Camera and Flask
The Photography of Steven Gray


Camera and Flask // Steven Gray: Photographer. Storyteller. Artistic journalism and storytelling around the globe. Based in Pensacola, Florida.

Back Home

Sometimes, coming back is the hardest part. It has been a very...unique year for me.  I have to come right out and say it: I'm exhausted.  Not that I'm complaining, I mean, good Lord, I've had opportunities open up this year of which I didn't have the audacity to dream before they did.  I graduated from UWF in the spring, went to India over the summer, went to Britain for a couple of weeks after that, came home to find the new family home ready for occupancy; I mean, who'da thunk?  Needless to say, I thank God for these blessings.

The only downside to this year has been the discovery that I am a homebody as much as I am a wanderer; I think it's a 50/50 split.  I love to travel, but in the three weeks I spent at home between India and the UK, I felt like every day was a race to experience as much "homeness" as possible before leaving again.  I wanted to eat my favorite meals, see all of my friends, go to all of my favorite places and do it all now.  Now that I am home to stay for a while, I feel more at peace than I have felt since I began seriously preparing to go to India four months ago in June.  And it's a good thing too, because as tired as my body is, the last thing I want is a restless mind.  And, after the trip to the UK, my funds are sufficiently depleted so as to afford the luxury (weird enough sentence for ya?) of having no choice but to stay in my hometown for a while.

In a way, India messed up my five year plan.  My plans, post-UWF, involved developing my photography work into a more profitable venture and simultaneously finishing a novel over the fall, seeking publishing, and applying to work for a television production company after the new year.  Neat and clean.  But now, I feel tugged in a slightly different direction.  I saw too much and established too many relationships during my service in India to proceed with a completely conventional career.  No matter what I end up doing long-term, I want to support missions overseas, India and otherwise.  I cannot tolerate the idea of a career that will eclipse my ability to help meet needs in India, because in my perhaps-too-emotionally-biased opinion, the needs of my brothers and sisters overseas are far more important than working my way up to a corner office on the top floor.

Life has checkmated me into facing some hard decisions.  My perspective is different than it used to be; perhaps in a good way, perhaps in a less-good way.  Time will tell.  Coming back to the US, I view the priorities of many people as absolutely absurd, and the hysteria on both sides of the upcoming election is, for lack of a better word, laughable.  I have a hard time both listening to and talking with people about certain subjects.

So, that's where I am right now.  Whenever internet service is reestablished at the new place, I will resume my standard routine of displaying photographs and inflicting my written rambles upon the public via the blog; in the meantime, I'm currently ghosting in and out of coffee shops to write and edit.  Pray for me, if you like, as I look inward, look forward and look around for the best path to take.  Real life is tough.