Turbulent times call for small things in my life taking on metaphorical meanings of grand proportions. After observing with much envy the wonders of ALL of my friends’ stylistically cohesive Instagram accounts, I decided that I needed to delete every photo on my Instagram and start over. I needed more purpose, more direction, more focus and more of a sense of “this is who I am and not just what I eat.”
And it was then that I realized that this extended far beyond the mere squares of Instagram posts. This was a metaphor for my life. I NEEDED my Instagram to be renovated, because it was just one step beyond that to my whole life being reinvented. I needed purpose and redirection. I needed to feel whole (and have lots of followers who admire and respect me, but that’s something for later).
I was in a crappy mood when I was thinking about this. I felt like I had an obligation to my tiny legion of followers to give them better photographic content, but more importantly, I felt like I owed it to myself to be better. Moving around is really fun. I love being an expat and spending my time absorbing and observing other cultures. But sometimes it has a negative effect of forcing you to lose sight of who you are. I moved here for a lot of reasons, and it wasn’t until my Instagram was empty and my head was full that I realized I had moved for a lot of reasons. However, me, the idea of me, and who I was, was not one of those reasons. I wasn’t here for me, and I didn’t know who I was, or what I wanted. And that was scarier than accidentally picking the wrong filter.
And maybe that was where my homesickness came from. If home is where the heart is, shouldn’t I, well, be able to find home in myself? And if that was true, why was I obsessively searching for apartments an hour away from London in the desperate bid to find a place where I feel like I belong, when really I was already where I belonged?
I had gotten my hunt all wrong. I was looking farther and farther away, when everything I needed to be happy was right here.
This week is all about reconnecting with myself, with the things I appreciate and not just what I think other people want to see. I remembered the things that I loved, that have always been important to me, and I am trying my hardest to reconnect with those things. And so here they are.
1. Books. I have always believed in the power, value, and beauty of books. I appreciate and pursue the transformative power of the words they contain, and I have built a life for myself that is focused on creating, and enjoying, books.
2. Home. I have always pursued and tried to create a sense of home. My moments of profoundest joy have originated in creating safe spaces that foster love, friendship, intimacy, and art. I enjoy the moments of kindred inspirationn that come from finding a place where I feel like I belong, and I have always worked to create those spaces for the people I care about.
3. Finally, I have devoted the fibers of my being to believing that the world can be a kind place if we let it be. I want to be kind and courageous. I want to stand up for goodness and love, I want to give to others, and I want to take care of the world we have so others in the future can appreciate its beauty. This place is good, and it is here. I believe in the beauty of this place, and if I can help others to see that, then I am a lucky person indeed.
This week has brought a lot of changes. I’ve reinvented my instagram, and refocused my blog. I’ve remarried my intentions to bring joy and love to the world I live in, to create and be kind, to inspire and care.
This isn’t a finish, it’s a start to a very long and difficult road. It takes a leap of faith to try for things that are bigger than we ourselves are, but it’s remarkable how it doesn’t feel like falling.