Personal Musings On A Different Way Of Living
I had Friday off last week.
It was much needed after two weeks of 11pm finishes and a rather pressured period of work. I didn’t do much with it, and I think in large that’s the beauty.
I’ve come to realise during this period of isolation and lockdown, that doing not much at all rather suits me, but it’s not really something that life allowed for ‘before’. I’m sure you can relate, any moment not spent working packed with to do lists, events and scheduled time to ‘relax’. Of course there are things I’ve missed and would never lose, time with loved ones and travel in every sense of the word (exploring new cities, holidaying, staycations, weekends home) – but what I’ve come to love are those days that have nothing but a vast space of time ahead in them. No plans to have to work around, no lists of things to tick off (albeit I still end up making these, but the contents are more like shower, read, bake than ‘be here by 6pm’).
It’s been years since I had days like those, probably university, or if not then before … the sorts of days that as a kid you’d find boring and dull and moan at your parents to fill with activities, but as an adult are so rare and full of opportunity and calm that you wish for them more than once in the blue moon.
So Friday I had my day off. I laid in until about 930am before a cup of tea in bed. I read a little. I cleaned. Unpacked some new deliveries I’d received (more books, an unhealthy addition that’s worsened in lock down). Read. Sat in the garden. Enjoyed some lunch with Jase. Read. Baked a banana bread. Played some music. Pottered around. Cooked us dinner. Watched a movie. Slept. A day full of nothing really, but in reality packed with so much goodness.
– Rest, creativity, organisation, calm. –
What I’ve come to realise is when I have those moments or days where ‘time’ has opportunity attached to it, rather than an overwhelming sense of places to be and things to have done, my creativity comes out. I’ve noticed it in a few forms – reading, creating art, watching movies, ‘designing’ the house layout, and of course photography. Photography is the form of creativity I fall on most often as my camera is often attached to my hip and I love the ability to capture a moment and share it with you on here. Reading I fall into binges of, but typically this would be on holiday rather than a few pages here or there. Whilst I may not have finished many books this lock down, I’ve been stealing snippets here or there of tons of new books, mostly philosophical or creative books, and having the mental and physical time to indulge myself is a great pleasure. But the best thing on those days of nothing, is that I can pick it up when I choose and feel like it, rather than have that 30 designated minutes to force reading, creativity to something into. The other thing I’ve (finally) been doing is putting some of my creative tools to use; paints, paintbrushes, sketchbooks, journals, creative books. I’ve been buying (in unhealthy amounts) everything and anything I find that sparks my interest when it comes to artist and creativity equipment – I can see the psychology in my behaviour, buying things in a desperate attempt to facilitate and find a way to release the creativity inside. But I finally put them to use and have been doing little sketch tutorials and following a watercolour guild here or there.
I’ve talked about this all somewhat regularly over the lockdown period on my blog, so apologies if it feels like repetition; the truth is, it’s because it’s what I’m enjoying and thinking about the most.
In fact, going back to Friday, after a day of total indulgence in nothing; reading, thinking, relaxing. I started thinking about all the things I loved and what they could become in the future – the potential for them to shape a different way of living even.
Could I be an interiors photographer perhaps, documenting luxury hotels and high end residential. Merging my passion of interiors, travel and photography into a creative business. I thought about, writing and pushing my love for travel further in this space. The pipe dream once was to be an editor. Was there something in that? I often think about boutique stores stocking my favourite stationary, clothes and interiors. None of these new thoughts, but ideas and creative sparks that fly in an out of my conscious every month or so – outlining little trails for alternative paths and seeds for thoughts to grow from. Travel (and being by the sea), interiors and photography themes running through my veins constantly.
My thoughts and musings of an ideallic, peaceful way of living supported through a creative outlet (oh the dream right?) on Friday were compounded by the search for a weekend away in Cornwall. I’d been looking at the most beautiful home stays, coastal properties with sea views and just the most stunning interiors, as a potential break for later this year – and I think all of this combined got my creative sparks flying for what an alternative way of living might look like.
Anyway, I decided to throw my thoughts to Jase. Bounce around the ideas and potential themes of my musings. He Humoured me well – I am most definitely a thinker and sometimes I need someone to share and make sense of what my head is spinning out.
And what he came back with, in regards to my myriad of questions, thoughts and ideas, was something quite interesting, and actually a spot on response (he knows me well after 12 years). He said my interest in design is broad, perhaps too broad to be pigeon holed into one discipline – photography, interiors, travel, writing etc. That in fact, I’m a little loftier in my visions and ideas. I don’t necessarily want to be the grafter writing to deadlines, or the photographer creating someone else’s editorial, but actually my personality, approach and skillset is more akin to an editor curating the vision and bringing together the ideas and pieces to create the whole.
– The conductor, less the violinist. –
I felt the greatest lift from my shoulders on his response. He was utterly right and it was a relief to make sense of things in my mind, to bring some order. I like being the leader, I have a vision and I like orchestrating the component parts into something beautiful. (In fact in a way that is very similar to my actual job.) I understand some of the creative elements I love to varying standards, photography, writing, interiors, etc. But to do just one wouldn’t fulfil me – and I’m probably not ‘honed’ enough really to be the master of one of those single creative disciplines. I need and want a bit of all of those things, and once again it bought me back to why this blog has meant so much to me. It is the creative space in which I am the editor. It’s a small taste for something bigger and broader that could combine all of the creative and design elements I enjoy.
Someone in the past had mentioned ‘directors’, in the same vein as editors, to me, as a way of making sense of my thoughts and grapples with releasing my creativity. Often having such a clear idea but never really being able to create myself the exact thing I had in mind.
And Jase was right, I love too many elements of design to want to only do one thing, they’re also all hobbies versus a nurtured career path. The opportunity perhaps is in creating something that touches all of those elements in some form, and brings them all together.
There isn’t an answer. Like I said it is mostly day dreams, that flitter in and out from time to time. But it did get me thinking of some ideas for future projects. Thoughts on creating a different way of living, involving more of my passions and making it more of a reality than some intangible dream of being an editor.
Creativity, the coast, writing, photography, interiors; bringing together disparate elements of my hobbies and passions, into something unified, that could hold the potential to shape a way of life too.
Being able to articulate and order my thoughts actually gave me some form of creative release and direction too. Something I very much needed to help my creativity (and most critically remove the shackles I put on myself) … I don’t have to be the master of one art form or have it figured out, simply having fun trying ideas out, dabbling in sketching, painting, writing and reading is perfect enough regardless of any bigger thoughts.
– in fact within all the creativity books I’ve read, the single consistent is to enjoy the process, rather than try to create the perfect output, especially as a beginner –
The joy is in the journey. One thing that‘s truer than ever is how much I need and enjoy those creative releases and making time for them must be something I prioritise more. Regardless of whether they were a future job or a simple hobby and creative outlet for fun. Aside from photography, it’s probably been years since I thought about journaling or drawing, and yet now the space has been created these are the things I’ve come back to. And I love it.
If you made it this far through my ramblings and musings, very well done. This blog was much more for me to write and clear my thoughts than to mean anything constructive or valuable to you, but you never know, sometimes it’s these brain dumps that people resonate the most with. Utter truth, nonsense and unfiltered subconscious coming to the conscious.