So my time off work this week has been so amazing. I made sure that I stayed in my work routine of getting up early each morning to go to the gym, come home and cook up a healthy breakfast and then get started on the day whether that be exploring London, going to the park, putting a hair treatment in, having a bath, a massage, a facial, or food shopping and doing lots of healthy food prep.
Having that space this week got me thinking about how I treat and speak to myself – why do I act and think the way that I do?
Yesterday I wanted to get out of the house and take some pictures for my new blog, which actually turned into a bit of an insightful and enlightening expedition. I didn’t really know what I wanted to take pictures of, but I thought wandering around London would be a good start, exploring new parts of the city and getting to know my ‘new city friend.’ So I started at Tottenham Court Road and wandered the streets looking around for photos opps.
I noticed that as I was wondering around I was getting frustrated with people walking slowly. So I started walking faster and cutting them off to get around them. Then it kept happening and I started getting more angry and impatient – WHY ARE PEOPLE WALKING SO SLOW!?!? Then it hit me. I didn’t have anywhere to be…? I was in a manic rush to get…. no where. Okay, so let’s try this again. Stop. breathe. Look up.
I tried to take it all in, taking a few snaps here and there. I would flick back through the photos and I hated every single one of them. Then it started:
“I’m shit at this, why am I even bothering to pretend to be a photographer”
“I’m not creative”
“This camera is crap, it takes crap pictures. My iPhone would be better than this junk, but I can’t use my iPhone because that’s not what bloggers do”
“I should have never started this blog, what a waste of time”
An hour had gone by and I had only taken a few pictures. I had somehow made my way down to Temple, which sits right on the river Thames overlooking the city. Utterly defeated I sat down on a bench and looked at the fairy lights above me – thinking. I was thinking about these perfect images I wanted on my camera but when I looked around me all I saw was dull, grey boringness. The perfect picture was elusive to me, always out of reach. Wait. THAT’S IT!!
I was so busy looking for perfection around me, a perfection that didn’t exist and I was getting frustrated with myself. Yet I was missing all the other amazing, imperfect photo opportunities that were just in front of me but I was completely blind to. And to be honest I still couldn’t see them, I just knew they were there. So I started snapping EVERYTHING. Every angle I could think of, distance, up close, every tree, lamp post, building, leaf. Just look for the imperfection and take the pictures. The only person who really cares if you’re crap or not, is you.
Spending the afternoon just aimlessly walking through the backstreets of London gave me a lot of time to myself, and the space I needed to think. I was thinking about how I had approached taking pictures earlier, about how rigid my thinking was. Is this how I approach my life? Just a rigid black and white way of how you’re supposed to live? You’re either perfect, or a failure? It dawned on me that my thinking and approach to life had become just as inflexible as my approach to taking pictures (I know, deep…). That needed to change. It may not change in this instance, but at least I was now aware and could work on it.
Who would have thought just a little outing in London would have totally opened up my mind about myself! I got so much value out of that – outside of the pictures of course. And to be honest, once I got home and uploaded them onto my computer, they really weren’t that bad. Or maybe they were… but in the end it doesn’t really matter. They allowed me to spend time with myself, to learn to be patient with myself and others around me and realise that life isn’t black or white, but all shades of grey, maybe colours, textures, angles, shapes, movement…. or anything you want it to be.