job, and how to start working 2 days after moving into town. I learned that living in downtown Indianapolis is expensive. I worked on learning how to keep up.

Photojournalist Clay Lomnenth in his new apartment in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Sunday, March 30.

Photojournalist Clay Lomneth in his new apartment in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Sunday, March 30.

Volunteers with Soldiers Wish renovate the Carson-Wilson-Rigney-Forrester-Shoemaker American Legion Post 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday, April 25.

Volunteers with Soldiers Wish renovate the Carson-Wilson-Rigney-Forrester-Shoemaker American Legion Post 1 in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday, April 25.

Robert Stone, Flag Committee Chairman, Post 51 in Las Vegas, Nev. speaks about the successful flag reward campaigns for Post 51 by working not just with homeowners, but also businesses, and provides framed certificates of appreciation thanking individuals for flying an American flag.

Robert Stone, Flag Committee Chairman, Post 51 in Las Vegas, Nev. speaks about the successful flag reward campaigns for Post 51 by working not just with homeowners, but also businesses, and provides framed certificates of appreciation thanking individuals for flying an American flag.

I learned about frequent flier miles. I learned about per diems. I learned about Hilton HHonors points, renting cars and packing a ton of gear into 1 carry-on, 1 personal item, and 1 checked bag. I worked on learning how to soak in the new sights that I’d never seen before.

Chester Nez, the last surviving original Navajo Code Talker meets with The American Legion for an interview in Pittsburg, Kansas on Monday, May 26. Nez passed away just ten days after the interview.

Chester Nez, the last surviving original Navajo Code Talker meets with The American Legion for an interview in Pittsburg, Kansas on Monday, May 26. Nez passed away just ten days after the interview.

Fans of the United States Mens National Soccer Team gather on Mass Ave in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 to watch USA take on Belgium. Photo by Lucas Carter.

Fans of the United States Mens National Soccer Team gather on Mass Ave in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 to watch USA take on Belgium.

A man fishes on a lake near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on October 26.

A man spends a quiet morning fishing on a lake near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on October 26.

At the Missouri Photo Workshop, I learned about experiencing a panic attack in public for the first time in my life. I learned about pushing my mind, body and soul to its very edge. I learned to appreciate the taste of whiskey and the smell of a fine cigar. I worked on learning how to tell a story, and worked on learning to always remember that it’s not my story, it’s theirs.

Co-owner of Weston Tobacco Corey Frisbee takes an order while regulars wait for the start of the weekly poker match.

Co-owner of Weston Tobacco Corey Frisbee takes an order while regulars wait for the start of the weekly poker match.

Portrait of photojournalist Alexey Furman.

Portrait of photojournalist Alexey Furman.

John Renstrom used to get all his medical care at a VA hospital near his home in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. Now he drives 120 miles round-trip for everything from PTSD treatment to a 15-minute medication checkup. And soon, he and thousands of other veterans will have to travel even farther for medical care if VA closes the Hot Springs, S.D., medical center that has served three states and two of the nation’s most impoverished Indian reservations for more than a century.

John Renstrom used to get all his medical care at a VA hospital near his home in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. Now he drives 120 miles round-trip for everything from PTSD treatment to a 15-minute medication checkup. And soon, he and thousands of other veterans will have to travel even farther for medical care if VA closes the Hot Springs, S.D., medical center that has served three states and two of the nation’s most impoverished Indian reservations for more than a century.

Wilkins said the last words Melick spoke to him were, “I am not going to leave your side.” On Aug. 25, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Roy Wilkins (right) crossed paths with retired Army trauma nurse Keith Melick, who pulled him from the wreckage of Wilkins' Humvee after an improvised explosive device went off. Until this day, Wilkins had never known who pulled him from the Humvee.

Wilkins said the last words Melick spoke to him were, “I am not going to leave your side.” On Aug. 25, U.S. Army Special Forces veteran Roy Wilkins (right) crossed paths with retired Army trauma nurse Keith Melick, who pulled him from the wreckage of Wilkins’ Humvee after an improvised explosive device went off. Until this day, Wilkins had never known who pulled him from the Humvee.

I learned the ins and outs of leasing a new car. I learned about new camera systems, workflows and editing practices. I’m still learning how to manage covering an event in both video and photo at the same time. I worked on learning to take time for myself, and to never stop pursuing the things that make me happy (often, photographing concerts), whether it’s photography related or not.

A concert-goer hangs upside down from the rafters at The Hoosier Dome in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. as Tiny Moving Parts performs.

A concert-goer hangs upside down from the rafters at The Hoosier Dome in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. as Tiny Moving Parts performs.

The Dear Hunter performs at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colo. on Friday, August 1.

The Dear Hunter performs at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colo. on Friday, August 1.

Minneapolis based rapper PROF performs at the Vogue in Indianapolis, Ind. on Thursday, November 20.

Minneapolis based rapper PROF performs at the Vogue in Indianapolis, Ind. on Thursday, November 20.

I learned that I sometimes get tunnel vision, when I’m working 90 out of 110 days during the summer, gone for weeks, nearly months at a time on the road. I worked on learning to take time for the little things.

Members of Slaughterhouse-19, an Indy Eleven supporters group, celebrates after a goal is scored, leading the Eleven to a 1-0 win over the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday, October 18.

Members of Slaughterhouse-19, an Indy Eleven supporters group, celebrates after a goal is scored, leading the Eleven to a 1-0 win over the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday, October 18.

A man rides his bike along the canal in downtown Indianapolis on Sunday, August 31.

A man rides his bike along the canal in downtown Indianapolis on Sunday, August 31.

Midland, Mich. and Omaha, Neb. players stretch before playing Midland, Mich. for the right to advance to the championship game during the semi-final matches of the 2014 American Legion Baseball World Series at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, N.C., on Monday, August 18.

Midland, Mich. and Omaha, Neb. players stretch before playing Midland, Mich. for the right to advance to the championship game during the semi-final matches of the 2014 American Legion Baseball World Series at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, N.C., on Monday, August 18.

24 year old Lucas, a fresh college graduate probably naively thought that the majority of his learning days were over. 25 year old Lucas is certain that he hasn’t even scratched the surface of what’s ahead.

President Barack Obama speaks during the 2014 American Legion National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, August 26.

President Barack Obama speaks during the 2014 American Legion National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, August 26.

Antique farm tractors are driven across the southern part of Nebraska in an effort to raise money for Operation Comfort Warriors in Arapahoe, Nebraska, on Friday, June 6.

Antique farm tractors are driven across the southern part of Nebraska in an effort to raise money for Operation Comfort Warriors in Arapahoe, Nebraska, on Friday, June 6.

Jeffery and Samantha Cohen of Mooresboro, N.C. gets autographs from Waipahu, Hi. players at the 2014 American Legion National Baseball World Series at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, N.C., on Saturday, August 16.

Jeffery and Samantha Cohen of Mooresboro, N.C. gets autographs from Waipahu, Hi. players at the 2014 American Legion National Baseball World Series at Veterans Field at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, N.C., on Saturday, August 16.

Thanks for sticking with me, friends. Here’s to hoping all of our dreams come true in 2015.

Photo taken somewhere over the United States on Monday, December 8.

Photo taken somewhere over the United States on Monday, December 8.