See you soon and see you often, Asheville.

Asheville,

You were the most nurturing mountain town to live in while writing and finishing a 175-page dissertation (guess I finally got to have my romantic “recluse in the mountains” phase of life). Thank you for the nourishing community, the 360 degrees of natural beauty-fueled inspiration, and your constant little reminders to be kinder and more gentle towards myself.

“Find a cause where your heart doesn’t feel inactive.”

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything leisurely, and you know what? I completely and unreservedly blame this dissertation. For the past few weeks, it’s been academic writing, research, statistics, and analysis *every day* for as long as I physically and possibly can. On the bright side, I am happy to share that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and closer. I’m starting to squint, reaching around aimlessly looking for the sunglasses I dropped on the floor. Come April, I’ll finally be finished with this dissertation:

Portraits In The Valley.

One of my favorite memories of my recent trip to Colombia was photographing Julian and his abuelo on a hike at Cocora Valley. The day before, his abuelo had asked if he could join us, even expressing interest in hiking with us. He wanted to do it all. It wasn’t until later that I learned he hadn’t been back to Cocora Valley in more than twenty years.