Being m.i.a. lately

SELF-REFLECTION

I don’t usually get too personal on here but I felt the need to explain why my blogging has undergone a major hiatus lately; in fact, I’ve kind of dropped off so many other radars to a point a few friends and family have checked in to see if I was still alive and kicking…

Well, I am (or just about!)…it’s just that there’s been a gazillion different things going since the summer and I’ve somehow managed to get completely caught up in what seems like a snowballing state of mayhem, that finding the time or energy to have any bit of down time was simply beyond attainable! I also hated how I was losing my balance and focus at the whole juggling act, but worst of all, I soon realised I was becoming increasingly disorganised and frequently getting myself into a state of panic over every little ‘obstacle’ that came my way (I’m talking meltdowns) For those of you that know me well enough, you’ll know how uncharacteristic that is for me as I’ve always been a take-the-bull-by-the-horns kinda gal who’s always taken on a proactive and positive outlook……but I must admit that this is the first time I felt like I’ve been stuck in what seems like a sinkhole and that my frantic efforts to get out of it, where in fact making me sink further. So what’s caused all this distress then…?

  • Change: As many of you may know (I’ve briefly touched up on it here in previous posts), I’m in the middle of a career shift; moving form the realms of architecture to that of graphic design, illustrations and art direction. Having invested over a decade in something you thought was you, this switch was understandably quite the jolt to the system, perhaps more so on my conscience, however, I eventually learnt to come to terms with it this summer and gave myself the remaining four months of this year to tackle this big unsolved puzzle of mine in what I thought was a realistic timeframe. Great. So, I had a plan of action, a goal, some structure…and I set off with my problem-solving hat on, looking for answers. Unfortunately, this ‘figuring-out’ process in the last few months hasn’t been quite the ‘exciting adventure’ I kept telling myself it would be, probably because I’ve been soooooo darn focused with solving it that I’ve not really stood back to process or reassess any thoughts along the way. Of course, there are other things and events (aka life) that’s come along the way (both good and bad) which constrained my much-needed headspace even further……my mind has been on constant overdrive, (a mess to be precise) that I just couldn’t see the wood from the trees. This brings me onto the next point…
  • Chaos: I’m not sure if there’s many of you out there that relate to this, but I for one, cannot do anything productive, be inspired or feel motivated when I everything around me is chaotic or in a state of disarray. This includes both my state of mind and physical surroundings. I work from home, and while that is a luxury in many ways it can be really disruptive too and the one thing that came to light recently (despite learning to tolerate it all this time) was the lack of a clear designated workspace. I’ve moved around between our lounge, bedroom and my brother’s room trying to find the right space for the task at hand (eventually ending up in our bedroom) but my stuff was still in all corners of the flat. I really don’t want you to think I’m a spoilt brat whining about the lack of space, quite the contrary! It’s the lack of a clear, defined work area where everything has its proper place, that has been bothering me (And one that’s conjoined to either your sleeping or living area!) Granted, that my house proud, OCD traits and my constant yearning for clean and organised spaces hasn’t help matters but then when you’re designer, crafter and maker, you do need things to be orderly, (particularly if space is at a premium!) or it can be incredibly stifling and disruptive having to constantly pack up or move your things away come end of the day (or in recent cases forgetting where things have been put away!) If all I needed was a surface to sit at and write, then I could continue to be flexible and adapting but this nomadic routine wasn’t doing me or my mind any favours, particularly with my head already up in the clouds ‘figuring’ a whole lot of other stuff. We’ve even reorganised things about in the flat but the results have been slow or not what you’re after so I end up ‘settling’ with mess again.
  • resistance and setbacks:  As mentioned earlier, I’m normally the type of person who would set off to climb/conquer any mountain than came my way, however big, or find some way or another way to take any problems in stride….but I guess this time, I’ve struggled with that badly. Its that resistance of not being able to overcome or move to that calmer and clearer place, in a given timeframe (which obviously added more pressure) that has sadly weighed me down and clouded up my peripheral vision. Unfortunately, all my best efforts to explore and dabble in many creative realms in the hope that would help inspire, identify and pave my new creative path over these months, have been greatly overshadowed by all the anxiety brought on from all of the above. The blog, my portfolio (the rebranding of both) and many other creative ideas, ended up on the back burner which then caused all the distructive overthinking, and then the fear of not moving forward throws me back into that creative slump I was (and still am) so desperately trying to get out of! Little did I envisage that overthinking and procrastinating would be my biggest hurdle! (so unlike me!) And trying to solve things on your own can get so awfully exhausting, you’re left with hardly any energy to think, let alone juggle various other things. Everything just takes 10 times longer to get done! It’s like a vicious circle where you find yourself feeling frustrated and determined over the idea of getting defeated but the concoction of the two only creates further turmoil. Go figure, eh?

So yea, that’s basically the very crux of why I’ve been m.i.a. lately. It’s not been all doom and gloom as there’s been a lot of great things going on too; from interning with an awesome design agency up in Hackney and attending workshops/events to spending some time with family. Unfortunately, these few months got way more ‘full on’ than I had anticipated, and the setbacks it created in other areas caused unforeseeable distress which I let get the better of me. Things are getting calmer my end and I do feel like I’m gaining some clarity and structure again, so I do hope to be back on track….slowly but surely! :) I guess I’ve had a bit of hiatus in all aspects! Mind you, I’ve definitely learnt a few things from all this: the need to let go of some things (I can’t do or solve everything!) AND to take some time out to step back when things get a bit hectic! It’s only natural to be tempted into throwing yourself head first at work or whatever it is that niggling away at you. However, being on constant overdrive only leads to burn out and wallowing over things only stops you from enjoying the good things in life….two valuable things I’ve definitely been reminded of now and I hope to take forth with me.

Gosh, I’m am sorry for pouring all this out on here as I do try to keep it cheerful being a handmade/crafty blog but I guess I felt I needed give you all a proper explanation as to why I’ve dropped off the planet, especially when my blog has been my main creative outlet.  Well, I’m taking control of things again and learning to SLOW DOWN so let’s hope it’s onwards and upwards from here……….and all those crazy meltdowns just stay far FAR away!!! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and listening xxxxxx

[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu. The illustrated portrait of me is by the lovely and talented Viktorija of AndSmile Studio. I felt this photo of it on the wall with ‘stuff’ accumulating all around it perfectly depicted the chaos that has surrounded me recently – smart, eh? lol]

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