The longer silence lasts, the harder it is to break it.
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I want to be happy. Celebrate life, dance till dawn, walk around with a big smile, a skip in my stride, the lyrics of my favourite song on my lips. Laugh with my loved ones, have honest late night talks.. it’s been too long. Reality has been different lately. There were way too many dark days. I became an empty shell and couldn’t prevent it from happening. I mourn the wasted days spent confined by the cage of my mind. It was during another consuming phase when I realised that it can’t possibly be normal. I know that I’m actually fine. But for some reason, the irrational black hole keeps returning and I don’t want to lose more precious days feeling this way, being at the mercy of my mind. I’m going to speak to someone to figure out what’s going on.
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As a habit, I naively processed everything with the daily self-portrait. Honestly, intending to be real. But there are two kinds of people in social media that are scorned at: the ones who fake a perfect life and those who whine and try to get attention. Suddenly I realised that many people probably thought that I was overdramatizing about something that isn’t even there. Did I overshare? I wasn’t careful enough in my creative bubble, stupidly forgot there were so many eyes watching and judging (silly me, it’s called social media after all). How honest are you supposed to be online?
I’ve stopped sharing my self-portraits. I’ve become ashamed of using my emotions to create. And that’s deeply wrong. Most artists use their experiences and emotions, transforming them into something different, more beautiful. If fear of being judged holds me back, I’m a lost case.
My state of mind doesn’t go unnoticed by people in my everyday life. Friends start to worry. Suddenly I’m afraid whatever I write would be scrutinised and judged. My blog no longer feels like a safe harbour. No space to withdraw. At some point, I lose the courage to speak my mind. So I remain silent for a week (online). I scribble incoherent phrases and painful thoughts into my plain blue notebook instead. However, now I realise once again that I have to be honest with myself here or my thoughts will drown me sooner or later. Scrawling into a notebook is not enough.
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Life has been a countdown. Seven days till March 31, six, five, … We’re about to bring our first long-term project to an end. It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m so glad when it’s over, there’s a certain feeling of pride – and yet dread fills me when I think of the vernissage this Friday. I’m reminded of my graduation ceremony three years ago. It was horrible. My achievements were totally okay, probably even good. I had every reason to look back and feel proud, but I felt like a failure. Never good enough for certain people whose opinion I care about. Or never good enough for myself.
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Many changes have gone by unnoticed, the consequences only showing now. Our Thursday group might have dissolved due to shifting relationships and priorities. I try to be okay with it. Spring has finally decided to stay, the longer days chasing away the black clouds in my mind. Colourful blossoms are popping out everywhere. I’m getting closer to my classmates, careful approaches occurred in the last couple of weeks. The dynamics have changed, I’m not an outsider anymore. I was honest with them and got so much kindness in return.
People come, people go. I used to shield myself from possible loss, but I’ve come to realise that a moment of real connection is always worth the disappointment that might follow afterwards. Fortunately there are unshakable constants through all this change. Friends being there and bearing me even when I can’t stand myself anymore. Always listening, no matter how little sense I make.
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Three days. I’m going to treat myself with a lonely weekend in mountains afterwards – to create and celebrate being alive again. Just nature, my camera, my thoughts and me. I’ve been too dependent on others.
Whatever life has in store, I’m ready.
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PS: I found this song from Pedestrians CH, a band from my town, and fell in love with it. You might like it too.