No new post since the day after my 30th? What’s… what’s going on?
Oh. The usual. Me not really knowing what to do with myself, let alone write about it. Yup. I’m 30 years old and I’m still at that phase where I’m “figuring myself out”. (Confession: I think I will always be at that phase.)
I did start to change my website here somewhat. (Still working on it, it’s a hot mess now.) I have been longing for an online home for a while now. One place I can refer people who are interested to get to know more about me and my work, one place which shows who I am as a person but also as a photographer. I’m not good with blogging in a steady, regular way – but I do need a place where I can visually explain who I am and what I do. Hence the new portfolio section which this site opens with. It’s what I want to do right now: present my work in a place where I have independence and control.
I love flickr, of course, and Etsy, society6. But I like having my own site because with any network based website, I feel my work drowns in a huge community. Now I should to try and really actually make this site my own, more than just a domain name, some photos and one post every 3 months. So I’ll try – for myself – to work this out and at least have part of my identity figured out!
The past few weeks have been relatively uneventful. Sure, we’ve been continuing our wedding planning. I got the dress. We rented a kick-ass car. We decided what to do for our honeymoon. We’re pretty much decided on how we’re doing the party. The schedule is almost complete. We’re finalizing our guest list. I will be taking his last name. And we’ve got two wonderful photographers to document our happy day. Okay so I lied. A lot happened in the past few weeks, at least in the wedding department. (The final challenge? Getting the mister to suit up properly. Oh dear…)
Oh. And I’ve made some lifestyle changes. I started before Christmas. I’ve been eating healthier and exercising, with the goal to feel better and more energetic, but of course to also shed the pounds I’d gained in 2012 (quite a few to be honest!). I’m almost halfway to my weight-loss goal. And all I’m doing is making different choices. I’m proud of myself.
One of the things I’ve been doing is not eating bread anymore. I can’t digest wheat quite as well as other people, and leaving that out of my diet for the most part is helping with my general well-being. Also: it’s nice to not look like I’m 6 months pregnant after eating a sandwich.
Second, I’ve been “training” myself to drink more every day. I’ve never been a very thirsty person. I really have to tell myself, “Hey, you’ve only had two cups of coffee today and it’s already 5PM.” So now it’s more tea in colder months, and likely water in hotter months. So far so good
The other thing is trying to make exercise a part of my daily routine. I’m doing ballet exercises still, and on top of that I am currently participating in a Couch to 5K program through my iPhone app. When I bike, I go fast and hard. I like the thrill of a fast bike ride. Always have. There’s runner’s euphoria, but I have experienced biker’s euphoria plenty of times as well. So of course I can also walk. I can walk a long time, and keep a steady pace. I walked a lot for my former job, 2 to 3 hours daily, sometimes even 4.
But recently I’ve noticed that my body has an urge… to run. I’ll just be walking, briskly, steadily. And my feet want to lift up and go go go! But I can’t just go and do that. My asthma, for one. I also have a stubborn knee which needs to first get used to the idea of regular exercise. But also because I know runners. I know lots of you guys out there who run their asses off. And I know that if you want to be a kick-ass runner too, you need to build it up. So that’s what I’ve been doing. So far I’m having a blast. I like my running route (edge of town, quiet enough). I have super comfortable shoes (I actually went and invested in this, instead of buying new books. PROGRESS!). And for the first time in a long time, I actually quite naturally feel the desire to go out and walk and/or run. When I wake up in the morning, one of the things I look forward to? Going out. Which has never happened to me before. I’ve always had to push myself. This time around, it feels really different. Like I actually can go out and accomplish the 5K goal I’ve set for myself. And enjoy it.
But yes. Building it up slowly. My knee’s been giving me a hard time this week so I’m just walking and enjoying the SUNSHINE (Springs’s finally arriving – yesterday for the first time in what feels like aaaaaages, I have been sitting in my backyard with a book, soaking up sunlight) for the time being.
I’ve had a lot to work through over the past few months, one day I’ll feel comfortable enough to write about it. For now, I’m satisfied with knowing that I’m making progress.
I’m a winter child of the 80′s: yesterday I turned 30 years old. The morning started with Wil grinning at me, welcoming me to the “30 club”, and me screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” in a very, very high pitch. Very high.
Jokingly, of course. Because I woke up feeling… older. One day older.
Still, it is a milestone of sorts: the roaring twenties for me involved figuring myself out – which I’m still doing, basically. But there’s that society based set of expectations that comes with being in that thirty-something group. A set of expectations I’m sort of aware of, but ignoring with a smile on my face. I’ve never liked external pressures.
I will value the turning 30 milestone of life, but in my own way. Last year I started my small business; this year is when I hope and strive to take it to the next level. I’m ambitious, at 30. A lot more than I used to be. I’m proud of this development.
I’m getting married and am starting to focus on family life and prioritizing on other things. I’m letting go of a lot, and I’m trying to be a better person in ways that suit what we as a family unit would need.
While visiting Edinburgh this summer, I hopped into the Anthropologie store and stumbled upon a Q&A a Day book (by Potter Style), in which you answer one question every day for five years, allowing you to see yourself evolve and change, basically. And I thought to myself that I would like to do this from age 30 to 35, because I do think or hope I’ll experience a lot more in this time span than I have so far in my entire life. (But again – in my own way.)
So Wil got it for me for my birthday I’ve put it next to our coffee things, so when I wake up every morning, I can have my first cup of coffee and think about my question for the day.
I’ll be very curious to see how this looks once it’s completed, on January 19th 2018, when I fill in my final question. I wonder where I’ll be at in life then, on the eve of my 35th birthday. But the beauty of it is that while I have certain hopes and fears, it can go any which way. Life is unpredictable, full of surprises. At any age.
Keep calm. Be cool, sodapop. Things I’m telling myself as I enter the new year.
I can say genuinely that I feel very optimistic about the new year. Partially of course because Wil and I are tying the knot. We’re working through final bits of our wedding planning as I write this.
But also I feel like I can do a lot and accomplish a lot this year. Professionally, but also personally. I’d like to use this year to prove to myself more than anyone else that I can hold my own. That I can do anything I set my mind to. That I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. That I am not afraid. I feel, somehow, brave. A change is already on its way mostly due to the hard work I’ve already put into being and understanding myself.
But that it’s okay to take a few steps back every once in a while. To live modestly. To appreciate what I have. To value the little things, whether it’s a plate of good food, a mug of steaming hot coffee or tea. The feeling of sunlight on my face, or a breeze on a hot summer’s day. The smell of lavender, the comfort of a warm fire. A story to escape in, momentarily, page by page.
I want to learn to be content. Only then do I feel that I can actually, staying true to myself, achieve what I want to achieve over time. Because trying to be accomplished shouldn’t be out of a need to feel better about myself; it should be because I’m adding -willingly, calmly, truly, genuinely – to happiness.
Some November bits:
- I’ve introduced myself to quinoa. It is the start of an amazing love affair. I wish I’d tried it sooner! I particularly love it dry roasted. I’m still working on collecting some recipes, thankfully there’s Pinterest to keep it together somewhat!
- I’ve tweaked my risotto recipe, it was bloody perfect this weekend!
- The past few days were too rainy and dreary, but I have been trying to go out for walks every day. I usually try and walk between 35-40 minutes, and to go for speed and stamina. The goal is to go running again starting December. I’m building it up. And I need new shoes first, haha.
- I’ve been taking some more photos, which I’ve posted here! I’m really trying here. I’ll be working on more new ideas soon now that I’ve gotten myself my studio umbrella. (Yup! Upgrading.)
- I revamped my boudoir client site (Dutch). I’m quite pleased with it as it is now! Simple, informative and elegant.
- Wil and I were together 5,5 years this past Sunday. We celebrated with good food & drink, and a movie: we went to see Skyfall (James Bond). Must say it is one of the best, if not the best, James Bond movies I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen them all. I’m also now, finally, convinced Daniel Craig is a great Bond. I liked Ben Whishaw as Q (great casting imo) and I approved of the subtle humor.
- I’m currently reading the second book (A Clash of Kings) in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (you know, Game of Thrones). I hope to start reviewing this series soon. I think I’ll do The Perks of Being a Wallflower first though.