I have been documenting the highs of writing: the adrenaline and joy of creating a tangible piece of my mind.
I have experimented with fictional characters that embody my character and have included narrations of my voice. Yet, there are more lows than highs lately. There is the infamous writer’s block, the procrastination, the distractions and then, then there’s this:
The anxiety of doubting one’s work, the mess left of the room you inhabit with handwritten notes, the books you picked up to get inspired and left after thirty pages and the fear that some things cannot be expressed. This is my vulnerable mess.
the state of being or living alone; seclusion:
to enjoy one’s solitude.
My choice of subject originates from my fascination of the feeling that solitude evokes. My interest for this concept came from the comfort I was able to create for myself when choosing to spend time for and by myself. It was noted by an increase in change how easy it is to adapt when you separate the feeling of loneliness with the enriching sense of solitude. Solitude has personally always been a provisional aspect I needed. I have yearned for the temporary breaks I physically and mentally long for to feel myself grow into my character and adjust to my romanticism of time.
This collection surrounds the concept of solitude strangers enjoy both in public and in the comfort of their spaces. During this project, I contemplated the ethical issues with my invasion of privacy of those who I photographed. This ended the morning that the man whose window faces mine started looking into my room. I often wake up feeling lonely, as though I am the only person waking up in the dark. That morning, I looked into his kitchen and saw him making coffee. I don’t think he knows it, but I joined him and drank mine while he stood by his window.
Throughout the months that this project took place, I noticed my focus shifting from technique to authenticity. Viewing the vulnerability that strangers expose when enjoying time alone transformed this theme into simplicity, where the narrators of the photographs took all significance.
I was 17, looking in the mirror and tying my hair in a low bun when thinking about appearing like a journalist. I then noticed the encouragement women get for their feminine features in the street and the lack of it in the office. I realised that long hair was not encouraged in several occupations. I realised that I doubted my abilities of writing when my hair was down. And I realised: We associate feminine features with a lack of ability to work due to the traditional roles that have not yet been eradicated. I no longer want to overthink my clothes and my makeup, my hair and my shoes when going to work. I no longer want to feel guilty for liking my long hair. I realise this has been an ongoing view for years and I no longer want to link every physical decision with my occupation. I no longer want to feel insecure when going make up free or be expected to wear a shirt that is never revealing or wear my hair up because I want to look ‘professional’. I want to feel beautiful and I want to feel that way with whatever makes me feel that way. I don’t want to doubt my red lipstick and I don’t want to doubt my hair if I didn’t straighten it that morning. Women come in every shape and style and are made by the decisions and choices they have made about their bodies. I hate that i have been moulded into thinking that the features that make me feminine should be hidden in the workplace.I wish they knew that female empowerment came with all of the embodiment of the name. Not just a brain and two legs. I wish they knew that women will always find a way to be women. Whether it’s their pride in their appearance or their ability to shut you up without saying the words and instead using a response that will leave you wondering their potential. Their ability to make decisions, their intellectual abilities, their compassion or their art are what makes women professional, not the outfit that they planned the night before. I hope that the day I have to get ready for work, I’ll leave the house feeling confident, and not uncertain of the physical choices I made.
I am now 18. I cut my hair because I relied on it to feel beautiful. I wear lipstick like it’s lip balm and I love wearing red. And I no longer feel like my clothes and my makeup need to change for specific environments because I feel proud of what I have to say.
That’s when I knew he was the one
We had been silent for 2 hours after a discussion
when I mentioned: “well if you don’t know how to fix it and I can’t, we’re fucked”
to which he responded with: “what do we do now then?”
I smiled, holding in laughter and bursted.
He responded the same way
We both mentioned “this is so stupid”
to which he followed with “I love you”
It wasn’t the first time he had said it
but it meant more than I was used to.
After prolonging a set of goals, due to the immense fear of failing when tackling them, I have decided to act on the consuming thoughts of what my life could be. Writing them down will push me as it will no longer be a part of the thoughts that provoke me to sit and think of the things I want to accomplish.
- I will act more rather than put it off. Procrastination is a normalised factor obtained by a tired individual. I want to upgrade my predicted grades now that I found the perfect university for me. in order to do so, I will work from 4-7 during weekdays. I will write every essay to my fullest potential, rather than simply getting it done and feel proud of doing an average piece of writing.
- I will start fulfilling my desire to start photography. I will work with what I have now and will only think of possible cameras once I know it’s truly for me. I have been putting this one off for the past 2 years as I thought I could only start filming or doing photography once I had a proper camera and a prominent editing software.
- I will stop eating unhealthy meals in order to feel like I’m taking a proper ‘study break’. This has never felt rewarding and I need to go back to my eating habits as to internally feel as though even if I haven’t accomplished something that day, I was good to myself in some way.
- My sleeping issues. After 3 years of insane lack of sleep and numerous naps during the daytime, I need to give myself the advice I rush to give friends who prioritised studying over sleep. I will enjoy my mornings enough to motivate me to have them. I want to sleep early and wake up at 6 am. It will be an extreme change as for the past years, 6 am has been the time I would start closing my eyes. That extra hour before getting ready will be used to finish any tasks I would have stayed up for. It will be used to have my morning coffee and read. Now that I am in a long-distance relationship, calling late at night has made me feel as though I had to sleep late for the call to be worthwhile. After communicating this with my boyfriend, he has made it clear that my sleep is a priority. And I’m grateful for that.
- I will read regardless of the fact that I have other things to focus on. If the previous points work, I should have time for everything. And I cannot wait to get my time back.
- I will start writing on this blog again. I will do it for myself, regardless of the small amounts of views. The things I write will continue to be for me and the people who I am privileged to share it with.