Hi! I'm Chloe Skeese. I grew up in the foot-hills of the Appalachia mountains, also known as Berea, KY. I loved my time there and all of the wonderful people I met along the way. I attended Berea Community Independent from preschool to 12th grade. Growing up in a small town, and attending a small, independent school, I got to know all of my teachers and classmates really well -- probably TOO well. As much as I enjoy being a part of a community like Berea, I was glad to get out.
At the age of 17, I graduated and left Berea behind to attend Western Kentucky University. I can't say I was nervous, as I had been ready to leave the nest at a super young age. However, when I got to WKU, I was in for a rude awakening. College life is glamorized on TV. When I was younger, I would watch Disney shows that made college seem like it was all fun and not much else -- the priorities were way off. I finished my first semester with all A's, made it through the first of many photojournalism classes, and made some friends along the way. I have a lot of regrets about college, though. As much as I loved my major and the professors that came along with it, as much as I loved dorm and sorority life, there was a lot that I never prepared for. Mental health is not talked about as much as it should be, especially among college students. Attending classes full-time and working a part time job most evenings made it virtually impossible for me to find relief. I woke up every morning knowing my body would not stop until 11:00 p.m. I didn't have days off, I didn't have breaks to relax, it was constant. I felt like I was drowning but so was every other college student, which made it seem normal.
As time went on, especially when COVID hit, my mental health deteriorated. I struggled finding time for school and balancing now being at home in an environment that was not always quiet (thanks, Cooper). I began struggling with stomach ulcers from the stress, lost a bunch of weight, and did not feel like myself.
What all this winds back to, is I had lost touch with my creative side. The side that had driven me to continue writing and taking pictures. Instead of enjoying it, it became a chore. I knew I had to start all over and find who I was again, even if it took time. I eventually got back on track, taking photos for people I knew and venturing out in the realm of lifestyle photography. I am now feeling better than ever, more active than I had ever been before, standing behind my camera.
Your life is meant for you to live and enjoy, so take time to enjoy it and do things that make you happy. You are not meant to live your life for anyone else, it is all you. Discover who you are, and once you do, you'll be happier than you ever were.