Tag Archives: Anxiety

Kevin Lu: Blank Space

portrait of asian Upenn student

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Posted on March 18, 2015 by Kevin Lu

Everyone has his or her own space. It’s often bottled up deep inside of oneself where few outsiders have ever seen, much less have access to. It is in this space where our deepest emotions truly lay: happiness when we recall a distant memory, silly random thoughts, our greatest frustrations, our worst moments, and our deepest fears. This space, if opened to the world, could put oneself in an uncomfortable position. Therefore, oftentimes when people attempt to initially find or interact with this space they see it in a different way: blank.

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 Everyone has his or her own space. It's often bottled up deep inside of oneself where few outsiders have ever seen, much less have access to. It is in this space where our deepest emotions truly lie: happiness when we recall a distant memory, silly random thoughts, our greatest frustrations, our worst moments, and our deepest fears. This space, if opened to the world, could put oneself in an uncomfortable position. Therefore, oftentimes when people attempt to initially find or interact with this space they see it in a different way: blank.

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Allowing someone into this space is truly a courageous endeavor. It requires peeling back the outer layer of nothingness and diving deep into the confines of another human. What one encounters is never predictable as you are greeted with new discoveries at every turn. Yet, with each new finding, it somehow all begins to seem familiar. A worried face or an angry tick is suddenly reminiscent of your own and what you begin to discover is that everyone is not as different as they seem.

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young asian woman looking worried

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Oftentimes when met with the journey of entering such a space, I am filled with apprehension — What if I see something that scares me? What if I don’t find what I had hoped to? Can I handle this responsibility? Once the walls come down it is a frighteningly vulnerable moment that you must close your eyes for — but then you open them. Everything that once was empty and blank is filled. The walls are colored with fears and frustrations; the floors are lined with precious memories and each turn brings both joy and sadness. It is here where you truly begin to understand a person and it is in this space, when it is no longer blank, that defines who you are.

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Oftentimes when met with journey of entering such a space, I am filled with apprehension -- What if I see something that scares me? What if I don’t find what I had hoped to? Can I handle this responsibility? Once the walls come down it is frighteningly vulnerable moment that you must close your eyes for -- but then you open them. Everything that once was empty and blank is filled. The walls are colored with fears and frustrations; the floors are lined with precious memories and each turn brings both joy and sadness. It is here where you truly begin to understand a person and it is in this space, when it is no longer blank, that defines who you are.

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Photography and Text by Kevin Lu, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: Kevin Lu is a senior enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015.

Posted in Blog, Portraiture, UPenn: Photography Students Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’Mani Sellers: Better Half

portrait of beautiful african american Upenn student

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Posted on March 17, 2015, by I’Mani Sellers

Kass has been seeing Denny for a while now and their relationship is very serious. Kass prides herself in not worrying about what people think about her and not letting that influence her decisions about life. Kass also prides herself in not letting just anyone into her life.  Denny was a very different story.

She has known Denny and she has seen him grow and mature, just as he sees her grow and mature. They spend as much time together as they possibly can. Kass describes him as her better half.  Kass and Denny have planned everything about their future, and they would not let anything change or jeopardize that. At least that is what Kass thought.

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IMANI-BLOG 2

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Denny came to Kass one day and told her he had enlisted in the army and was leaving to boot camp in three weeks. Three weeks was all they had left together for a while. It hurt Kass so much, because she believed Denny betrayed her; he had betrayed their dreams. She was angry; she wanted nothing to do with him for a while. She was ready to erase him from her life.

As she counted down the days, she realized she would regret not speaking to him before he left, so she gave him one last goodbye. She sought comfort in her friends at school, but nothing was like the touch of his arms around her as she hugged him. Nothing else could complete her.  She writes him letters, and every time she signs them with, “How can you live without your better half of your heart?”

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young woman looking at picture of her and her boyfriend

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She still sits at home, waits for his return, does her daily routine of going to classes, but she does not feel like she is living. She is still looking for the answer, of how to live without her better half.

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woman looking sad being comforted by friend

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Photography and Text by I’Mani Sellers, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: I’Mani Sellers is a sophomore with a focus on the field of STEM,  College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017.

Posted in Blog, Portraiture, UPenn: Photography Students Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Olga Ignatovets: What’s Cooking?

detail of meat being sliced with l large knife

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Posted on March 11, 2015 by Olga Ignatovets

My hands are not cooperating as I stand there attempting to make dinner for the one who betrayed me. My fingers come close to the edge of the knife and that is when the most brilliant idea comes to mind. I should make him suffer the way he made me suffer. He broke my heart and now it is my turn to take something away from him.

It feels very moist and soft in my hands. The blood from it is all over my hands and my brand new white apron. A feeling of satisfaction comes over me as I thrust my knife deeper and deeper into his organ.

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photo of blood stained apron in contemporary kitchen

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After a few hours of fascinating experimentation with it I decide that it is time to take a break.I am so caught up in my thoughts of revenge that a loud creaking sound at the front door made me jump and drop my glass onto the floor. They were here for me!

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woman dropping wine glass from kitchen table

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My plan had failed and I was discovered. There was nothing I could do now but grab my suit case and make it out of the house without getting caught.

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woman wearing red shoes and blood stained floor

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As I ran out the door, I left everything behind – the kidney, the body, but most importantly my favorite white apron. I would never be able to get it back…

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Photography and Text by Olga Ignatovets, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: Olga Ignatovets is a sophomore in the school of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017.

Posted in Blog, UPenn: Photography Students Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Jesi Kim: Grieving

beautiful young asian woman in tears

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Posted on February 22, 2015 by Jesi Kim

The death of a loved one impacts each individual in varying manners. Many theories involving grief have been established, but it seems unrealistic to force a pre-determined linear path into such an individualized process.  The loss of someone who is so dear can lead to a cluster of emotions that range from depression to regret.

The thought of never being able to see her father again is a source of confusion for her as if she went back when she was in second grade and could not explain why her mother was crying alone on the bed.  The same sinking feeling that sucked her in and made her feel like she was falling into an eternal abyss, uncertain whether this feeling would ever subside.

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However, sometimes she sees her father, smiling at her like he always did.  She describes them as her “sweetest dreams”.   She knows that when she wakes up from this state, he will disappear and she will once again be without a father.  That vivid dream where his touch was gentle and his touch was warm haunts her.

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She begins to regret her actions.  If only she had known that her time with her dad would be so precious, she would not have expressed that annoyance towards him.  If she had it her way every moment would have been nicer, sweeter, more pleasant.  She would show him nothing but how much love she has for him.

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However, she has to realize that her father is still with us.  He will always have a presence in this world through the impact that he has had and her memory that keeps him alive.  He thought that “watching [his] daughter graduate from college, walking her down the aisle, teaching [his] grandchildren how to fish” would not be a possibility, but he was mistaken.  Although he has changed into a new form, he is still very much present, and is proudly smiling at what she has become.

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Photography and Text by Jesi Kim, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: Jesi Kim is a senior enrolled in the Engineering School of the University of Pennsylvania,  Class of 2015.

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About the Model: Naomi Tsai is a senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015.

Posted in Blog, UPenn: Photography Students Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

TWS: Portrait of the Day in Celebration of Black History Month

Portrait of the artist, Mikel Elam. by tony ward

Title: Portrait of Love

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2015

Posted in Blog, Portraiture Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |