TL;DR - try to use my story and art to help others navigate theirs. stars are great.
"Honestly I don't really give a shit about photography... In the sense where camera equipment, shooting settings, composition, lighting, ego, etc and being all artsy comprises only a single % of what it is all about. I didn't get into taking pics because I wanted nice images or compliments, I got into it because I felt like I had important perspectives and introspective lessons from anecdotal experience that I believed from depths of my heart when shared in the right way could inspire, impact, or help another person. And seeing 1 person feel a connection or resonate with my message means 1000x times more to me than any compliment or accolade for pics (although, I appreciate all that as well).
Astronomy saved my life, as melodramatic as that sounds, it did: the peripheral aspects and efforts surrounding what goes into taking a picture- the emotion, the sadness, the frustration, the joy, the logistics, the creativity- are the other 99% of it to me and were/are huge catalyst for big change in many aspects of my life and a way to express a deeper part of who I am. I just pray that whatever all this is, that I can inspire others to pursue their passions, be unique, and be yourself because I've truly felt at times during my astrophotography that sense of being extremely authentic and whole, and the resulting joy- so everything in me wants to promote and facilitate that same exact feeling in others. One great way to measure your life is in terms of how much good and positive impact you can bring into other people's lives using your God given talents. Try to focus on the 'why' in your life, not the 'what'. Identify what IS your 'why' and the things bring you closer to it, we are all here for a purpose and I implore you to discover what yours is, part of mine I believe is to help you discover yours ✊" -an excerpt from an old Instagram post explaining why I take pics and post on Instagram.. haha
Each piece of content on the purpose page is an extremely raw look into my thought process and perspectives (like the one above) that are linked with parts of my life story consolidated from my last two years of shooting astrophotography, developing perspectives through it, and posting Instagram pictures and captions sharing my art and my honest thoughts. These perspectives I share are not all encompassing as to how to live your life or a summary of my whole life, but snapshots into the way I have coped and redeveloped many of my perspectives for the better. By no means do I have or have I ever had a bad life. And I am not trying to convey myself as a paragon of virtue; at the core of things, I am far from that and a very broken man with more flaws and vices than most. The only somewhat admirable thing I did right was have a grain of faith to try to find purpose in my own suffering and seek out a better way to live as my negative perspectives and entitled attitudes I had been raised on were not conducive to leaving a meaningful, productive, or happy life.
I can't always be inspiring through my art and I do mess up a lot in my life, but every now and then a blind squirrel finds a nut; and this Purpose tab is my humble stockpile of inspiring words, constructive perspectives, and honest thoughts I discovered through astrophotography that I think may contribute some good into the world.
Follow Your Stars.
-Derek V Culver