What kind of life do I want to document? This question really hit me yesterday. It made me re-examine how I spend my days, and how much more I wish I could write home about. As I reflected on things, I also ended up scrolling through my various Instagram accounts. Over the years I’ve been better at documenting my life on social media than in a diary, especially the significant events.
I Yearn More than Appreciate
Looking through not just 2020 but 2019 and 2018 too, I noticed a theme: I spend a lot of time living in reverse.
This is very evident on my private personal Instagram account where most of my photos are of past travels or some other form of yearning. When they aren’t about the past it’s because I’m in the midst of travelling and am sharing those snapshots. Occasionally I post about something special or noteworthy — first Christmas with the boyfriend, meeting a renowned author, reconnecting with dear friends.
There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia. Although, if that’s most of what I post, how do I even view the present? Why do I not capture it more, given my love for photography? A part of the reason is that despite spending a lot of time on social media I value my privacy. I prefer it if acquaintances don’t quite know if I’m at home or abroad. It cuts out the feelings of obligation to “catch up sometime.”
Another part however, I must admit, is also about constantly wishing for the greener grass and the bluer seas. I often wish I didn’t live right smack in an urban jungle because I prefer suburban surroundings. I also prefer a temperate climate to a humid tropical one. I miss seasons, and autumn in particular. I miss hiking through forests. I miss sitting by the beach and staring out into the expanse of the waters. That’s why I’m always eager to hop onto the next plane, even though I suffer from motion sickness.
Looking for Inspiration in the Now
2020 took away that easy mobility. I was stuck on this island with no chance of leaving. Any other year I would’ve felt like a part of me withered. What saved me from that was love from the person I’ve come to call my favourite of all. I threw my energy into building up our relationship into something I’d never dared to dream of. That took a lot of my attention, thank goodness for that.
Creatively though, I felt stuck. There were no vast starry skies, no flowery open fields, and no waves crashing to the shores for me, so I almost forgot how to pick up my camera. This year I want to change that. I want to allow myself to capture the mundane. I want to seek inspiration where I am right now, instead of wishing for elsewhere. With that, I challenge myself to pick up my camera, and live the kind of life I want to document.
What do you want to do differently this year?