Chances are, the life you're living doesn't correspond perfectly with the life you imagine.
Mine didn't for the longest time.
Now, I'm not saying working full time and creating portfolios for university is my dream life, but I'm doing these things to get closer to the life I want, whatever that ends up being.
But back to you; why aren't you living the life you'd always dreamed of? I know the answer for a lot of people, or for me at least, is 'I'm not living in my dream city'.
I used to hate Vancouver. Hate it with a passion. Why wasn't I from Montreal or Toronto, or Los Angeles or New York? Why was I stuck in this boring faux-metropolis?
But it wasn't Vancouver that was wrong, it was my thinking; yes, Vancouver's no Paris, Milan, or London, but it is 'the city'.
There are things to do, people to see, fashion to be gawked at, cuisine to try, events to be apart of, concerts to rock out to, and etc.
We're always blinded by what we 'should' have, what we needed to make ourselves happy, and I lived thinking that Vancouver wasn't it. But that's lazy thinking; it's not up to the world, or your circumstances to make you happy. Want the truth? No one cares about someone who whines instead of tries. Before saying your life 'sucks', before crying out about the unfairness of it all via your Facebook notes and Twitter updates, ask yourself "Have I tried?"
I'll give my answer: no.
I didn't try for a second.
So I had an idea: take off the blinders and enjoy myself. Sounds simple enough, right?
You'd be amazed at your thoughts when they're not drowning in negativity; the main difference I found was the existence of possibilities. Instead of 'things will happen when...' it became 'things will happen'.
I know, I know. Giving yourself a whole new mindset doesn't happen overnight.
So I had a second idea; find the beauty within my home town and capture it.
You can do this any way; by drawings, painting, clothing designs, cooking, writing, etc.
But I chose photography.
A few weeks ago I set a day aside and ventured to downtown Vancouver with my camera in hand. My goal? Take at least one hundred pictures. What of? Anything. Anything I could find beauty in. I needed to prove to myself that there is beauty in anything.
And I did.
After I took those one hundred or so pictures, I put them on my computer and looked through them, putting the ones I liked and were Photoshop-worthy into a folder. From there, I photoshopped. Not much, just some colour adjustments, some cropping; I didn't want to change the images, just enhance them. Lastly, I looked at the finished fifty-eight photos, and picked five to ten of my favourites.
So what does this all have to do with you?
Do the same thing I did. Set aside a day, morning, afternoon, whatever, and bring your camera, and have a walk all over town. Take pictures of everything, until you have at least one hundred. Photoshop if you want, then pick your favourite five to ten, and post them somewhere, on a blog, Facebook, Deviantart, Flickr, even tweet them if you want.
You can even could get them printed and framed, if you're in need of some sort of original art.
I've posted the seven photos I captured that day that I loved the most; I took them in familiar places that I visit everyday, and new parts of town that if I had been to, I'd forgotten.
The only photography advice I have is to walk slowly, look all around you, breathe deeply, and see clearly.
Anyone can do it.
Basically, my point is that we never see the positive aspects of life until we're slowed down and made to look; we see so much through the lens of a camera, yet miss entire works completely with our own unadulterated eyes.
It's not where you are, it's who you are, you're attitude that makes a difference.
It's a cliché, but one I've found to be true.