Ugh. I’m having so many feels today. Yesterday I came to the conclusion that I’m still, as always, stuck in my comfort zone. Maybe it’s because I just watched an emotional scene in a TV show, maybe it’s because it’s my grandfather’s birthday today (he would have turned 89) and feelings of grief over him and my uncle (life’s too short) are at the foreground once more, but right now I’m feeling that enough is just enough.

I’m just tired of not living up to my potential, of not trying hard enough, of not trying new things. And #HonestyTime that goes for everything in life. Inaction has dictated my days long enough. Less thinking (overthinking) and more doing, more learning, and going with the flow. I want to take back control of the hours in my day, which often fly by and at the end of the day I’m left wondering… how the hell did that happen?

Over the past few months I’ve learned to exercise more (from yoga/ Pilates to mixed martial arts), and I’ve learned to let go of my anger for the most part. As a result I’m better able to de-stress and to let things that would have bothered the fuck out of me before just bounce right off me.

But there’s a restlessness in me, a roaring lioness (oh hi there, Lea). I want to accept her. So over the next day (or maybe 2) I’m going to really think of what else I’d like to try, or learn. Not things that I “should be” trying according to what’s hot on Pinterest (e.g. I will NOT learn how to make macaroons). Things that I truly feel would fit me. And I actually feel excited to think about… the endless possibilities.

(Two posts in a day! I got behind somewhat because I wasn’t feeling too awesome this week so this is me catching up.)

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These two are mostly meant to set a mood for myself, to inspire myself for a next shoot. I.e. these are the kind of photos I will take and share regularly during 52 weeks: photos meant to build upon. 

Man. It’s really, really hard for me to pick up the camera these days. I always thought it was because I didn’t feel inspired, or didn’t have ideas. Yes, that is how it started. But now I have ideas, and I still struggle to work on them. I’m not sure what it is. This project is good for me, but the struggle will remain for a while, I suspect. I can only do my best for now, and hope that at some point I will break this cycle. I will be able to move, do, act willingly. I’m learning to be an artist again.

I realized I contradicted myself in my April 10th post: I wrote that fear holds me back a little re: other people’s expectations, and then the next moment I wrote that I don’t need validation from other people anymore. Well, that doesn’t make any sense… but I know the latter is truthful to how I feel. I don’t need external validation. So where is the fear coming from?

…from within myself.

Duh.

It’s my own expectations that I fear I can’t live up to all the time. I fear what I can do. I fear the potential in me, and I fear trying to tap into that. It’s that damn comfort zone still holding me back, after all this time. After all this introspection I’ve been doing, I’m STILL surprised by the obvious conclusion, the one I’ve drawn many times before. It – the unwillingness to veer off course – still catches me unawares. All the more reason to keep this project going and moving forward, swerve to the left a little, swerve to the right a little. Just no more U-turns.

It’s been a very, very busy weekend – we went to our nephew’s (and sister’s) birthday party on Saturday and had a blast together – but were home a little late. No bother! Sunday we paid a visit to the garden center to a) get a little inspired for project Take Back the Yard, and b) to buy our first plants of the new season.

That of course also means I get to indulge my succulent / cacti obsession, and bring home a few new plants:

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A Schlumbergera cactus – I already have one, but it’s a baby and it will probably take a few years to reach flowering status. This one (or should I say: 3 in one pot) only cost me EUR 1,39 – a no-brainer.

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And two living stones (Lithops – I’ve wanted these ever since I first found out they exist) in the exact color that I prefer. I re-potted them together. It’s a temporary set-up: I am still on the look out for pumice/gravel to add it to the soil because these little fellahs like it so much. I’ll re-pot when I find it!

I’m still working on trying to get settled into blogging. Please bear with me :)

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As a book lover, I feel honored and humbled to have a few of my own photos used on book covers. With Reading & Reviewing (which I will update soon, I have been working on a review) I’m already trying to combine my Two Great Loves, and it just feels so good to be able to do it in another way as well.

Here’s a few new ones:

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A note on Facebook: at some point I ran so, so many Facebook pages. I tried to keep organized and somewhat updated, although near the end I realized: what is the point? Reaching people (fans!) on Facebook is becoming increasingly harder because Facebook makes it harder for those of us who have a small fan base, a fan base I appreciate and want to keep in touch with! So I’m going forward with two pages: Karin Elizabeth (my artist page, English and all around about art AND my business from here on out) and Reading & Reviewing. The rest is history.

Then a final remark on Pinterest – I love it. I’ve been using it a lot more since there’s no longer a 3, or 6, board limit on secret boards. I prefer to keep my moodboards (and other personal thoughts that I’m collecting useful information on) private, a personal preference. It has something to do with my enthusiasm: when I work on a series or a project in secret, I find it more exciting and it keeps the pressure off as well.
I don’t do well, you see, with keeping promises and pushing through once it’s clear to me that people’s expectations are high. That might not be the healthy approach to art (fear holds me back a little), but there’s a positive flip side.
I have recently understood for myself that I am at heart an introvert – and find this method comforting and soothing. It keeps me focused and feeling more free. I don’t need other people’s validation anymore to feel good about what I’m working on. I can now work on it how I want, when I want – and feel excited about when I finally do show everyone the finished project. #HonestMinute

Anyway, I do hope to see you there for other things. We’re going to be re-doing the patio in our backyard this summer (project: Take Back the Yard) and Saturday we’ll be doing some shopping to get that started. So I’m going to browse around a little. Feel free to @ me with any of your ideas!

[/end social networking ramblings]
(but it is just so much a part of life these days, isn’t it?)