You might find myself slightly contradictory with this one, however I gave it some thought and I think it has some validity.
It starts with a message I receive short while back, from an old friend reaching out to me, I won’t go into the details of it but we terminated our friendship on bad terms, but they reached out to me after nearly 5 years, they told me they was having a hard time and was trying remember the last times they felt truly happy, to gain back some of their happiness and sense of self.
It got me thinking though, I wrote a lot about running away from your past or being stuck in the past lately, I said we should move on from it, but I forgot that sometimes when you move past things you often try to better yourself, in doing so you might forget the little things you did that made you happy.
I still firmly believe you should move on from the past as much as you can, understandably it is not easy, but if you do and you’re in the present questioning who you are, maybe a bit of you feels empty… Then I encourage you to look back into those times, not the bad parts, but the things you did maybe hobbies, or a particular interests that has since not been part of your life, try them again, you’ll have a different perspective perhaps you’ll fall in love with yourself once more.
I remember back near the end of November I took a trip to my local camera shop, I wanted a to buy new camera, I bought with me my old Canon 450D to exchange, it did me well but i’d outgrown it a long time ago, in fact I hadn’t used it in years.
I’d been thinking for a while I really wanted to get back into my photography, something I thoroughly enjoyed when I was younger, but it was so expensive.
I remember the day I stopped photography, it was the day my old lens broke, I had a choice buy a new lens or afford that months rent, I chose the later, regretfully.
I would shortly be visiting Romania with my partner at the time, I knew I wanted to capture all our moments in the best way, so I wasn’t going to settle for second best.
After much discussion and pondering, I settled for a Canon 77D I paid some upfront but I ended up paying the rest through finance as I couldn’t afford to part with so much in one go at the time.
When I held it in my hands, my fingertips cradled it’s bulky frame, I felt all these brilliant feelings coming back to me, I remembered all the passion I had for it, turns out I forget a lot of the technique but I’d say I’m better now than I once was.
I was engrossed whenever I had it on me, often I’d miss stuff around me because I wanted to capture something so bad.
Something I had long buried as I’d tried to grow and shape myself i’d forgotten some of own my roots. This point in time I hadn’t realized what I knew now though.
I’ll bring you back to the present, if you’ve read my blogs you’ll know where I am at now in my life, I’d say I’ve finally set myself free from the shackles I once bound.
In doing so I’ve seen myself in a different light, have been able to understand my actions, but I still felt this sense of not knowing who I really am, I don’t resemble any thing I used to be, and you could argue that’s good but everything I used to enjoy I don’t any more. Why because I became so focused on moving on and becoming an entirely new person, each time, I grew a little bit more away from who I was, and I ended continuously questioning who I was.
It doesn’t help that I spent a large portion of it, induced in a drug and alcohol fueled state, it was even worse when I quit, I felt like I had absolutely no idea who I was anymore, this persisted.
So we’re here in our present, and I’ve diving a lot more into my photography lately, and I started writing, I used to do journalism many years ago but I grew apart from it because it wasn’t on my terms, it’s different now. I fell in love with it, my finger just seems to flow in a flurry of passion and thought.
I remembered what my friend had said to me about remembering times they was happy, so I looked back, I wasn’t looking for times or people, I’d moved past that, I was looking for things I did, hobbies, interests.
I remembered I used to enjoy buying new clothes and trying new styles, often some what outlandish and probably didn’t suit me, I remember the time I wore a tails jacket to a club and I cannot forget my faithful cowboy boots, but I enjoyed it, so I started buying some more clothes again, trying some some things I’d always wanted to try.
I looked back further I remembered how I used to visit lots of galleries and art exhibitions, i’d often go by myself, but i’d long stopped doing it, but I recently visited some with someone, and I fell in love with it again, art is inspiring to me, to see through someone else eyes, a different perspective on life it self.
The next one I want to tick off is reading, oh I was so fond of reading, and I still keep buying books, I’m sat on so many unread books at the moment, I tried to get by for a little while on comics, but I can’t remember the last time I was able to read an actual book, my concentration is so poor these days, but I really miss it, I think going to try it again soon, properly, turn off my phone put some ambient music on and just let the story take my imagination take me on a journey.
I remember a time when I wasn’t glued to a screen, I think it was a happier time, technology has come so far though, it’s weird without it now, but it was peaceful without it I’m sure. I lived in an era where it was truly rising, so I witnessed having a brick phone in your hand, to playing snake on your Nokia, then before you know it, smartphones everywhere. Fuck, who even remembers floppy discs!
I limit myself to a few hours of screen time on my phone a day but I keep going over because i’m in the middle of something, I need to figure out a way to disengage.
If I can take these little things and provide happiness to myself. So can you.
I can try to truly define who I am as a person, then I think I’ll be able to stop doubting who I am.
I’ve come a long way and I’ve made a lot of changes, but in the process I forgot the parts of me that defined myself, I don’t want to change the new parts because they now define me too.
This is who I am now, and I won’t be the same person in the future because we’re always changing, just remember to add parts not lose parts.
When was the last time you properly looked at yourself, and looked back at the past, have you slightly lost your way, forgotten something that once defined you, maybe it’s time to start again.
Often we find ourselves changing or attempting to better ourselves, and it usual comes after a big life event, I mean I’m doing it right now, but we always try to leave our past self behind, why? You’ll just end up lost again eventually.
Why run away from yourself, why can’t you take who you are and add stuff, not subtract, I suppose it’s okay to change yourself for the better but a whole new person? Why? You’ll say you’ll be happier but you’re just letting bits of you die.
It’s okay to grow, the world is forever changing, and I encourage you to change with it, but just don’t forget who you really are.
Don’t change that for anyone.