December 29, 2018
To make living itself an art, that is the goal.
My favourite quote from Henry Miller. I love it because it manages to remind me that living, like art, is a full spectrum of emotions. Something it’s easy for us all to forget when we get wrapped up in the small, irrelevant details of everyday life.
When it gets to this time of year it’s natural for us all to think back on the year that was and the year that will be. And I’ve been thinking over and over what it is I want for 2019 and that’s when I think of that quote – I want to make living itself an art. A little abstract, I know. Perhaps more simply: I want to live, to create and love my work. My work is so linked to my life that my life can turn into work – and wouldn’t it be wonderful if both were an art?
2018 has been incredible, the best work year of my life. I’ve had the pleasure of working for brands I could only dream about when I started doing this way back in 2009. I’m proud of lots of my work and have learned to accept that you can’t do your best work all of the time – that’s what makes your best work your best work. However, 2018 was also a very hard personal year of mine. I went into therapy in April for depression. This isn’t the first time I’ve sought help for mental health, and I’m lucky for that as I caught it early enough because I recognise the symptoms. That doesn’t mean that I’m sad the whole time, I’ve had some of the best times of my life this year, and been incredibly happy, too. But both can co-exist together. I can feel joyous about one thing and still feel an inexplicable sadness within me.
It’s the biggest paradox – to be projecting a certain part of your life but feeling a very different way much of the time. I’m not sharing this for sympathy by rather to dislodge that idea that because I have a pretty instagram feed I’m living ‘the dream’. I’m living part of my dream – which is being successful in my work. And I’m so thankful for that, because I worked so hard for that. But behind the photos there’s a whole life – a real one. With ups and downs, and good friends and bad ones. With family issues. With good days – and bad ones.
For as many wonderful times and highs there may be in life (normally the part you see on social media) there are also excruciating lows. I don’t tend to share those parts – and I won’t go into more details of them – but I just wanted this to serve as a reminder for 2019 to not compare yourself to anyone or anything you see online. Just because someone isn’t talking about being sad doesn’t mean they’re not sad. Just because I’m not posting photos of myself on low days doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
I’ve chosen to keep those aspects of my life to myself- not to lie to you but to have a side of myself that is purely mine.
So my new year’s resolution is simple: to be happy. Okay, maybe not so simple. Then at least to relish in the moments of happiness and accept that without the lows the highs wouldn’t feel as good. To live in the present moment as much as I can.
The reason I turned my passions into my job is because they are what makes me happy. I’m happiest when I’m travelling, exploring somewhere new and it makes me feel really alive and present. I decided to become a photographer for the same reason – if I take even just one photo I love, I’ll have a great day. I feel calmer and more in control. My love for skincare is the same. My skin used to get me down so I focused on getting it as healthy as possible and finding out as much as I could about skincare and skin health.
It’s the bits in between those that I struggle with – the everyday living. That are neither up or down, just time passing. And so ‘to make living itself an art’ I plan on focusing on the fact that I get to share all the above with you all on a daily basis. And that makes me happy.
To make my living itself an art. To focus on the everyday as a chance to do something great. To accept that life itself is always going to go up and down, like a heartbeat. That is living. And to make it an art it’s the acceptance of that. To find it interesting rather than fight against it.
Thank you all so much for following along, sharing my work and chatting with me this year.
I wish you a wonderful 2019.
Photos by Frances Davison