Ever feel like you don't quite fit in or belong where you are? I'm sure many people can say yes to this statement. However, whether you say yes or no is not what's important. What's important is what you do about it. If you do feel lonely, sad, neglected or weird about your situation it's quite normal and okay but if you are content with staying that way and just "putting up with it" you might want to think twice. This is not to say that each person doesn't have their own comfort zone, yet maybe coming from an artist/travelers perspective my idea of comfort might be a bit different than the average person. And that is okay to. What I am trying to get at here is that at least for me, once I start to feel complacent, strange or awkward to the point of sadness in my surroundings it is time to make changes. Big or small it doesn't matter just the act of stepping back and taking a new approach or look at things is my goal.
For the past few months if you have kept up with my blog you will know that I made the decision to stay/work at my east coast art studio instead of what I normally do which is live out West. Whether this was a good or bad decision is debatable (thank you mother nature). Point being I threw myself a curve ball and relied on intuition placing me where I thought I needed to be. To give you some back story technically my "home" is in New York however, due to jobs/ freelance and my own excitement to explore, I have been spending a good majority of the past 5 yrs (10 months a year) away from New York and out and about in the United States. It was amazing and exactly what I needed at the time. Then a few months ago I was feeling burnt out, mother nature was not kind to winter out west and I needed the comforts of "home". And you know the rest. After spending 3 months straight, minus a few failed road trip attempts,(mother nature we really need to talk about your timing)I began to get antsy, agitated and was feeling a bit like a failure and let down to myself and everyone around me. Mostly because everyone of my friends/clients back home kept reminding me of this crazy wild vagabond, rock star lifestyle I normally lead and here I was not sleeping, eating like crap and spending hours a day behind a computer editing/blogging/ and doing odd photo jobs to make ends meat. It was definitely at least in my mind the complete opposite of the world/pace I am used, and what people perceive me to be. This is not to say that to truly live one must meet all others expectations, but hey I am human after all and we all in some ways need others approval and love (to a certain extent).
Anyway, the more I thought about all the adventures and crazy things I normally do for work and pleasure the more depressed and anxious I got. In many ways it was like a catch 22 because I should have been enjoying my down time and relaxing after so many months/years of non-stop action yet, my brain had other ideas. Originally I just by passed the feelings of rejection, self-loathing and depression. I put aside my feelings and decided instead to just immerse myself in work and worry about the rest later. It worked for a good time, however eventually I had to own up to what I felt and how to handle my situation. I tried giving myself personal projects ( some worked, others well, didn't), and making my own deadlines to improve my career in the future. Now let's take a step back and exam that last sentence. Yes, I do believe it is important to plan for the future, however living for the future and not seeing what's in front of you can cause a bigger issue later own. Thus, by trying to be pro active this winter, making plans for the future, I missed out on being in the present.
Okay so this ins't the most upbeat cheerful post I have written but stay with me I do have a point. All in all I do not regret spending time molding my future in place of the present, in fact by doing so I learned many valuable lessons and feel stronger. At the same time, I am now more than ever very conscious of my present and making sure I take each day and be present. One of my best friends and someone I consider to be my true conscious at times when I am most lost and feeling vulnerable once said " You are where you are ment to be" At first I took this as just another cheesy quote. But going back now and understanding the emotions and frustration I have felt in these past few weeks this sentence makes sense more than ever. By taking control of our own reactions, interactions and influence within our space, we as people can adapt, grow and become comfortable with situations that may seem lost, frivolous or hurtful. We can transform our fears, hopes and desires into the environment around us not by seeing the negative or fear but by embracing the good, the opportunities and the immediate moment that we are in. Sometimes, life is a game of chance and other times it is what you make it to be. No matter whether I am flying at 15,000 feet in a Russian fighter jet, dropping cornices on a snowboard at 13,000 feet or shooting product shots safely in my art studio on a snowy Saturday afternoon, it is all relevant and all important. Each moment we make, each encounter we share with others is special in its own right and helps to make us the people we are; makes us braver, stronger, more comfortable in our own skin. Thus, able to share with others these experiences so they can also see in themselves hidden talents and a rightful place in this world.
Fast or slow no matter what pace my life takes at this very moment, it's okay and normal. I don't have to live up to expectations nor do I have to down play my troubles or doubts. We are all human and struggle is real. Whether it's an artist with depression or a rock star with excess money feeling lonesome. Deep down we all share the same universal needs, wants and desires; to be happy, loved and part of something bigger.