I recently went on a nostalgic rabbit hole, going through the years of photos I’ve collected since my hands and brain could figure out how to work a camera. The subjects of my photographs shift like the seasons: friends, family, silly moments, scenery, random things I found amusing or interesting and some self portraits. It’s been a long while since I picked up an analog camera and while I’ve dabbled in it from time to time, this led me to another revelation about myself.
I find that my hobbies are many and varied. Some abandoned after the thrill of the passion has worn off. Some I no longer find joy in participating in because my mind wanders to the thought of “I can make money from this”. Some because another has piqued my interest.
Somehow, I relate the analogy of my many creative pursuits towards the changing being of myself and the relationships that I have in my life. Sometimes I wonder if I’m like an outlet version of a product: functional yet slightly defective. Perhaps this is the human condition. Or maybe one that some of us experience.
Hyperfixations. Lack of focus. Jumping thoughts. Manic energy fueled creative bursts. Times of decompression and idleness. Part of me wonders if I will ever have a Goldilocks happy ending: where I find the things that are ‘just right’ for me: a job, a partner, a social/friend group, a purpose, a direction, a home…
Maybe ‘rightness’ is like clothing sizes. At one point, you were able to fit into baby clothes. Yet now, decades later, you couldn’t even if you tried. Maybe some things are ‘right’ in those moments and ‘wrong’ in others. Perhaps it’s like truth. What is true now may not be true later.
I wonder if there’s ever an eternal truth. Something that stands the test of time, like your grandmother’s sewing machine or that hardwood dresser that could probably survive nuclear warfare.
I find sometimes I run dream to dream. Peering my head in through its doors, dancing around and still deciding, “no, this is not for me”. Perhaps it’s with rose colored glasses when I looked at old photographs, wondering what my life would be like if I had decided to stay and stick it out with one of my choices. A lot of ‘what ifs’ causes rumination that feels not so pleasant. I allow myself to bridge the gap between past and present. Never sulking or marinating in regrets but taking the lessons learned and applying it to my present life.
I think the most important thing for me to remember is to not make the same mistake twice. To actually learn from what I went through and being more conscious and deliberate in my choices.
The discernment of when to stay, when to go, when to commit, when to quit…Some people are lucky to be focused, knowing their objective. Yet for me, I find I am blessed I have so many interests yet simultaneously frustrated that I have not yet been able to spin the web and weave them all together.
Perhaps this process is much like building furniture. You start off with a bunch of pieces and an assortment of screws and nails. Soon enough, you’ll have something fully functional.
Day dreaming is the easy part. Dream building requires a bit of determination, grit and focus. Mitigating the frustrations along the way is a bit tricky. Reminding myself to play more, be more light hearted and not take everything so seriously is also a bit more difficult. Even as a child, I remember myself being very serious about my play. And my description of fun didn’t exactly match what most would think of as fun.
As I am in the beginnings of my third decade on this earth, my biological clock seems to tick. Subconsciously, I wonder if my focus should be towards a family and children. As a modern woman, I have the privilege of choice: whether or not to nuture a family unit. It seems the responsibility of making that choice myself is a heavy burden. There are gains and losses to either choice: to have children or not. Do I focus on my career first to build financial safety? Or shall my partner take care of this? These are questions I have been allowing my heart the time to meditate on. I know I have time but it seems that I require clarity. And the decision needs to be one that is in full alignment with my soul.
My energy, while I know is limitless when I am engaged, needs structure and direction. Currently it feels quite chaotic and a bit all over the place. The need for it to be reigned in seems to be the priority at hand. Lots of work to do and, in the words of a dear friend and mentor Shelagh has said, “when there’s a challenge, roll up your sleeves and relish in getting your hands in the clay” (paraphrasing here but you get the point).