This week we received a beautiful email from one of our subscribers, Yuzhi Li, who kindly allowed us to share her story with you.
We think that everyone can benefit from hearing her wisdom about the power of photography to help get us through troubling times. Yuzhi reminds us of the literal importance of how we frame our experiences: do we see the train and the sunset clearly as a beautiful photo full of hope and optimism, or do we see everything from behind the fence while we are imprisoned?
According to Yuzhi, the situation is the same but how we frame it makes all the difference. Her photos really exemplify what we here at SeeingHappy are all about — choosing to see what is good in any given situation so that we are just a little more able to deal with the bad:
“Art has always been the channel of my life. Recording emotions with my mobile phone has always been my daily routine. Whenever I’m stuck, cell phone photography always gives me a new perspective on life. I just want to share some pictures and my story with you.” –Yuzhi Li
On this day of 2020, the epidemic began, and all schools switched to online classes. As an international student, I lived next to Elmhurst Hospital in New York City. I heard the roar of ambulances every ten minutes, and my heart was full of panic, fear, and anxiety. I took this picture the day I had an anxiety attack, and I tried so hard to make myself look up at the blue sky. The fence was in the way, that’s how the world made me feel. As an international student, graduation was hard, there was no money to pay tuition as my father had a stroke and it cost a lot of money to be hospitalized, and my mother had to work on the farm in addition to taking care of my father. I haven’t been home to visit my parents for five years due to visa issues, and I was swallowed by anxiety. Pursuing higher education is my dream and has a meaningful purpose, but being an international student made me identify with the fence because I felt locked out from opportunity. I felt helpless that day.
This photo was taken from the same spot. The difference is that the train was taken by holding the phone close to the net on the fence, and the first one was taken when I felt trapped. I wanted to convey a kind of self-imposed limitation, standing in the tunnel view. The trap of self-limiting is also infinitely possible. This part is my personal experience in life. The way we interpret situations really matters, heaven and hell are only within a flash of thought.
Thank you Yuzhi for sharing your journey with us. The transformation of your perspective is truly an inspiration.
The Team here at SeeingHappy