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The Thief of Joy

If comparison is the thief of joy, how do I make a citizen's arrest and get on with just being me? The last few weeks, even months, have been a struggle for me in terms of finding my spot out there as myself! When we're surrounded by so many amazing resources, talents, images and personalities, when you spend so long looking at the work of others from so many creative fields, I think, how is anything I do ever going to be good enough?! The comparisons drown me. I create my own work and think 'well it will have to do... I'm not going to make it perfect anyway' not even bring sure what I mean, what even is perfect? The realisation that to me, perfect means 'looks like something X, Y , Z florist made' is not something I feel thrilled to admit. This is certainly not a new thing for me, I worry so often if I even have a creative bone in my body or I've just been successfully, subconsciously, trying so hard to be someone else that I've created my own new brand of inauthentic style that I somehow actually pass off as myself? Where does inspiration stop and comparison start?

Another struggle comes with my medium... flowers. When the paint you use to create with is so damn beautiful it looks amazing just stood on it's own in a bucket, how can I take credit for that? I didn't design the flowers!! I just gathered them together and here they are. My own produce is giving me imposter syndrome!! People say 'don't watch those who make you feel less' 'don't believe their lives are perfect, they're only showing the edited highlights' ... but what if their work does brings me joy? I need to view art to make me happy, what if the problem is just my perception and how I turn those things around onto myself. What if I feel like even my 'edited highlights', my best bits, aren't living up to my own expectations?

I think that's what I keep coming back to, my expectations. Why have I set them so high that nothing can possibly validate me? I need to bring back the joy, I'm in there somewhere, I need to surface and see the world through my own eyes for once.

The images accompanying this blog post are a perfect example of what happens when I let myself win for once. I never like photos of myself, I never feel like I should be in the spotlight. I curl away from the lens like a banshee. My incredible friend Kathryn Taylor took these images of me last summer during the heat wave, she brought me out of myself, captured ME, my live, vibrant self, the person I want to wrestle from the shadows! A lot of that is down to her talent and incredible spirit when you're around her (she honestly has this magic way of drawing it out of you, it amazes me!), but some of it, just a little bit of it, was down to me. Not my face, or my hair or my dress, not my beautiful surroundings or flowers, it was when I was just being myself. I almost want to reach into these picture and pull her out, that girl in the grass, loving being herself... (some of that sunshine would be nice as well!)... but as I can't do that, I suppose I've just got to reach inside myself and get to grips with this girl right here. She's the same person, somewhere she's the same.

I think I have a plan, it involves my camera and my friends, my trust in myself and some time. It involves colours and writing and being more brave and showing all of me. I'm going to go and work on finding my real story before trying to tell someone else's eats me alive. Time to be me, love me, believe in me. An out pouring of hard honesty like this always seems to help me, and maybe the frequency of these moments would help as well... but this will have to do for now. I'm off to make that citizens arrest now, I'm practically in Line of Duty in my head already anyway...

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