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My experience of my small lonely, personal travel up to New York City was amazing decision, I've experienced a lot being as a part of the life of grand cities in the USA- which are quite much different worlds than most major cities in Europe. Not as a tourist but I transformed myself being as a New York citizen for several days, to feel in New Yorkish people how they live. As Brooklyn-er, I spent all days wandering along the buildings of that city, sitting down and watching people and the environment riding in the train and exploring between many boroughs and neighborhoods, from overwhelming, very touristic-y, overrated and famous Manhattan to the another side of the world, filled with a lot darker atmosphere- the Bronx.

I've been in New York so many times and since I was very little, yet I've… never seen the real New York. But from when I became a traveler I learned how to find the heart of the city, and so, Manhattan wasn't the real part to see and feel the New York life.
And it's not Manhattan or Queens what fascinated me for the most but the Bronx. There I had the most overwhelming experience, found new inspiration and… I discovered new passion about how I desire to be photography journalist about the life and world. (haha, not the drugs as you might guessed ;).Just FYI, I very despite and I'm against to the drugs, violence, murders and all sort of immorality in general).

Entering to the Bronx, it's like…. a different world. Different experience. Personally I find a strange beauty in style of falling buildings, projects, falling apart rust from metal constructions and filled with graffiti paintings. I'll never forget a view where twilight shone down on very rusty projects with powerful orange hues of light where rust beautifully reflected the light and the rest of messy areas were covered with blue and purple-ish shadows. And there was a kid was bathing in shines of twilight behind rusty buildings… where I think, he felt that is happy and suited in the life of Bronx…. maybe. I find a mysterious story between the fallen city and a kid.

How all of this has happened...?

Half year ago, when I was out of inspiration and felt so dull because I had moment of my life where I felt "stuck", I could not continue my life pathway, realize my dreams and goals. They seemed for me impossible or too far away or I had no idea how to continue my life and my pathway where I am approaching. It's like being stuck in game. Everyone has the moment of being stuck.
And so much of frustration how you can't reach your goals and dreams.  At some point, I found some photographs of old rusty stations and articles about ghetto areas which out of curiousity I naturally read about them. Then I had a very deep dream at night, very realistic where I was there on very dark areas at twilight hour where I found a new inspiration. With strange events, in my mind there was building desire to see that place so badly and do photography of that style…. where I googled a bit and found the name "oh, so it's called the Bronx…"
I was in myself unexpectly dreaming to see the Bronx and that kind areas, but I was quite surprised or maybe ashamed because why the hell I would be interested in that kind of areas so much. Why not the wild mountains and crazy miracles of nature? It's something unexpected of me! To everyone with whom I shared about it, everyone just naturally poked at my head and did long lectures that I should quit thinking about it, even my friend from that area said.

I really wanted to see that different world. To photograph, see and experience and why it is like that and feel in life of the citizens of that area- and feel the breaking light there.
Amongst my large and main dreams and goals, main travel destinations and so on I found a little spot for unexpected my small dream to see the Bronx. It wasn't that much important as the bigger ones to complete but a little thing was in my heart. But I had no idea how to plan this travel, fund and realize since I have more important matters to do and realize (yet, I still was frustrated because there was still too long way and I felt stuck to make any step up with my main goals in the life).

So suddenly I got invited by my friend to New York who lives in Brooklyn which I have not seen her for quite long time- the first thing came to my mind, is the Bronx. Wow, that could actually happen for real?
I felt that much excitement like I was realizing my big/main dream/goal, but wait…! Nope, maybe I should skip, not waste money, time and energy for it, also I have take care a lot with problems which are occurring me. I should drop it and save it for my more important matters- it's a small thing to do after all. But I didn't give up and I flew there. But that kind of thoughts were battling with me.

And so it has happened, after exploring and learning being used to NYC life, I went up through Harlem to Broxn (it wasn't easy to get there!) and…. it happened for real. I stood there for real where I was dreaming about and imagining myself being there through watching pictures.
I felt a huge happiness in myself, inspiration, new ways and new passion. A small, unexpected goal can have so overwhelming feelings as the big, main dreams.

So, to make short final conclusion:

Small goals, steps, unexpected ones and dreams are quite often neglected by over thinking that big goals should be absolutely not neglected and must be aimed and invested forward. We take too forward way to big ones. But when we can't realize them or approach, or move on our long pathway to our main goals we feel so frustrated and worthless that we don't deserve anything if we can't reach- and there emotional spiral is coming down which causes and raises within us low esteem thinking and personalities.
Or lacking for any goals, inspiration and anything, we tend to not seeking for anything and staying in comfort zones.
Big goals and dreams are usually "unreachable" in way that the pathway is quite long and marking it, without learning how to complete goals will make it unreachable for real.

To reach goals, we need to learn it. So we start from taking small goals and especially unexpected ones- if that happens, try to not neglect it because "wait, that isnt my goal, i have more important ones and I shouldn't waste for it" but take that opportunity and more importantly, feel within it. After we take in game to reach that goal, the pathway to it and completing a goal is quite overwhelming and happy, life flowing feeing is amazing- and here we find new passions, directions or even omens to find our main goal and heck, new goals which may overplace our main ones.
Main ones which are so unreachable, might not work for us and maybe that wasn't our true dream. By those small ones, we find more about ourselves.
We train to reach it, feel it, walk though the pathway and finding in ourselves and we become better in finding passions, dreams and goals- and realizing, reaching to big ones. For example, going to the Bronx doesn't mean that I'll find drugs, rap lifestyle, gangstas and so on (because that is the first thing what you'll think about) but a photojournalism I found there which again, Bronx as an opposite to my main goals, gave me new directions and doors to realize my pathway to my main goals, it's like... sometimes very opposite/reverse places (goals) may have grand connection to our main ones. Isn't that strange?
Bronx really taught me a lot, maybe more than if I would go to onto well known Japan/China travels. Maybe it gave me more connections.

That's how I learned small things are sometimes more important than big and main things which we want. And sometimes we need to take a reverse road.

Very unexpected travels, destinations or goals do help us more to find new inspirations and dreams. Sometimes we need to take an opposite road. Like if you dream to see beautiful, peaceful nature, away from the civilization to the Jungle or arctic- sometimes we need to take an opposite route like slums and civilization destruction to find in ourselves. Or another example of mine, in the longer past, I always dreamt to have a horse and be horse rider. But I could never have it happened because so many things were not working right and so frustrating, made me more upset about life but I let humility to come first in myself and took a break from it- then we got a dog first. I didn't like a dog, because I loved horses more, but after I let myself to take break from frustrating feelings that I can't continue my passion with horses- here I found my new passion and much better for myself, mushing passion starting from a very small goal to train my dog to become sporting dog. Now I am musher and I love it more than anything.

Clinging so hardly to our one goal, main goal which grants more negative emotions than positive is a sign that it wasn't destined for us or we need to take a different route. Sometimes it comes back, though but in a lot better way.

Full article with my photograph about NYC and experience with the Bronx will come some day. The photo is not my courtesy (from the press) since yet I have to prepare mine.

Add a Comment:
starfire-wolf Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
Thank you for sharing your lovely experiences :hug:
veritasBtold Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012
yes! I was holding on to my one dream so tightly that I almost missed one of the greatest opportunities for me! Thank you for reminding me that we can't be narrow minded and so ultra focused on one thing, because it often excludes other, many times better goal and things for us.
I always enjoy your journals! I simply can not wait to see how your life takes off! I really hope that I will be able to meet you in person one day. :) I can't thank you enough for the wonderful inspiration you've been!
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012
Hopefully it will happen! I sill really want to go to Alaska so badly (especially Fairbanks area and to other new areas). Maybe I'll be able to plan out something for this winter season.
veritasBtold Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2012
I would definitely hope you have fun! I am actually moving, so I won't be the "Alaska girl" anymore. Dx but it'll all be good. I think I might have a greater chance at meeting up with you in Colorado Springs anyway. :)
Hildugard Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012  Student Artist
On the subject of Graffiti Art did you see any that said 'Latin Kings'?.
That gang is in many cities including here in Cleveland leaving their Tags in Big writing in poor Latino neighborhoods.
Did you really wander around by yourself?, Even I would'nt go Sightseeing there. :o
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012
Yeah, I go and travel mostly by myself alone. I absolutely love that my lonely feeling during travels but going to ghetto areas I'd rather to go with someone if I had that chance.
animallover1990 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
im trying to train for my dreams and goals of being able to sell my pottery, photography and to become a musher (dog sleding)
Teavian Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012   Digital Artist
This is really an inspiring journal! I really want to become an illustrator, but for a while I kept fearing that I wouldn't be good enough because I wasn't drawing all the time like crazy or I was afraid to get out of the comfort zone. I need to try things that seem difficult and scary so I can get better. It can be fun too, to try new things. Or maybe try drawing things that I've never even imagined. When I read this journal, I thought about that, how this one goal has scared me, whether I'll be good enough or not. I thought I had to have one particular style to be successful with art, but then I learned that's not true either. I think lately I've learned a lot of things, and then there's inspiring stuff like this, that you went to a place you never imagined once that you'd go to, and felt inspiration.

Oops, I kind of got off track, sorry about that. But thank you for this, it really is inspiring.
Eternia2012 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, this is beautiful and inspiring :heart:
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Glad to hear that! :)
CarlaTovar Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm very glad you didn't give up and went to the Bronx (I honestly haven't heard anything about it), I think that everything's connected, and if that helped you to reach your bigger dreams I'd see that as a signal. Sometimes things that we even hate to do but have the obligation are connected to out bigger dreams, everything helps in its own way. Unexpected things are the best :love:
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
The Bronx (the south Bronx to be exact) is quite much like... a third world place. Project housings, gangs, violence, poverty, murders, prostitutions, drugs and fallen people where the gov has abandoned that place. The insticts of living and to survive is very much different than our "normal" lives in normal part of areas where we have "safety" and "morality". The insticts of human are more awaken than in the city, so by that, ghetto places, slums and third world does not make humans stupider or less intelligent because actually to survive and the art of living is more based on intelligence and survivals. Although I very despite and say a no no to drugs, but on that part, I always like to hear out why it is happening?
SwordsOverBullets Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That was deeply inspiring. Thank you for sharing
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Great to hear and your welcomed!
Zekkentak Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student General Artist
I think taking Photographs of life around different parts of the city and far away, as well as capturing the moments of a persons life, is a bit more interesting than taking photos of nature.
I mean, I love going on hiking expeditions and all, photographing its power,

but humans?
There is something very interesting about them..
Photographs of a derelict area or even interaction with an animal, seems more interesting when the subject is a person. It's very strange..
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
I found out that a kid living in ghetto areas does not mean that is unhappy and we should feel extremely sorry like that behind the walls of abandoned building and grafitti, they love it as much as we could stand behind beautiful trees on beach. It's strange, isn't?
Zekkentak Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Student General Artist
It is very odd.
I live in an area that is quite rough at times but I don't hate it to the extent that I want it to disappear.

Same with animals apparently.
If you leave them in an unusual habitat long enough after they are born,
they will grow so attached to it that they'll refuse to leave.
tenko72 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
That's awesome! I'm glad it went well.
DrazziElder Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks for this. Your journals on travel and life help me sort out my thoughts.
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
It's nice to hear that they help you!
Ahkward Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
I forgot,

:iconspazhugplz: Thanks for writing things like this and talking to me about such things (on dA and LJ). I knew you were much more experienced than me, so your words mean a lot.

Ahkward Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
After your reply on LJ, I thought about what you had said all day. I do not know if I replied yet. I tried to think about what my small steps would be. I couldn't understand what I needed to do.

Then, while reading this, I think maybe I know. You will say "No don't go!".... But I need to go to Florida. All my life I want to go to Japan to see the real one. Not the version we see on TV or in manga/anime. Go to small towns, stay a while and just observe.

But now I think there is a reason Florida keeps popping up in my life. I myself have been there once when I was very little, so I do not remember much. Every chance I got to go to Florida I said " no, I am not interested. It is boring. I want to go somewhere else." Plus my mom lives there now. :stare: I'm not happy with her.

Florida, after doing research had so many environments. Jungle, swamp, big city, small city, beach, etc. Mostly, I only know about mountains, canyons and deserts. If I go to Florida (it'll be for school but I still have to accept). I would be living in a new place alone. Well I'd have my dorm partner but still.

Maybe, it isn't as grand as I want. Once I go there, I can make my own decisions. Maybe just getting out of this house is one of those first steps. Getting away from negative family. XD you think?
FlameShuken Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Congrats on the journey. The closest I've ever had is my journey from whitebelt to blackbelt. It's a wonderful thing to feel achieved and hit a goal you've set.
Raicoh Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
Congratulations on following your dreams :)

I feel that what is truly amazing about photography, moreover truly talented photographers, is the ability to find beauty in anything. Even in places like the projects or slums, one can find beauty. It's rarer there, but that's what makes it all the more valuable.

I wish you good luck. I encourage you to make mistakes, look ridiculous, never stop trying, and have faith. It is through these that we find our vocations and why so many people fear leaving their comfort zone. Best of luck to you!
issuldra Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*claps* I've always found that new places can stir the imagination, allowing new inspiration to blossom from the mind. Thank you for the advice; I'm going to bookmark this to really read over it later.
DragonstormStudios Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So, to suffice, to trek a mountain you have to step on each small stone rather than jump to the peak. And sometimes it might even be that you will climb other mountains and not that one in particular. :) Good words, very poignant.

I also found myself smiling when you mentioned how sometimes you need to take an opposite road to reach your destination. It's ironic because a lot of people think that there is just one way to get to your solid, constant method. But there are so many different ways to do so, we just have to see and appreciate them. One webcomic that I read mentions that sometimes to ascend you have to descend first. It's the same concept.
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Yeah, it's kinda creepy how some very reverse, opposite goals than to main ones can grant much better connection to your main one instead doing similar things which visually by words, reminds very much of the main goal.
I've been reading some biographies of successful people, and some of them, like the Apple creator, Steve Jobs before did his job and took main pathway, did very opposite roads which were completely irrelevant but actuallu, had major factor/connection to his electronic world success!
SeaDragonLife Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
Thank you for this.
I've been intensely focused on my largest goals in life that I've sort of missed any small ones. And it's harder to enjoy my life as I have it right now, where it's still simple, because I'm so focused on preparing for the future.
Of course I can't just up and go anywhere right now, but... Maybe I can find a different goal.
Lupinicious Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012   Photographer
I can totally relate to what you are saying, and I've also always wanted to see the Bronx myself.
The photo is awesome, can't wait to see more. But wow, seriously, I don't know if I would have had carried my photography gear across the Bronx and even taken photos... especially photos with people in it :D Seems risky to me, I dunno... but good work! :)
Exileden Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Exactly! I didn't take a lot of that area because of that! And that's quite tricky part, makes a huge challenge for photographer.

I personally experienced many interesting situations with carrying camera (although I tried with "sneak peak" technique) to these areas, but yeah I can tell it's quite difficult... umm, at some there is very high chance to say bye-bye to your camera/photography equipment. I almost could had this to happen.
But, for my next trip, I definitely plan to bring just my old Nikon D40 (just any cheap camera body) with 50/or 35mm f 1.8 lens (extremely brilliant and pretty universal lens which luckily it's only 200$) and pretty much cheapest plastic 18-55mm lens can do good job with building and styles- so pretty much you could do something like that, any skilled and skilled technically photographer can do great job with cheap kit of equipment (there was professional photographer who did quite dangerous travels in certain places and did brilliant photos on... iPhone 4 since camera equipment was a no-go to carry! ;) ) So yea, I'm gonna stick to that idea cos if I get robbed, no biggie than losing expensive equipment :P

Also (I'll find the link and show it for you) there is AMAZING photographer who did brilliant photography of Bronx with full frame camera (Nikon D700 + small 50mm f 1.4 lens) and I'm SO surprised why he hasn't been robbed yet :P (however when I asked him, actually usually the higher chance of robbing is when the lens is bigger- people with no knowledge about photography equipment usually judge how it's big. 50 1.4f pwns with really tiny and cheap looking lens. Strange, isn't? ) Either way personally I'll stick to my cheap equipment.

And, you + photography of Broxn (or any ghetto areas) = that would be real omg *___*
Lupinicious Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2012   Photographer
Crazy :-) Honestly, I think you did a much better job with that one photo you posted in this article than I ever could. I have never done anything like street photography, mainly because I feel like someone intruding the privacy of people.

And yes, a 50mm always seems to be a good choice for street photography, mainly because the magnification is really close to what the eyes see. Really, I can't wait to see more of your Bronx photography. When will you upload more? :D :D
InklingsOfOblivion Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This really struck a chord with me, loved the honesty in it.
MonikaZagrobelna Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nie mogę się doczekać zdjęć, może i dla mnie okażą się inspiracją? Piszę książkę, której duża część dzieje się w takich właśnie miejscach, więc na pewno mi się to przyda :)
Dark-Arctic-Fox Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Student Photographer
The good photos.)
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Submitted on
June 3, 2012


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