Tuesday, September 16, 2014

instafriend: kendall hanna

Okay, so I have been the worst about posting on here for the past year. Justifiably there has been a lot going on, and I have eagerly explored other means of self-expression, but writing feels like home, so here I am...

Have you ever met someone for the first time and every single thing that they say resonates with you? It feels like there is someone else out there who understands your brain a little bit and can connect with it almost immediately.

Well, recently I met the super rad Kendall Hanna, object of my girl-crush, photographer extraordinaire, and basically next-door neighbor. It was almost silly for us to have met up at Boomtown Coffee in the Heights when we live a mere 200ft from each other.

A while back, Kendall volunteered to participate in a new project of mine, The Coffee Stories. Upon her expressed interest via instagram comment, I had a minor freakout, called my mom, ignored Kendall's comment, and eventually came back down to earth finally to get in touch with her about setting something up. I was so humbled to have this girl whose talent I have admired for a while interested in meeting me.

Sitting down with Kendall to talk life, art, experimental hairstyles, cameras, Jesus, alter egos, Houston, middle school, menswear, the importance of creative community, and books was just like reading a letter from an old friend. It was as if she knew every single thing that had been on my heart the past few months and years and was sitting there directly across the table from me, putting those thoughts and feelings into words. I wanted to 'favorite' or 'like' every sentence that came out of Kendall's mouth, and I frequently expressed this by acting out the praise hands emoji. Obviously.

Some words from her that spoke to my heart:

"When I was growing up, I knew I was a creative person, but I had no idea how to channel that. I would dye my hair one week, draw on my walls the next, try every way possible to release this creative energy inside of me without much success, and eventually landed in a marketing degree that was far from where I need to be. Upon discovering photography, I threw myself into it and discovered that is how I will express myself."

"I thought that people would not take me seriously, and because of that I did not take myself seriously. But I quickly learned that if I am passionate enough about my art and believe in myself, people will buy into that."

I left my apartment this morning to find a vase of garden roses and a hand lettered envelope from Kendall sitting outside my front door. Suffice it to say, this girl and I are cut from the same cloth (her exact words, that I of course agree with wholeheartedly). 

I sit here thinking over everything discussed and each idea shared between us yesterday, and I cannot help but walk away with a little lighter step. These conversations that I have had via The Coffee Stories, the people I have met, and the relationships being formed give me this overwhelmingly effervescent sense of rejuvenation and excitement, specifically the past few ones. There is something to be said for surrounding yourself with kindred spirits, and I cannot wait to get to know my new neighbor (as well as some other rad friends) even better.


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