As You Want
After much upheaval in the month of July, naturally the heavy fog of uncertainty begins to disappear, we take a deep breath in and let out a wonderful sigh of relief. We’re no strangers when it comes to having moments of feeling empty. We want to give to the world, but we reach a point where we run out of things to give.
The only thing to do is...rest.
Rest I did in July. As my previous post had mentioned it was a very weird month. Not only that, I lost my only five months old camera!! I was distraught and never felt such anger and disappointment towards myself like that in a very long time.
I took it as a harsh insult at first because I have been doing a lot of inner work surrounding the blocks I have around money and success.
Once you start getting in the hang of creating a new mindset and changing old behaviours you think, yeah, I can do this! Everything around you is going smoothly, you’re manifesting things into your life better and out of now where….
You lose something valuable.
It was on my way home, I started thinking about what photos I needed to take soon and there it was. That sinking feeling, the way your heart sinks and your stomach flips. Crap.
Once I reached home I rush around in a panic. I messaged my boyfriend to ask to check if I had left my camera at his house.
A couple hours later I see the words:
Babe, it’s not here.
I sink onto my bed and what followed was my third meltdown. Since I had the house to myself I let loose and let myself cry out loud and even let out a couple of angry screams that made my voice hoarse. The disappointment within myself was too over powering. Soon enough, I am slaughtering my self with the most horrible self talk. Once you fall into such a state…you will either sink even further or…
Let it pass.
During my rage I wast text messaging my boyfriend, without him being on the other side…I’m sure I would have slipped even further. I wanted to fall into that black hole and to give up. Life had been too heavy of a burden, the familiar feelings of “why am I bothering” surfaced and I began to wonder why am I not just doing what everyone else is doing.
But the answer is simple: my path is different.
No, I have always been someone who knew they were different the moment I was able to look at the world in such a way that I saw things others did not seem to see. I could feel things I couldn’t understand until later in life when I realised I was picking up other peoples energy. People soon began to reveal themselves before they even spoke…I later learned I am an INFJ – one of the rarest personalities in the world. Even though I don’t like to label myself too much. But we’ll save the whole personality type discussion maybe for another time.
I yet again, allowed myself to fall into a comparison trap. Seeing all the female entrepreneurs having wild success…instead of feeling great for them I ended up letting myself feel so inadequate. I lost sight of all the goals I had set up for myself and I especially started to give up when my visualising wasn’t coming into my reality as quick as I wanted it.
I have mentioned it time and time again how hard it can be working on yourself. There is always going to be a new layer of either “WHAT THE F**K IS THIS” too, “Oh…okay, then.”
Since losing my camera, I have finally been able to turn it around into a lesson.
With no digital camera at the moment it is allowing me to reset my photography and maybe a new style will begin to emerge once I am feeling renewed inspiration.
For now, I have been going back to the early days of when the hight of my passion for my photography was all so new to me and how often I would experiment.
This is what we have to do sometimes in order to realise why you began in the first place…
Christchurch, New Zealand 1997
My reminder will always be when we were in the darkroom back in high school. We had just finished taking photos around school and our teacher at the time was showing us how to open up our film canister. We watched as she placed her hands in a bag and fumbled around.
Next was the crucial step and that was when we had to turn off the light. Of course being in high school there was sniggering and a few joking around of touching one another. I remember my eyes never being able to adjust, it was the fist time I had experience such darkness.
Once the film was safely in a tank, we watch as she pours in the first chemical, strong smelling like vinegar and for the next five minutes the tank required to be tipped slowly from side to side making sure the liquid went all over the roll of film inside.
The timer goes off and she pours the first chemical out. Next was called the ‘stop bath’, more too’ing and fro’ing of the tank and by then most of us were losing our attention and some of the boys started mucking around with some of the equipment. As for me, I watched with intent. Once that was done, the final step was rinsing the film with ‘fixer’.
She opens the tank and we all watch her pull out the roll of film and there we saw our first negative. I had just witnessed magic happening with chemistry. What followed next was probably the most fun. Using a machine called an ‘enlarger’, this is where film gets exposed with light down onto photo paper. And how amazing it is when an image was transferred via light.
As I gently moved my piece of paper with a pair of plastic tongs and seeing the image appear onto the paper was pretty damn cool. I loved it and I knew I wanted to do photography always.
However, back then it seemed as though photography was for those who could afford it. I wasn’t able to get a darkroom installed and buying all the things that came to developing your own photos came at a cost.
But at least I had my very first film camera.
I remember asking my Dad to take me to go out and find one. I can’t remember exactly where we went, I do remember it was a second hand shop. There I walked out with a Pentax ME SLR. I loved it! At least I had a camera and was able to have film developed in a chemist (Drug store).
Then over the years I would fall in and out of love with photography. Moments of pure joy to moments of despair of falling into creative lulls.
The only thing I regret is not taking it far more “serious.” and never pushed myself to become a well known photographer. But this all steams from the fact I have never set myself to become wildly successful. Who know that being your own self critic would be one of the hardest things to overcome.
So here we are.
A woman only 10 months away of turning 40 and still wondering what the freaking hell to do with her life (which is now becoming quite the luxury). That’s right folks. There are those of us out there who continue to search for purpose. Too often I can get caught up on the what ifs. We’re pressured from outside forces to accomplish certain things at certain ages and when it all doesn’t go to plan, we’re seen as a failure…
As the story goes, as we get older we can chose to become wiser. I could have chosen to not to bother trying to change my old ways. I could have chosen to go down a path I know would have made my life an unhappy one.