“Stop comparing where you’re at with where everyone else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, & ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey.” — Daniell Koepke
According to ‘the Internet’ Daniell Koepke is the founder of a Tumblr called the ‘Internal Acceptance Movement’ (IAM) which discusses recovery, self care, mental health, body image, self acceptance & issues of social justice.
At first I thought, “sounds like a bunch of hippy crap…” “Platitudes & promises…”
I visited the site & started to look around. There are a lot of saccharine things; catch-phrases & clichés. However, I found that a lot of her Tumblr was relevant. They may sound fanciful but, when you think them through, a lot of the quotes & points Daniell makes resonate & remind me to stay on task. To not get caught up in petty arguments or feel rejected or neglected. I am in control of how I feel, no one else. How I react to a situation is entirely up to me even if I am baited.
On bad days I fall for the bait every single time. When I am feeling insecure or suspicious everything that is said & done around me makes me feel bad about who I am & I question my worth. There are a few people who remain in my life that seem to have the ability to take control of my self-confidence & flush it away. On good days, which is most of the time, I don’t even notice those people or I pity them.
My aim is to become indifferent to them. To see the barbs they throw at me & care not if they hit me. That would be a glorious experience.
It has been 450 years since William Shakespeare was born – a very long time.
It has been 20 years since I saw ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ performed in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens with my wise Aunt Jan Marie – a long time.
I fell in love & his words have adorned the margins of every notebook I have scrawled in since.
So happy birthday Mr Shakespeare, you understood me then & you understand me now…
“Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen & shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school. & though she be but little, she is fierce.” — Helena in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare, 1590-5196
Oil on canvas by Joseph Mallord William Turner ‘Queen Mab’s Cave’ inspired by ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ & exhibited in 1846:
For my 30th birthday my family bought me a new camera. A Canon EOS 450D. I had always wanted to try my hand at ‘real’ photography – yes I was the annoying person at parties with the camera out – but I had never had a decent camera to really stretch myself.
I have been practicing with this camera for on/off 4 years now. So this year I decided I would do something that would stretch me & ensure that I learn – fast.
The aim? Take & present a photo of the sunset every day of the year 2014.
Each day I go out & take a photo of the sunset. Then I come inside, choose the best one & post it to the blog along with some words about sunsets.
I try hard to lay off Photoshop & only soften or sharpen the images with the occasional crop & colour saturation enhancement. This can be hard sometimes – especially when presented with a gloriously colourful sunset. It is easy to get digitally carried away – so I have learned to just take my shot & when it is a nice shot with lots of colours, I cross-post to Instagram (http://instagram.com/violet_ashes) with some fancy filters just for fun. That way I get it out of my system & keep my photos for the Tumblr as natural as possible.
I have tried to take the shot from approximately the same position every day – but sometimes I am out & about so I take it from a different location. On the odd occasion I simply cannot do it I ask a friend to ‘guest’ for me that day – which has produced a couple of really nice shots.
It is only April & already I have learned so much from this project – not only about photography but about commitment & patience. Getting that ‘perfect shot’ is harder than I thought it would be. I have learned all about my camera & I am still learning.
As I approach taking photo number 100, I look back on what I was taking at the start of the year &, already I can see how far I have come.
I feel positive about this project – it gives me a sense of accomplishment & satisfaction that I can produce something beautiful. I am gaining confidence, not just with photography but in my writing & presentation of myself to the world as an artistic person. It is a learning curve & I am happy to be on the journey.
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy & vague. Who shall say where the one ends & the other begins?”~ Edgar Allan Poe
I have thought a lot about boundaries lately. Boundaries between friends, lovers, Man & Wife, the living & the dead; the best situations, & those in which I thrive, are where the boundaries are clearly defined so that one can push them whenever one needs. There is no point scratching at a door that disappears but if you can climb in through the window it is all the more exciting don’t you think?
So when you are a girl whose instinct is usually dead against her, who rarely follows her gut because her gut is almost always wrong, what do you do when it starts screaming louder than it ever has? When your whole body says, “no, no, no” but you brain says, “Hey, what they’re saying is logical, it will all be fine?” What do you do with that? At some point do you have to stand up & say NO. Or do you have to put your trust in those around you & in their experience & hope (because that’s all that you can do at this point)? I would like to hear from people whose instinct is always dead-on & learn how to find & follow mine… I have exhausted all the conversation options around me – they end in me telling other people that they’re right that I shouldn’t worry. Yet, there is this nagging, beating, banging in the back of my brain saying they are not right, they are not right at all.