Recently when I found out I had caught COVID-19 a few weeks ago in Mexico my heart frose. I was the only one in my group to become infected and all I could remember thinking was: Why me? It was the day before my flight home, and I even had another flight the following morning to attend a wedding with friends I had not seen in a long time. All I could feel was this notion of being trapped and frustrated at the fact that I could not return to my home country. While I was acclimating to my new reality of having covid, it was so easy to focus on the negatives: no taste, congestion, exhaustion, and most of all my summer plans were not going as I had intended.
Through all of this, I had my friend Ishka, a golden retriever, as my inspiration for turning to hope rather than dwelling on all of the components of my life that were giving me stress. Ishka is one of the most sociable dogs I have ever met, and it’s hard not to smile when being around her infectious personality. While spending time with Ishka in the backyard and playing fetch with her, she taught me to embrace the present moment and focus my gaze on things that bring me happiness. Once I was able to do this, I felt something change in me, I was able to think about all of the things I could look forward to in my future: being reunited with my family, returning to my bedroom in Miami, starting off my junior year of college, catching up with old friends, and moving back to NYC since the beginning of the pandemic.
With my new hopeful lens on life, I wanted to literally look through the lens of my camera and snap a “gratitude picture” of Ishka so that I could always look back at this period of my life and can remember the importance of adopting a “growth mindset” centered on the future versus a “fixed mindset” obsessing over what could have been in the past. On top of this, I’ll never forget how fun it was having this photoshoot with Ishka in the backyard and how much fun the two of us had. 😉