The lists of To-Dos for the mere sake of ‘To-Do’ are perhaps the most willing and gratifying of accomplishments. Yet through the blur of our daily life’s tasks, they become lost, pushed back behind the pressing assignments and responsibilities of school, work, appointments, and bills. Business as usual. Daily grind (as usual).

Still, with our attempts at completing such duties, we tend to fall into ruts. Coming home tired means Netflix is infinitely more appealing. Our minimal free time is spent sleeping an extra hour or loafing around and scrolling through our phones in the hopes of a short lived distraction from our otherwise stressing concerns of every-day life. And then one day, we wake up, and we realize our dreams were left on hold, our passions pushed aside, our skills dwindling through our lack of practiced passion and decreased dedication. A ‘rut’ of sorts either welcomed as a dire lesson well learnt or further overlooked and ignored in the hopes that avoiding such issues and past dedications will rid us of any guilt or remorse - for now. This latter option (your blue pill, if you will) serves nothing but furthering feelings of emptiness, defeat, and loss of control. A zombie-like state in which our true potential and loves are shadowed under life’s obligations and the excuse of no time, no energy, or no point. Through the years, you will continue burying the very evidence of your essence until you are so numb that it has become normal.

Or you can take your red pill. Pick up your paint brush again and paint. Press flowers as you once adored. Read more, write more, dance more, swim more, play music more, join a recreational sports team, get out more, make plans more, create more. Work on yourself more.

Through months and years, we can begin to take ourselves for granted, and in turn that feeling will always reflect back onto us via the outside world. Until you have filled your void(s) or lack, there will be nothing and no one to fill them for you. And how can you fill them? By making time to do the things you love, and in turn, to fall in love with yourself again. There are always reasons why one shouldn’t pursue their passion, pick up a new hobby, or dabble in their favorite art again - but is it really the time constraints that are stopping us or is it the fear?

In simply curating and editing this photo set, I was nervous. “Once upon a time, I practiced self portraits. Once upon a time, I loved photo compilations. Once upon a time, I loved learning photo manipulation.” Once upon a time, all that stopped me from doing what I love was the fear of failure or the induced laziness curated by my own low-level, weak thoughts.

The things we choose to love to do create who we are and (if done correctly) improve our skills and selves. I can’t say that blogging and photography “make you a better person” per-se, but I will argue that I write essays faster with such practice. I can say with confidence that the more I shoot and edit for the sake of experience the more I have pushed capabilities to the point where I occasionally see my work and giggle with excitement.

To push ourselves to create for the sake of learning new skills and bettering our own minds is rewarding enough to rekindle any passions or motivations that have diminished in the past. And through that, we find our love again and our self respect, which in turn will always boomerang back to us from our observed reality. Editing this set admittedly took me several weeks from start to finish. It was my most challenging and demanding self-portrait shoot to date in which I learned many new camera and photoshop skills along the way. Skills I am more than excited to try and master in the near future - and then, try something new again. It’s pushed the thoughts and boundaries of what I thought my blog posts could be and opened a labyrinth of ideas for future projects and possibilities.

Watch this space.

Jacobs Sweater // SheIn Pants // Gucci Shoes and Dionysus GG Supreme Bag

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