You’ve probably noticed by now the red dress in all my latest photos from Iceland… A couple reasons for that: A. I had very little room in my travelling suitcase for extra outfits, especially considering I had to save suit-case space for transporting chocolate (yes, that was my most vital necessity for the trip), and B. When I was thinking ahead about creating an Icelandic self-portrait series, I wanted something that would depict “standing out”. Not just a bright colour to stand out against the Icelandic backdrops, but more something of a reflection of my thoughts as of late.
Over the last couple years I have been blessed with several new people in my life, engaging with them and learning of their own thoughts and struggles and triumphs. I’ve been noticing friends who wish to blend in less and stand out more in this world, in a beautiful and positive way. And then friends who already stand out but want more than anything to blend in, to be normal. And It’s got me thinking of my own journey, of my last couple years of my attempting to step out of my comfort zone: Not worrying so much about my ultra social-awkwardness, taking courage in letting myself be seen even in that awkwardness, and trying to live more whole-heartedly. I usually stay on the sidelines and try not to fully engage with other people’s lives. I like to blend in and try not to be seen. I often picture myself getting a little cabin in the mountains far from civilization and being a hermit for the rest of my life with just the company of my pets (which, let’s be honest… I still plan to do that someday). But even so, people still notice. People see me as I go about living my life. And I’ve spent too much time worrying what people think of me, my awkwardness and my quirks and my keeping to myself. But this has been something I’m learning to let go of, the fears of what people think. Whether I’m trying to blend in, or make myself known, I’m learning to accept myself as someone who doesn’t need to worry, and learning not to be afraid to be different. Often all I want is to be silent, to imitate my surroundings, try to blend in, and curl up and forget everything but to exist only as a simple extension of humanity and nature.
But this year, to me, is about learning to take courage and not worry as I take each step on the path ahead of me . And If we’re going to stand out, we might as well try our best to do so in a beautiful way.
(Source: Flickr / elizabethgadd)