LIFE. Live It. Love It. Rock It..and don’t sweat the small stuff!

UPDATE 2014: This article was written in 2011, and things have changed dramatically since this was posted, all for the good. So when you read it, keep in mind it is an old article 😉 THANK YOU!

Uh oh! It’s been a while since I posted some deep heavy personal thoughts on this blog but hey, I’m in a mood tonight, what can I say. Here I am, a single divorced man, 41 years old, living in a house by myself..just me and my 13 year old dog, Scrubby.

Scrubby has been faithful since the day I brought him home. He lays here beside me now in this empty and quiet house and I couldnt help but sit back and reflect on my 41 years on this planet. Long time readers know about how I’m not afraid to get personal here, its just how I am. 🙂 This IS a photography blog, but it is also MY blog, and I feel like I can occasionally write about non photo related subjects. Besides, posts can always be skipped if desired 🙂

A bit about me…

I was born in Chicago, IL unexpectedly on November 20th, 1969 in a basement of an apartment building. A bit premature, but I made it and survived the ordeal. My parents were actually pretty poor in regards to finances but my Father always worked his ass of doing construction jobs to pay the rent, and there was always food on the table for me and my sister (she is 2 years older than me). We were always well taken care of, and we came first before any needs of theirs. At least thats is how it seemed  to me as a kid.

Growing up in Chicago was amazing and I have many fond memories of my days and nights with close friends, my family and just the overall vibe of that era. I’m sure many of you who are around the same age as me remember growing up in various cities in America in the 70’s, and I assume most were the same. Stress free and fun. That was my childhood.

We had our neighborhoods filled with friends and it was safe to ride bikes until dawn. It was safe to take walks around the block and it was OK to sleep over a few houses down the street on the weekends. It was a lovely time to be growing up in the 70’s on my block. Our parents didn’t even question where we were or our safety back then. I remember just having to be in at 5:30 for dinner, and then it was right back out for more playtime. Summertime on Altgeld St in Chicago was a magical time for me. Worry free, no stress..ahhh, the joys of being a kid.

I did have some close calls though, like being hit in the head full force with an Aluminum baseball bat while playing with friends (was a total accident) and my head being so split my skull was visible just by looking at me head on. Ouch. Or the time when an abscess tooth was pulled and I was hospitalized for 10 days, again, almost dying. The time my Dad rushed home from work when he heard I fell on some glass and my hand split wide open and needed stitches. Every time  I was in some sort of danger my Mom and Dad were there right with me, making sure I made it through.

Ahhh, memories 🙂

The 80’s..

When the teen years hit my parents decided to buy their 1st house so we  moved to the South Side of Chicago. I was the new kid at School and it was a bit tough, but eventually I made some great friends in High School. The 1980’s, well, they ROCKED for me. My 1st girlfriend, teen dance clubs, drinking, fake ID’s, spring breaks, parties, and again, no stress, just fun and good times. What I didn’t realize then was how much responsibility my parents had. The house, the kids, the bills, keeping themselves together through fights and the rough times. When I got into some trouble by doing something stupid, that only a 19 year old could do I also realized once again that my parents would do ANYTHING for me.

The person I am today is because of them, and I love them dearly for it. My Father passed away in 2000 due to prostate cancer at 61 and that was tough. I still miss him. He was the iron fist of the household but it was his values that were instilled in me. I remember him always giving me little tips about life and the challenges I may face as I grew older. Back then I didn’t really listen but as I grew older, without him, I realized how right he was.

The 90’s…

The 90’s and 2000’s came and I found myself married, with a son, and having to be that responsible parent and husband that MY father was. Wow, what a challenge but double wow, was it so worth it. Today I have a son whom I adore and I see him shaping up to be a great young man with good values. Will he do stupid shit when he is in hits 19-20? Im sure he will but when he does, I will make sure I remember the silly things I did, and of course I will always be there for him and help him through his struggles. He will be 15 in June and already started shaving. CRAZY!

My 2010 Challenge

Fifteen years into my marriage, last year, I went through a divorce (which was VERY hard at the time) and  have been single for close to a year already. WOW. A year?!?!? Time flies. Of course when this happened I blogged about it and all of you guys gave me AMAZING support through your words, emails and even a few donations when I was in an AWFUL spot. It was amazing  to have that support because god knows, I never felt more alone at that time and it was the  readers here, and my great friend ~6 who really pulled me through.

Single life at 41

I’m single at 41. I feel old.

One thing I learned as I grew older is  DO NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! I am one of the most laid back guys in the freaking world, especially these days. I do not let myself get stressed, worried, or uptight over silly things that really do not matter. If someone irritates me I just brush it off. If someone yells at me, I try to calm them down. If a challenge arises, I take it on with a positive attitude.

As far as I am concerned, all that matters in this world is YOU, your family, loved ones, friends, and of course your passions. I strongly believe passion is important in life. Most of us have a passion of some sort but do all of us go for and take control of those passions? If not, YOU SHOULD. Life is too short not to. Want to be a pro photographer? YOU CAN do it. Want to start your own blog? GO FOR IT! To say is one thing, to do is another. Life is short, so do all you can, while you can. Thats my quick tip of the week 🙂

I sit here in this dark room and think of the people I have met in the past year and I have to say that I am a better man for meeting each and every one of them. I’m not naming names, but you know who you are 🙂 Being single again has led to dating, relationships, and juggling time with my son, work and friends. It’s funny being a 40-ish guy back in the dating world..such a different world then when we were in our teens…lol. Sometimes fun, sometimes not. Always an adventure. Plus, who knows. Maybe the next time around will be, in the words of Olivia Newton John…MAGIC 🙂 Update July 2012 – Yes, I found that Magic 🙂

Peace..love…happiness

So here I am and at 41 I finally feel “at peace” with myself, my “career” which also happens to be my life passion, and my future friendships and opportunities. Yep, I am a happy guy right now at this moment. Me, my faithful Dog Scrubby at my side, my Leica of course, and without question, this blog which I have a huge passion for and I still look forward to writing for it on a daily basis.

It has been amazing bringing together a group of individuals who have such passion for photography. I’ve met many of you already and hope to meet many more of  you. I thank you all for coming here, reading my articles, the guest articles, and also participating via comments and photo submissions. Without you guys, this blog would not even be here. Thank you!

SO what is the point of this?

My point, if I even have one, is that life is short. LIVE IT. LOVE IT. ROCK IT. Love your friends, family, and those close to you and be the best you can be. Life is comprised of experiences that turn in to memories. Memories are magic…they are golden. Wether they are in your brain or even via an image, treasure them and have no regrets in life. Life is good..it CAN be good. Make it better than that, make it INCREDIBLE. Also, it is the nature of this life and world…any day could be your last. Always remember that.

I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life and will do my best to remain kind, stress free, and to always give it all no matter what I am doing or who I am with.

With that said, thanks for reading my silly non photography, 1500 word related rant 🙂 Don’t worry, It will probably be a year until my next one, Lol.

Steve

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60 Comments

  1. Wow! I could comment, but to what end? You’ve put it in a nutshell.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    Howard

  2. I understand where you’re coming from Steve, I’m 50 years old divorced and still look forward to every day. Life is short, and with that being said, I decided to take the leap and become a Professional Photographer! Good luck to you in the future and may nothing but good things happen for you!

  3. Yes…I was just thinking about that–a new engagement within a year. Times may have been tough, but the resiliency effect kicked in quick!

  4. Hi,
    half a year has passed and as far as I recall, in your blog I have seen a picture of you taking a picture of yourself and a lady reflected in a round mirror. So time have turned to a better, I hope?
    Br,
    Chris

  5. Steve,
    I am a simalr age to you (birthday 26/11/69) and went through a horrible divorce 6 years or so ago. Best thing that ever happened to me. Now have a 4 year old girl with my woman and about to be remarried. Keep the faith, never say never and absolutely do not sweat the small stuff.

  6. What a great and positive post to start my day with Steve!

    Thank you for sharing all of your thoughts with us here on your site and blog, on photography and otherwise. I came here first when trying to research my dream of buying a Leica. Two years, an M9 and several lenses later and I still come here daily for my fix of Steve Huff. Keep it up mate.

    Oh and like Colin from Scotland I’ll buy you a beer or two if you’re ever near Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. Sounds like an international meet up could be on the cards.

    Graham

  7. Great post Steve, I wish you publish this type of thoughts more often, I felt recharged and happy after reading it.

    Steve, please check out this blog: http://www.jackatrandom.com/, from a talented young photographer, writer, husband and father from Pasadena, CA.

    I have been following his blog for a year now, after I bought his Mac on eBay and he included the blog address on his invoice 🙂

    He has a nice series of photos from his backpacking around the world in 2007, also on flicker.
    The family unfortunately had a terrible event recently, check out the blog, you’ll see & understand.

    Yes please people, do not ever sweat the small stuff, take care of one another and form a society where mutual respect, friendship & love thrive.

    Peace to you and yours Steve.

  8. Good thoughts! Was having a day where the small stuff was getting in my way – read your post – pushed the small stuff aside – ended the day with a smile. Thanks

  9. Hi Steve, not older….wiser. And this is reflected in your posts. Ever since I found your site after Googling “Summicron” a little over a year ago, I’ve been a daily visitor. You speak from the heart and I like that. Keep up the good work!

    Cheers,
    Paul

  10. Well put Steve!! Great piece of writing and even better wisdom. We’re the same age (you have me beat by a few months though!) and my childhood, while not in Chicago, was as care-free as you describe. I owe it all to my parents as well. Sometimes I find myself longing for that world again so my two small boys (5 and 3) can experience a little bit of what I did. I do live in Chicago now and it seems all the more challenging these days. It’s still a great life.

    Having gone through a recent hospitalization of my 5 year old, I’ve done a bit of reflecting as well. You are SO on with your title. You absolutely cannot sweat the small stuff. For most of us, there is just so much to be thankful for. Family and passion is all we really need.

    Glad to hear you’re in the place you want to be on all counts. Keep up the fantastic site. This is a great community.

  11. Steve: It sounds like Scrubby has a great buddy and your son a wonderful father. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. A guy like you should find the MAGIC with someone soon. Best of luck.

  12. Hi Steve,
    I enjoy visiting your site every day. Great reviews and good fun. Though I don’t ‘enjoy’ your personal posts – its like enjoying someone having trouble – I value these posts and the openness. In a different perspective everything about your site is personal! Happiness is only a state of mind. Good luck and you will feel happy always.

    Cheers,
    Mohan

  13. Great entry Steve. It’s nice to see a “young” man express himself and to be so open here on the web. You are grounded and have a solid outlook on life. I feel it through you’re photos and from your writing. Family is the most important thing in life, I also feel is true. I am so glad you expressed that, here. (As) you become older and wiser you somehow realize what’s important and what makes a difference in you’re life and those close to you. You are well under way my friend.

  14. Dear Steve, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and part of your life with us. After 2 and half years relationship, my girlfriend broke up with me and your site changed my life. I bought a Leica Camera and I am so happy now. I am with the US Army in Germany. The first thing I do when I come home from a long day, is checking your blog. I have learned so much from you. I know I will never have the eye for photography the way you do, but I do my best. You are so talented and it will be an honor to meet you in person one day. I am 42 years old single and finally found the happiness. I lost my dad too, few years ago and it was very difficult and my mom is not doing very well either. You are absolutely right, life is so fragile and we must enjoy every minute of it. I love your site and I love to read the comments that your loyal readers leave on your blog. God Bless. Keep up the good work my friend. Live it, Love it and Rock it.

  15. Steve: Intense life-changing experiences like divorce, death, illness and major loss bring out either the best or the worst in people. You clearly have chosen to let it bring out the best. Those of us who’ve been through it, too, can only admire your positive attitude and your courage to “live out loud” as you do. I suspect more than a few people going through rough times on the other end of the network cable have have gotten a boost from what you’ve written.

    And of course, we all love messing about with cameras, too, and love the enthusiasm you share with us. 🙂 So continued good things to you, my friend, on both the road of life and the road of Leicas, light and lenses.

    –Peter

  16. Hi, Steve
    thanks for those open words and thoughts, I think you brought together a lot of people crazy for photography especially for LEICA around the world and a lot of them are opening your blog nearly every day….so you are not alone at all ! And you infected me with the “Leica virus” too ! So, I’m really looking forward your next test, video or interesting pics.
    Kind Regards – Matthias (Germany)

  17. You’re very friendly, Steve. And with your will to keep going with your passion, you’ve made this blog a big house with peoples who really adores what you do every day. For me, its a daily basis, it is, indeed, one of the “small things” that keep my day a little bit happier, because it inspires me, and not only about photography. To be so personal with your readers make this site special, because what we find is not some notices we pass the eye and forget it, what we experience here is always something that remains. If the “passions” mean importance in your life, im sure you contribute a lot to help your readers to find their one.

  18. Steve your writing is getting better and better sry blog post. It’s almost conversational, flows very easy. Good job and continue your great work.

  19. Steve, I went through a big D from late 1985 to early 1987, a very long and painful process, so I empathize. I came out of it a better person, and I remained single for eleven years, then tried marriage again, and it has lasted over twelve years thus far. Ups and downs, for sure, but still hangin’ in there. Thanks for sharing.

    Rex

  20. Hey Steve!

    This is what makes your site different: real feelings, real people, real life. I only read three or four photography-related blogs but yours is where I feel at home; I feel myself a part of the community of friends and like-minded people.

    I am 48 and few years ago I went through some really rough times, just like you. My marriage of 20 years fell apart separating me from the woman I loved more than anything and from my five children. Boy, that was tough!… At the time I thought I’d never recover from that blow.

    But, you see, Life is an amazing thing! Just as you say, one has to live it and love it. And say goodbye to stress and sorrow. Then, when you open up, wonderful things start to happen. Amazing gifts come your way, when you least expect it.

    I thought I’d never love another woman — and I was wrong! I though I’d never remarry — and I was wrong again! I thought I’d never have any more kids. Well… we’ll see about that. I have a gut feeling I was quite wrong there, too.

    Steve, I like your message: live it, love it, rock it. I am doing it — full swing! And Life is responding by treating me well. My tragedy was like a second birth to me and now I am a 48-year-young newborn open to a life full of amazing adventures! I am sure Life has something great in store for you, too. You’re already receiving it — from all directions.

    Thanks, man! For all you’re doing here on this site and outside of it. Thanks for living, loving and rocking!

    Cheers,
    Greg

  21. Steve, I can relate to a LOT of what you said. And I admire that way you’ve handled what life has thrown at you. As someone who’s not always handled tough situations as well as I should have, I know it takes a lot of courage and patience to maintain a positive attitude. I’m glad to have met you, and glad that you’re getting as much out of writing this blog as we are out of reading it. All the best to you.
    David

  22. Wow. You’r such a young guy. I’m 9 years older than you are. LOL! Thanks for sharing. I like it when people write about their lives.

    Years ago, back in the 1980s, a lot happened where I had to deal with major traumas, and I took the same philosophy as you did. I was reading a lot of Dr. Wayne Dyer stuff, and applying it. He really put things in perspective. It helped me in the next step when I became a Corrections Officer. I wouldn’t have been able to last in that job until retirement if I didn’t live in the moment, embrace my friend and family, exercise and do all of my hobbies. Creativity really does matter. Besides having a supportive family and sense of purpose, it helps as an outlet and builds self- esteem. I had decided in the early 80s to do something creative everyday. I’ve lived like that ever since, and I do believe it saved my life.

    Life has its struggles, but I think the way you react or handle them is how you push through it. A good sense of humor and silliness also helps. 🙂 Having a passion, like photography, keeps hope & artistic expression alive. I believe we are never to old to do art. Any kind of art.

    Also, change is good. We may not know why it is good at the time, but I’ve always been someone to think of change as a door closing and another one opening. It’s exciting to think of it that way.

    I think you’ve come a long way, Steve and it’s towards the positive. You seem very centered in your life and you should be proud of that.

  23. cher Steve, en lisant ton blog j’ai l’impression de me relire un peu. Je n’en suis pas encore à profiter de ma passion autant que toi,mais c’est un défit que je me suis donné de tenir, même si je passe pour une “extra- terrestre”. ma vie est bien entamée, alors je fonce à toute allure!!! Je suis peintre et j’ai mis mon art entre parenthèses durant des années, pour survivre, après un divorce… bref, je te comprends. continue!!!

  24. Hey Steve I have the same birthday as you, although mine was quite a few years before you.
    For what it is worth, your blog, the photo contest all of it has enhanced my life and I don’t even own a Leica! You know what to do..just follow the path as it unfolds…be in touch. Clearly that is working for you!
    Now..credit where credit is due…how about some nice Nocti shots of Scrubby!!!!!

  25. I read it twice Steve 🙂 your life is one great story with happy ending and it seems to me that you are one very happy and smart man 🙂 I would really like to meet you one day.

  26. Photography is personal. That’s why this text belongs here. Great life reflection. Glad you survived the baseball bat. D!RK

  27. Hi Steve. I live in Glasgow, Scotland, and work as a photographer for the Herald, Scotland’s daily broadsheet. Been following your blog for the past year now. Love your enthusiasm for life – it really shows through in everything you write. And some of your photos are just beautiful. I really like the photo of the ploughed field under the brooding sky, that you have in your 50mm Summicron review.

    I’ve had an M6 and a few lenses for the past 15 years and I understand your passion for the rangefinder way of photography, and the quality of Leica lenses. My most used lens is a 1964 35mm Summicron. People who look at my photographs tend to like the Leica ones more than anything else, although they can’t explain why.

    Anyway, great blog Steve, great photos, and very best wishes to you. If you’re ever in Glasgow, I’d be very glad to buy you a beer.

    Colin

  28. Good morning Steve!

    Another view into your personal feelings and thx again for this insight. I too followed what you wrote about a year ago according your divorce, how hard it’s been and so on…

    I believe your very personal perspective of your blog is the main reason why we are all here following it.
    Keep it up man – and as I am “bulid” in 1968 – I do feel with you when you say “I am getting old…”.

    😉

    Greetings,

    Michael S.

  29. Steve. I discovered your blog over a year a go and I also went through a divorce after 20 years of living with the love of my life last year. It was very hard but reading your stuff and your love of photography was a pleasant and effective help. The mix of you and your life and your sheer enjoyment of taking photos is wonderful. I’m on the up again – it is very strange dating again! So I agree – live, live, rock – it’s the only life we have so enjoy it to the full. keep it up!!!

  30. Great post Steve,
    I’m 49 and I’m a filmaker. I’ve always lived by and for my passions, Film, Music, Writing, Leicas :-)…
    Sometimes it is tough, sometimes it it is easy, I’ve won prizes, got successes and hits and found myself spending four years without any interesting project coming out…
    But I never gave up.
    Life is short and one should have trust in his own skills.
    Thanks for your great blog Steve, it is always an inspiration.

  31. Wonderful post Steve, and we are all lucky that you do choose to share more than just photography and camera reviews with us. No matter how much we treasure a new piece of equipment, it will never measure up to what makes us who we are… our loved-ones, our memories and our experiences.

    It’s absolutely amazing what we learn as life progresses for us all… at 20 we think we know it all, but when we’re 30 we look back and realize how little we really knew. And I think we all really start to “ripen” right around 40. We start to realize what’s really important and we seek to grab hold of life just a little more than we did in our 30s… to cherish every moment all the more. Or at least we should 😉

    Good luck with everything you do Steve… as I’ve already told you, you’re a great guy and deserve all the best. Whenever you’re in New York, my doors are open to you!

  32. Thanks a lot for your the personal touch you are able to add to your site. Reading your blogs and ‘adventures’ feel like reading a best friend’s letter. Good luck with all the things you are so passionate about!

    Vincent

  33. You’re the man, dude! You have just the right attitude to life, and while I certainly *feel* the same way, I wish I could say about myself to *act* the same way. Not letting yourself get stressed, to remain calm, to embrace challenges – for some people it’s totally natural, others need to learn it the hard way. I belong to the latter, but I believe there’s hope, as I’m trying and lerning … and occasionally erring on the way 🙂

    All the best to you, Steve – and thanks again for all the passion and effort you put into this site and the relationship to your readers. That’s quite unique these days, and something I believe you can be proud of.

  34. Hi Steve,
    love the blog and thanks for the honesty,makes good reading. Having had similar stuff go on I know that its only when you can sit there comfortable in your own skin and with a renewed passion for all you do, that happiness come. That “magic” relationship will present itself! At 57 I find myself happier than at any time in my life as each day brings new challenges .

    I wish you the best

    take great care of yourself, your son and of course Scrubby!

    Rod

  35. thank you again for sharing also personal thoughts on this sit. as a regular reader of your blog i had the privilege to read the “long version” of your article after your break up with your wife. very sad story and i could feel your pain. but then i saw your site was boosting and you could travel around the world with your friend ~6. so i think maybe it’s true that everything what happend has also a positive side.

    keep on rocking

  36. Hey Steve, I have been following your blog for as long as I have started my Leica journey and thank you for doing for what you have done for everyone of us. Although I rarely post, I feel like I know you pretty well from my daily reading of your wonderful site. I wish you every success and happiness for the time to come!

    My open invitation to you if you ever come to Hong Kong! Live it, Love it, Rock it!

    Norman

  37. Steve, thanks for sharing. Everything you write rings true. I’m 25 years older than you and can genuinely say that at 41 you’re not yet old, just “seasoned”. Live what you write, and it will be good. I’m looking forward to seeing you when we get together in Seattle in July.

  38. Great post steve. Thanks for always being so open and vulnerable with us. We’ve never met and probably never will, but I check your site every day – it’s like a friend to me. God Bless you, man – I know great things will come your way!

  39. Hi Steve, I do enjoy reading your un-photography-related thoughts. After all I think who we are deeply kinda reflects on what we shoot (and everything else we do).

    I’m 38 and have been divorced for only 6 months after s 7 year marriage. And yes, that was a really tough time. But luckily, it wad only after the divorce that I finally got myself an M9 and 2 precious lenses, and a Sony NEX 5 and a…the list goes on! XD But I’m not really talking about the stuff I’m allowed to buy now. It’s what I CAN do and how much I can devote myself into what I want to do. Freedom does come at a price, but I’m making sure that I’m making the best out of it.

    Thank you fir sharing your thoughts. For what it’s worth, you’ve got the best wishes sent from the other side if the globe, by a guy who shares the same passion with you, who you never have met. Me. And oh yeah, thank you for your blog. Once again.

    Peace n love.

    Shawn

  40. Great blog entry! I’ve struggled many years with the things I was suppose to do, instead of what I wanted to do. To be told, you are crazy, impossible, etc, used to hurt my feelings. Nowadays, I smile when I hear those things, cause thats me. There is a magic day in my calendar that reminds me of the day I got up and said, thats it, if I continue to be everything everyone else wants me to be, it willl be my demise. With a load of fear and worries, I ventured out into my own world. And made it.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal! LIVE NOW, LIVE TODAY!

  41. Steve, sounds like you have a solid perspective. Life definitely provides plenty of cause for reflection. Recently, I have faced a few personal challenges that have provided some pause for thought in my life, but meeting the challenges have allowed me to grow. I look forward to finally chatting with you and meeting you in July (funny, all of these articles, and it’s all been virtual). It’s been a great ride sharing in this blog, and I thank you for this opportunity. You and your site have definitely provided a new horizon for me and my creative outlet, and that, my friend is priceless. Hope to chat with you soon, my friend!

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