A picture is worth a thousand words, yet somehow, without words, nobody could ever understand exactly what this picture means to me.
 Most of the nails are not all the way in the board, but that rusty nail is the one that towers over them all. Welcome to my life as the tall girl with acne. When I took this picture, however, I focused on the rusty nail because it was beautiful. It stood out. It has tone and color and texture. It tells a story. And in its weathered, beaten state it still retains its metal core and holds strong. Perhaps, sometimes, we’re meant to be a little weathered and beaten.
 Look at that focus, the clarity, the perspective, the lighting, the composition. Think of the training behind this picture: which lens to use, which f stop to choose, which angle to shoot from, where to focus, how to focus. Some of it is left to
chance opportunity. How did I spot that nail? How did I happen to find it during such ideal lighting? I’ll let you run with the billions of life analogies that can come from photography on your own.
 The place where this photo was taken, Wheeler Farm, holds so much of my childhood. We often passed it on the way to my grandparent’s house, we’ve had family reunions there, I went on field trips there, and one time during an Easter egg hunt I got “lost” in the woods with my cousin, Ashley, and we found a mysterious plastic egg filled with a creamy white substance. (Let’s just say that shaving cream is less appetizing when you think you’re getting marshmallow cream.)
 The day this picture was taken was an incredibly happy day. It was a warm Sunday afternoon. Nothing but sunshine, the cute boy I was dating, a camera, and endless photo opportunities. For a while after that boy and I broke up, I couldn’t look at this picture. No matter how proud I was of the quality and beauty of the picture, it reminded me of a happy time that I wasn’t having anymore, because I attached that happy time to that boy. He was, of course, a big reason for that happiness. But, my happiness didn’t end because the relationship did. There is beauty in happy memories, in fresh starts, even in being single. With time and learning, this picture has come to represent hope. A wonderful boy loved me once and it wasn’t right. Someday, a wonderful boy will love me again. And someday it will be right.
Not even half of a thousand and not even half of what the picture means to me.
Or what it means to you.
Maybe it speaks to you differently.
Maybe it doesn’t speak to you at all.
Isn’t it beautiful to know that somehow, even though we all have separate brains, life stories, experiences, and emotions; through images and words we can share and experience life through others?