Mackenzie Rollins | Weblog


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This oaxacan graffiti somehow expresses my current emotions better than I’m able.

I have a big decision staring me in the face. An incredible opportunity to move and pursue photography in NYC, for an internship with Mary Ellen Mark. It would only be for a time, and I’m thinking 6 months is what I want, starting in December.

I am thrilled and scared all at the same time.

Many things to consider. I have begun to love life in Seattle. Love my friends. my boy. my church. my finally being settled in one place.

I’ve decided that wholeheartedly pursuing your passion is the scariest thing in the world.

It seems I am entering into that.

Yes, it’s a few months away, but I’d appreciate your prayers for direction and wisdom over the next while about this decision. About when to go. If to go. How to best prepare. Maybe it’s something great, but is it worth what I will leave behind for those months? Do I really want it?

I feel conflicted. Quite grateful to have a while to think about it.

Goodbye for now. I love you.


Written by Mackenzie Rollins

July 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. Kenz,

    First of all, I owe you $100. If you give me your address I will put that check in the mail ASAP.

    Second thing, I love getting a glimpse of your story here on this blog. Your honesty, ideas, and talent are inspiring.

    Third thing…move to NYC. I hear you would have a couple of friends there. 🙂

    You will be in our prayers.

    Jarrod Shappell

    July 22, 2008 at 3:28 pm

  2. Hi Mackenzie.

    In a way, your thoughts echo mine – and, my sweet Oaxaca workshop friend, I am headed to NYC to intern with Mary Ellen in less than two weeks. Arriving on Aug. 2.

    Just, as I think you feel, I am started to get settled again at home, get used to sleeping in my own bed, become friends again with the cat, who is slowly coming to understand moving around is part of my life the next few months 🙂

    But, it is a fab opportunity. If you could head out and visit in August, I’ll be in NYC.

    Six months? Wow. Is that what she offered? Alex is there right now – you should talk to her about what the internship will mean. From what I understand, it will be computer work, filing, but no doubt she will she give you an assignment, which reminds me thaqt I have work to do before I get there.

    FB is down. So feel free to email.



    July 22, 2008 at 3:55 pm

  3. I hear you on those big decisions. I’ll be praying for ya!


    July 22, 2008 at 6:00 pm

  4. well, i am ‘de-lurking’. just wanted to let you know how inspiring this journey your on has been to me. (i found you through joshua’s blog– who I don’t know personally either–ooh i feel like the creepy girl now) i don’t know if it means more or less because i don’t know you, but i am got really excited about this post.

    also, i just made the first graffiti picture the background on my comp. hope that’s okay, it means a lot to me in a totally different way i think it does to you it seems. art…love it. truly, thanks for sharing your life.

    btw…as i was typing this i peered over at the ‘parade’ magazine on my table and in huge type it says ‘don’t let fear hold you back’. oh and there is a huge picture of kevin costner…don’t know if that is a good or bad thing to add to the visual.


    July 22, 2008 at 7:45 pm

  5. you go girl. you get it.

    you know, I have a friend, Tony, who I met about 4 years ago, and I think his story might inspire you as it has me.

    He’s the person that God used to show me that I can be a believer (Christian) and still be cool… and not all stuck up and fake. He was totally himself (which is way cooler than me by the way), but he loved God… blew me away.

    You see, my friend, wanted to be a rockstar. Like he wants to make it big, big time. Big dream, popular dream, not often realized. The church, his friends, his family… all wanted him to settle down and focus on one thing. I admit even I was kinda worried about him at times.

    This last weekend, I went to probably the SICKEST hardcore/metal show I’ve ever been to, and guess who was lead singer for the favorite band….yup, Tony. He was made for it, and although it was scary at times, he didn’t stop pursuing the big. Never stopped, and still hasn’t. Because that is what he is CREATED to do, for such a time as this. He was telling my how he had prayed and saw two people get healed on this last tour. And they are radically exampling Christ to the alternative scene. He’s not perfect, by far, but He is living the dream…

    All this to say, is you i believe YOU were born for photography/journalism. If I know that from the little bit I know about you, then I know you know it, 1000 times over. I don’t know what your ultimate dreams are, but I’m here to tell you that there is a God who has written those on your heart and in the heavens, and it’s up to you to reach for the stars.

    Love you sis. Hope you are learning more about the King and His Kingdom as you see Jesus in the eyes of those around you in Mexico.

    Matthew 5:3
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are.

    Don Miguel Ruiz


    July 22, 2008 at 7:58 pm

  6. I found your blog, thru someone else’s, whose blog I found through someone else’s, etc. But I promise, I’m not some creepy stalker! I did want to leave a comment to say thanks for what you share on your blog: your honesty, your adventures, and your photography. I have begun to seriously (very slowly though) invest more time into photography myself only in the last 2 years or so and your blog is an inspiration. I don’t think I want to pursue photography for a living but it is a dear passion of mine and if it can glorify God in anyway, I’m all for it.

    Even though I’m only a stranger, I wish you the best of luck in your decision-making. My prayers are with you!


    July 22, 2008 at 9:19 pm

  7. I don’t have this. This thing you have and other people seem to have. Any time anybody tries to push me to move forward with my talents, I pull back. There is nothing in me that wants to be anything greater than what I already am. I don’t know if that’s pathetic or not but I truly am extremely and totally content to be who I am right here right now, taking pictures, singing, writing, etc. only for me and my immediate people. All that to say I am truly in awe of you who dream bigger than me. Who have this internal turmoil over where to go next. I read your words and I think “Don’t do it! Run away screaming! Who knows what they’ll want you to do next! It’ll never end!”

    I have and will continue to have great respect and admiration for you, no matter your decision. You’re amazing.


    July 22, 2008 at 11:55 pm

  8. stepping out towards what you believe god called you to do is always scary, but once you have taken the first step, and you see god’s hand/provision, the fear diminishes.

    when moses was instructed to build the tabernacle (quite unusual and big project), he was instructed by god to use certain craftsmen, those to whom god has given gifts and whom he has filled with his spirit and thus inspired to design artistic works.

    and I have filled him with the spirit of god, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. (exodus 31:3-5)

    we truly believe that you received gifts from god to take photographs, you have what it takes, you are inspired. and i also believe that you are sensitive enough to listen to god (because, as the verse above says, he gave wisdom and understanding to you as well), and follow his guidance.

    we love you. you are amazing. this is a unique opportunity, but consult god!


    July 23, 2008 at 12:25 am

  9. I am thrilled about the opportunities that are coming your way! Melissa

    Melissa Rollins

    July 23, 2008 at 7:48 am

  10. @ Jarrod: Why do you owe me $100? I don’t know why, but okay 🙂

    941 25th Avenue, Seattle 98122

    And thanks for your prayers. It is so so comforting knowing that I have a few friends there. You should hang out with them, too. They’re pretty wonderful.

    @ Ajja: Kevin Costner always helps me shake my fears. That is not true. Maybe I’ll hang a poster of him by my bed to see if it helps. We could try it together.

    So fun that you’re de-lurking. Now I’m the creepy one by suggesting matching Costner posters. Wrong on so many levels.

    @ Tanya: Definitely keep me posted. I’ll be reading about your time there for sure. You’re my go to for inside information…

    @ Clay: You’ve had my back since day one. or day ‘we’re hanging out now for the first time and why haven’t we before.’ Thanks for loving me as you do. And for your story and encouragement. Maybe Tony will need photos taken of him some day. I think I know someone who’d be willing 🙂

    @ MH: You’re still a mystery to me. Do you have a blog? I’d love to read it and see your unfolding photography…


    @ Leslie: You want to move with me? It’d be much less scary with you there to cry with me, laugh with me, shoot with me. Come on, you’re good at all of that (I mean that in the kindest way about the crying thing. You’re a great crier.) and I think you should join.

    @ Arpi: Thanks mom and dad. The coolest ones ever. I love you guys.

    @ Melissa: I know, I’m so excited too. Somehow it makes me think I won’t be around for all of our crazy Rollins dinners… love you.


    July 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm

  11. I will have to join the creepy club. I found your site through Joshua’s & I read it every time it’s updated. I find you so incredibly full of strength and wisdom. I’m in high school and I love photography. Coming to your site and seeing so many things that are possible within capturing images, just makes my mind wander. Thank you for your inspiration!

    I’m praying for you in your decision, things like this are never easy, but God has a plan and He will reveal it to you, when the time is right.

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11


    July 23, 2008 at 8:52 pm

  12. @ nicole: thanks for your encouragement. i’m so glad you de-lurked. i will have to stalk you now that i have your site.!


    July 25, 2008 at 11:27 pm

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