This upcoming May will mark 10 years since I left an abusive relationship that, unbeknownst to me, still had its death grip wrapped around my throat. Which brings me to that thing we often take for granted: freedom. Not everyone has the power to choose or the freedom to roam. While I was reclaiming my voice, pouring into my own glass, and absorbing the island of Manhattan's energy in less than 48 hours, Hurricane Ian was annihilating the southern states and claimed the lives of 100 people and women in Iran were protesting for body autonomy after Mahsa Amini's brutal death at the hands of the Islamic Republic's hijab patrol. Again, I think we overlook how EASY it is for us to choose when so many don't have that same luxury (because in today's day and age, choice IS a luxury and a privilege granted to very few). For most of us, we're just scraping by hoping someone might throw us a bone here and there just so we can try and make sense of it all. Truthfully, having less and filling my life with moments like the ones spent in New York are easily becoming the solution and my saving grace. Finding joy in the simple things like a hot slice of cheese pizza for breakfast on a rainy October morning, vibrant flowers decorating archways and entrances, murals and photographs hidden all around the city waiting to be found, and being completely in the moment with friends new and old. Reminding myself to never take those simple things for granted and savor each bite like it'll be my last. In the words of The Maine, who made this weekend possible and brought us all together, "Here's to now, and to nothin' else."
All photographs captured by Mollie Crowe. Copyright © 2022 Little Blackbird Photo LLC. All Rights Reserved.