My quest this week is to rediscover the joys of creativity. To find sparkles and sunshine. Along the way, I wondered, why am I feeling so fragile? Where is the sense of doom and gloom and darkness coming from? I realized, even though I celebrate my unique voice and vision, I still fall into the comparison trap. I made this graphic at the beginning of the post to illustrate what I must remember. These three animals could feel pretty dismal about their tails. The deer could say, I wish I had a long fluffy red tail and the fox could say Oh, I would love dramatic stripes and the raccoon could say If only I had a petite, tiny tail...
We can spend our lives longing for more, for better, for otherness. And I slid into that space creatively. I wanted to be certain that my photographs looked more professional. I tend to get tipped horizons or off-kilter vertical lines, like this playground equipment. I know it's barely noticeable, but I notice. I can fix a lot with editing, but that takes time. Photos languish on my computer instead of being posted. It's all even trickier with crutches. I wanted steadier hands. I wanted images like I find on professional photography websites. I wanted beautiful and clean and enchanted. My expectations, somehow, grew and grew and grew. Until I froze.
This week I rewrote my goals for photography. I want my photographs to be our visual history. I want to play with light. And I know that most people would wonder how I could be so critical. I am a massive overachiever. I see roots in my childhood, before my CMT diagnosis, when I worked so hard just to keep up. I felt like I needed to shine to compensate for my clumsiness on the playground. Another hard part was that many of the messages, especially in my childhood, were that disabilities were okay if you had an above-and-beyond skill to compensate. Think Rudolph saving Christmas. Proving yourself worthy brought acceptance, or so I thought.
I'm going on a tangent, though. I can write an entire post about how disability stories shaped my ideals (and disappointments) as I went through avoidance, crash, and management.
Okay, enough for tonight. We are going on an adventure with my mom tomorrow. More photos to share! And I am collecting strategies that are guiding me out of the burnout swamp. One sure-fire strategy is sleep. Lots of sleep.
So, wishing you good dreams, both daydreams and night-dreams. Let us all celebrate the unique and wild and free. I give myself the freedom to create and share and enjoy this journey. Blaze the trail :)