Half Awake

We are only ever half awake. Only half aware, one foot in today and three nervous steps into the fog of tomorrow. Tell me, why is it that every day is shorter than the last. Every year gets faster, faster, faster and we try our best to hold onto the fuzzy outlines of the future we dream for ourselves but sometimes it feels that we have been walking forever, and the fog is incessant and unforgiving as it only grants us a vague idea of what we may encounter next. We close our eyes at night and our minds light on fire with wants, worries, needs, love, desire, loss. We are so full of life at the end of each day its hard to really imagine there being another waiting on the other side of each night.

So we sleep, and we wait for another chance to grow, to get things right. We wake to roll over in bed and be greeted by someone we love or inhale another breath of cold winter air. We wake to try again, and we all deserve to try again. We fill our cups with hope every morning. We live to experience, to feel something greater than reality is really able to supply us. Yes, we are only ever half awake, only able to see with two eyes and feel what is in front of us but with each blink we begin again and every dream we are lucky enough to dream is a blessing. Every sliver of sunlight that warms us is a gift, as is every pomegranate seed, clever web comic, thoughtful observation, scarf around our neck, call from home, scenic viewpoint, fresh pair of socks, handshake, or any number of overlooked wonders of every day life.

We do our best to give thanks, to understand every opinion, to feel every feeling, but it’s hard to accomplish and appreciate everything that is great in this life every day, all at once. So at the end of each year we often try to search ourselves for some new clue, some new piece of the puzzle we may have previously overlooked. We look back at everything that was learned, felt, imagined, created, and experienced and remember that tonight, when we go to sleep, we still dream the same dreams and wake with the same lofty goals and expectations for ourselves. We live in unison and it’s important to remember that even at our worst we do our best. Tomorrow, more than ever before, we have to remember that everything in this world has a balancing point. I find myself living this simple philosophy and applying it to every decision, no matter how small. Stay thankful, stay aware, and stay balanced. It’s the only way we will manage to make it through happy enough to feel like we deserve to appreciate the gifts that we are given each day.

Stay just hungry enough to know you love the taste of your favorite foods. Stay messy enough to know that perfection can never honestly be found. Stay cold enough to remember the comfort of being warm. Stay naive enough to feel disappointment. Stay calm enough to feel the rush of a surprise. Stay balanced, stay open to anything, and stay awake just long enough to fall back asleep.

I feel like I am taking a risk any time I ever post anything of this sort, makes me anxious because most of the time I fear it only makes sense somehow in my own mind. But I share anyway, despite the fears because whats the point in hiding it? Nothing ever happens just by sitting around. That said, try not to let the pressure of a new year fool you. It really is just another day. Let’s simply press on, happy that we made it through another year, and do the best we can to remain happy and balanced in the year to come.

These photos were taken recently on the coast of North Carolina. I am a sucker for a good path and I figured now, on the eve of a new year would be the perfect time to share them. Happy new year everyone, here’s to a great 2013!

Tomorrow Two

Tomorrow Three


  1. Gilang - December 31, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I am particularly fond of photographs that explore perspective. Great work. Sorry if my English is bad.

  2. Jason Jiang - January 1, 2013 at 12:58 am

    Wow amazing views.
    Happy new year, John!

  3. renyouyin - January 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

    so beautiful~I like it.

  4. Carsten - January 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Again some beautiful photos you have there. A happy new year to you, sir!

  5. Suhas - January 1, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Happy new year John! Keep writing and keep snapping!

  6. PhilippmitderUhr - January 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Great work, happy new photo-year :)

  7. DerGolem - January 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Again with the awesome.

    Happy Every New Day to you and yours John.
    You make things better.

  8. sunhead* - January 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    well shared, j, and happy 5 year anniversary.

    this reminds me of the sentiment of a message i read today from my boss who wrote his farewell to Europe to us. he shared this story with us, and this is a snippet from it:

    “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
    I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
    I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
    I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
    I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
    I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
    I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

    ~ Bob Perks

  9. ito - January 2, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Happy new year!.
    Your blog is read always happily.
    Is the theme of WordPress currently used by your blog distributed by somewhere?

  10. Lauren - January 2, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Beautifully said! May 2013 be filled with finding the wonder in every moment. :)

  11. Tom McLaughlan - January 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    “I feel like I am taking a risk any time I ever post anything of this sort, makes me anxious because most of the time I fear it only makes sense somehow in my own mind. But I share anyway…”

    Thank you for taking the risk, John. Reading it was a privilege.

  12. thedoo - January 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    lovely article. can’t wait to spent another full year with you. happy new year!

  13. Nismo - January 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Great, as usual ! Thanks a lot !

  14. James - January 3, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Thanks so much for posting these :)

  15. xaero212 - January 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you a lot for this. A lot.

  16. Pavol Vaškovič - January 8, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    John, thank you for the thoughts you shared here. I really enjoyed reading them & they made perfect sense to me. Deeply appreciated!

  17. Nathan - January 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Keep telling us about the majesty, and heartbreaking beauty, of what it means to be alive.

  18. Sinasi - January 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm


    I saw one of your N. Carolina pictures here: w/o any credits.

  19. Melissa Nicole - January 27, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Beautiful insight. I’m bookmarking it.

  20. sean - March 17, 2018 at 11:28 am

    this post has made a lasting impression on me back in 2012, and it hasn’t left me since. thank you for playing a part in making me the person I am today

  21. John Carey - March 17, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    It means a lot to me to read this. I very much appreciate you taking the time to leave this note. Made my day and makes me want to get back to writing more again.

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