When August passed and September came around a wave of panic hit me. I was left with an empty feeling of unknown emotions, expectations and thoughts on what was ahead. Transitioning to a new season was met with a loss of willpower and creativity. Things that brought enjoyment were placed onto the background and days were full of hollow thoughts. In my despair I scrolled through old posts and found this instagram caption from April, that I thought was worth re-sharing:
”I enjoy living from season to season and embrace what each passing equinox gifts us with. But this spring my heart has been feeling heavier and my body and mind aren’t connecting to how fast the year seems to fly by.
Supposedly it is a season of blooming, growing, transitioning; while I’ve been cocooning, hurting and surviving. I don’t feel the spring vibe. I do not have renewed energy. And I am certainly not thriving or have innovative creative ideas stuck in my head waiting to burst out.
But as I was taking a walk outside I realized that besides a couple of blossoming trees and some flowers, not much is really blooming. Our vegetable garden is even more dead now than it was in winter. There is a time for all in nature to bloom at some point during the year, but it isn’t set to happen right now. And it’s the same for us. This might not be your season for growth or transition so stop feeling like it should be that way. If it is now, great. If it is later, also great.
This sounded too familiar; the same difficulties transitioning towards a new season. I spent a couple of weeks reflecting, we went on a little getaway and when I came back home I concluded that the thought of embracing it rather than fighting was better than not showing up. This is what brought life to #31photosforoctober, hoping to grow through my feelings and seek my path intuitively rather than through all the information which is available online.
31 photos in October
I started with a mixture of excitement and uncertainty, no plan or back up posts. I don’t want to come across telling you that posting a photo 31 days in a row is such a pain or mission impossible. But competing with my perfectionism is. Facing my inner critic, dealing with uncomfortable feelings trying to show a vulnerable side, my face, or simply showing up for myself. It’s all a struggle. It isn’t the mere fact of posting 31 photos, and it never was. It’s tackling the voices in my head. Am I too much? I’m taking up all this space that is reserved for people whom are far more talented. Those writing engaging captions. Who is even going to care? Is there any space for me?
Practically speaking, posting everyday means I better pick up my camera and start shooting. I’m going to guess that 20 out of the past 25 days my alarm went off at 6AM (thanks to our unpredictable weather forecast that keeps promising fog every morning). And only 2 out of those 20 early mornings we’ve had semi-decent weather to shoot. Determination was often met with disappointment. Every picture I’d visualized is still tucked away in my head. Now that my favorite part of autumn is slowly coming to an end, I’m feeling a bit of melancholic sadness.
What does showing up actually mean? Is it merely posting? Engaging? Commenting? As October progressed I found myself detaching from engaging. I went into robot-mode: I would upload a picture, feel overwhelmed and detach myself from Instagram. Initially I wanted a month of intention, and I ended up on the opposite side. Going into hiding mode after posting. Feeling overwhelmed with answering comments or messages everyday. Feeling incredibly guilty of flooding peoples feed with a picture each day and hoping people wouldn’t feel obliged to comment or like. I ended up with a feeling of shame for taking up space that I didn’t feel I was worthy of. Lots of feelings ended up being involved in something that wasn’t even directed at anything besides getting my creative mojo back. Simply a photo challenge during the most beautiful of seasons, that was it. Instead of working through a lack of creativity, I find myself working through many feelings that came to surface, and that are keeping me from going/growing forward. Someday I hope to make a living with my own business. I could start today if I wanted to. Do I want to? Or am I feeling safe in my corner of self-sabotage?
I’ve spent a fair amount of time reflecting and committing to introspective work on my struggles. On the need of being intentional and aligning with my intuitive self. Learning there is room for me, for my art and vulnerability. During this month, what pushed me forward the most where people in my community. Never underestimate the power of your words and encouragement to others; it can be exactly your thoughts that they need to hear. So thank you for commenting, even if I haven’t gotten the time to get back to you. Thank you for sticking around. For being here! It means a lot to me.