If 2017 was the year to experiment and make all of those mistakes one makes in their early 20’s, 2018 was all about learning to cope with the consequences of said actions.
2017 was by far one of the hardest years I ever had to live through. Not only was it laced with toxic relationships and an array of bad habits, but I also lost touch with my creative side, which, in my opinion, is like intellectual suicide for any person who considers themselves to be an artist. I had no idea where I was going with my work and if I even had a right to still call myself a photographer. Truly, can you rightfully call yourself an artist if you haven’t produced any works in months? Are you a painter if you haven’t painted upon a canvas for a rather long period of time? The question troubled me and created an undying inner debate. To this day, I cannot figure out the answer.
The more I questioned my authenticity, the less I felt compelled to pick my camera up and let the creative energy flow. It created this sort of unbreakable vicious circle and before I knew it, I hadn’t produced any work by the time the year came to an end.
2018 is the year I am most proud of creatively. Part of me feels it has to do with the deception of the year prior and the need to accomplish something I had never accomplished before.
A very good friend of mine, who’s interests include holistic and spiritual healing practices , noticed my behaviour in the early months of the new year and encouraged me to take action. According to her, creative beings need to create and refraining from doing so has shown to be incredibly detrimental to their well being. She quite frankly forced me to charge up my canon’s battery and schedule a creative lifestyle shoot with a model I had been interested in working with for months. To my surprise, the photos turned out millions of times better than I had expected them to and the satisfaction I felt left me no choice other than to keep on going. And so I did.
I quickly became so busy, both with my very own creative projects as well as contracts, that I had very little to no time left to allocate to my old habits. For the first time in a long time I felt as though I was on the right track. This new cycle naturally gave me the tools I needed to think clearly and focus on what was truly important to me. It was also a lot easier for me to weed out any and all negativity I had left in my life.
Thinking clearly also allowed me to notice who I needed to extract from my life as a whole. This is when I learned the most important lesson of the year, and that was simply that your entourage is a lot more important than you may think. For a long time I had been surrounding myself with toxic, negative people who never did have my best interest at heart. We had shared some interests, of course, but those were mostly our shared habits that were often not positive . I would actually go as far as to say that most of them would have been almost glad to see me fail as their own self confidence was at an all time low.
I very naturally distanced myself from said individuals and was surprised by the ways in which everything changed drastically. It was as if this purge allowed for better, positive, and likeminded people to walk into my life and stay for all the right reasons. Never have I been surrounded by such incredible individuals and it is important to point out that having a solid support system is not only incredibly valuable but also tremendously inspiring for someone like me.
Needless to say I have SO much more to learn but this time I am excited to see what lessons 2019 has in store. Looking back on the past two years has been both difficult and eye opening, but to be quite honest, I would not have wanted it any other way.