Following a period of mental and physical burnout towards the end of August, the theme of the past week, for me, has been recovery and re-centering. I’ve spent my time on self-care, and on tasks that haven’t been pressing enough to warrant my attention for months now. I’ve spent time with friends, I’ve spent time playing my guitar and I’ve spent time in nature. I’ve spent time with my dog, in libraries and bookstores, preparing for an upcoming trip to New York, and I’ve spent time with family. I’ve spent time sketching in parks, taking pictures for the sake of pure creativity and self-expression, and doing yoga.
I firmly believe that in order to express oneself properly through one’s art, one must first understand themselves. Self-doubt, stress and other obligations, in my opinion, are simply noise that cloud the ability to fully understand oneself from within. The key to beautiful creations lies within finding clarity amongst all of the noise. After all, how can we ever accurately portray our experiences if we don’t take time to process and understand them?
For me, January through the end of August was full of noise. I feel that, in many ways, I entered a tunnel that I am only now beginning to exit. Some days it feels like I went to sleep in January and woke up mid-August. I got caught up in a cycle of spinning my wheels working hard, feeling burnt out, and then feeling that my only option to escape the burnout was to work harder and “muscle through it”. Anybody who has known me for more than five years will agree with me when I say that this “muscle through it” mentality both never works for me, and yet is always my default. It seems that I am continuously learning that work does not have to equal suffering.
As I come out of this tunnel, I hope that increased clarity will lead to an increase in the quality of art that I am able to create. To assist this momentum, I will be taking a part-time photography course this fall, and I have purchased a new lens that I had been admiring for quite some time (if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen me raving about it already). I aim to use the next couple of months to become the best version of myself, both personally and as an artist, that I can be right now. I hope that you’ll all stick around to see what comes of it.