Better Problems

This is a mind game I play with myself to put things in perspective. As we get caught up in what we strive towards we forget that we actually advance. Often changes come increment by increment, so gradually we might not see them.

Anxiety changes shape. Most certainly it will be with us all our life. Anxiety is not all bad because it makes us do good too but it is when it becomes too much of it that it tips over to the bad side. It is not constructive anymore. Anyway, that is a different text I am writing but it is important in this text as well because this is what I want to look at. Anxiety moves with us, but what we worry about is different during different phases in our lives. The change in problems is interesting to look at.

For example, when I applied to art and design school I was extremely worried I wouldn’t be able to complete the application on time and do so correctly. I worked intensely. The closer the deadline the narrower my tunnel vision got. I finished on time, I sent in my application files correctly, but each morning the week after I woke up from nightmares of having made an error somewhere. I got an email that said I had been chosen to come for the interview, which was a success (!). My anxiety went through the roof. The week before the interview I prepared but it did not decrease the amount of self doubt I felt. A few weeks later I got an email saying I was accepted. I couldn’t believe it. I took screenshots of the green letters saying ’Accepted’. The week that followed I signed in every day to make sure it was true. Now in school I worry about how well I am doing each assignment. I want to do my best and grow. I worry about the upcoming courses too because most of the subjects are completely new to me, and future applications for a potential semester abroad floats around in my mind and scares me a bit.

This is when I need to stop myself. I look back at the application process and see that the anxiety was there because it meant so much to me and my anxiety is here now because I want to do my very best. The worries I have reflect good intensions and values, ”To put in my best effort” and so on, but they get in the way for me to appreciate the process and the change in problems. First, my problem was the application, then the interview and then school itself. The problems got better. My worries evolved. It is more fun to worry about an assignment in school than ”What if I don’t get accepted!?”.

One persons’ problems are not necessarily more legitimate, important or real than others, but rather that we have different problems and sometimes it is good to see them from another side to understand what position we are in. I think worries, doubts, fears, anxiety will remain through out our lives, which is why it is important to notice and appreciate how they change over time.

I do not know if this sounds pretentious. To me it isn’t. For me this is a tool to appreciate my life and see how lucky I am even though life can be though at times.

Leftover Coffee

As I have mentioned before, I do not like to throw away food. This includes coffee. 😉 When I have made too much coffee in the morning I pour it up in a glass jar and pop it in the fridge. After two three days I use it to make a tall, delicious glass of iced coffee. It is stronger and more bitter than cold brew of course, but I like my coffee strong. The only time I add sweetener to my coffee are these times. To me, this is better than dessert.

I use stevia and oat milk.

On Inspiration

As feelings inspiration comes and goes. We cannot force ourselves to be inspired. It almost seems to be out of our control. Though I think we can affect it. Just as we are more likely to be in a good mood when we are surrounded with loving and supportive people (also known as friends 😉 ) I think it is possible to increase the likelihood of being inspired by creating the right environment in and around us.

First, inspired or not we need to be doing what it is we want to be inspired about. If we are going through a phase where all seem dull and hopeless we cannot stop trying. The emphasis should not be on if we are feeling 100% motivated or not, but instead on the hours of work we put into it every single day, meaning making it our habit. The time and energy we put into the work is how much we expose ourselves towards inspiration. The effort (time and energy) is what will expand the platform on which inspiration can land. By working we tell inspiration that we are doing our part of the job and are ready to greet it if it chooses to appear. But inspiration can be both shy and stubborn. Just because we put in the hours daily doesn’t mean it will show. We need to be persistent and patient.

“The time and energy we put into the work is how much we expose ourselves towards inspiration”

Second, whatever it is we are doing we cannot be on our own. Everyone need help. We need to feed our souls and flood our minds with new; impressions; information; and ideas. We need to read books; visit museums and exhibitions; watch movies and documentaries; and whatever we can come up with that possibly could be relevant (or maybe irrelevant but still as nurturing) for us and our subject. We need to see what others have done before us, find our friends (dead or alive) that can help and support us. We must keep in mind that inspiration can come from anywhere, so the most important thing is to keep our souls and minds open.

Third, we need to let it go. We cannot force inspiration. In between working and flooding ourselves with new we must take a break, rest, detach, do something completely different. Sometimes, physical activity like going for a run can relax our mind. Other times, another focus activity can be just what we need, such as to watch a good movie or spending time with friends. It should be something that absorbs us and demands our full attention.

Then, when we least expect it, as we have turned our backs to the room to yet again work on our canvas, inspiration appears and together we go into an amazing state of flow that we wish would last forever. In this wonderful moment, worry can creep up on us. Because it feels so precious to finally be inspired, every stroke feels right, and we work with a different kind of focus and intensity. Don’t fear. We have been inspired once, and so it will happen again.

Trying out the Zoeva palett “The Basic Moment”.

Makeup has been something I don’t really care about up until recently when I truly needed the effect makeup can give. Because a truly good makeup, just as a pair of shoes, can change the way we carry ourselves, our attitude and mood. 😉 It all should come from the inside out, but at the same time we should not neglect the affect outer aspects can have on us, and we need that help sometimes. 🙂

To alter the way I look helps me embrace that side of me, the more confident side. I allow that side to seep in, and let go of the preconceived ideas of who I am and am not. Because I look slightly different, I can be slightly different.