029: I'M PROUD OF YOU, PAST SELF.
You know when you keep postponing something, for months and even years, and on a nondescript afternoon you finally do it? You didn’t turn it into big event or planned it for days, you just… did it. And then of course, once it’s done, you can’t figure out why it took you so long to get there, was it that bad after all?
Well, that’s the question that has been bugging me after photographing the publications where I have been featured over the years. I’m not sure if it was a sort of embarrassment, where being talked about rather than making me proud, made me awkward and self-conscious. Maybe it’s that bloody impostor syndrome that seems to plague so many of us creatives. Maybe it was just laziness.
Be it as it may, time made it go away, and last Friday I picked the pile of old magazines from the bottom shelf of the bookcase and started taking pictures.
I couldn’t help a sense of bewilderment. There was a very respectable amount of positive reviews of my work. Some of the interviews I hadn’t even read and now I found that the past me wasn’t such an imposter after all. She seems like she knows what she's talking about, even if I still clearly remember feeling lost and overwhelmed every time someone wanted to write about me.
I never felt it was deserved and even today I am distinctly aware of how lucky I was to find all the stars aligned in my favour. I started with ceramics by pure chance and I was zero prepared to have a business. And so when luck and interest came to find me I wasn’t ready to make the most of the opportunities. I got burned and I learned a lot.
Paradoxically, only now that I’m trying to make it in illustration, now that I’m ready and have been forced to learn how it feels to really work for something, only now, I have been able to concede her some credit. I’ve finally allowed myself to be proud of what she did right and I’ve stopped holding a grudge for the things she didn’t know how to do better.
So after all, I guess I didn’t just pick those magazines completely out of the blue. Maybe deep down I finally realised that it was time to accept that Her and me, with both our past and present flaws are one and the same.
But yet again, maybe the light was just right to take pictures.