Monday, May 11, 2020

Art doesn't come from the other side of a traumatic event; emerging more clean and wise than you went into it and there are no guidelines on what creative endeavors are productive after this time either. And yet, in a time of need, I often turn to others to tell me how to express myself. It's funny, isn't it? "hey stranger, explain to me how to effectively express these oh so very personal feelings that I am not yet even able to put into words". It's a bad habit I know. To take inspiration from others as gospel only limits the creativity you've been blessed with yourself but armed with that knowledge I still find myself looking to those I respect for validation and tweak things I may like myself in order to fit a mold.

Have you ever met someone who seems so self-assured and put together that their identity is then so easy to define? It's often left me wondering if I am a finished product yet, if I am still in an experimental phase screaming "it's my life!" at my imaginary mum as I dye my hair for the fourth time this month and shave a slit in my eyebrow.

I like all kinds of different music and it's not just necessarily about the mood I am in, there's simply a huge spectrum of artists I enjoy equally as much as the next. I like music from different groups of people who have historically fought and been political battles between. The same is true when it comes to fashion. I'll wear a monochromatic outfit one day, consisting of a white shirt, black skinny jeans, and Birkenstocks. Absolutely convinced that this is my 'look', not only the next week am I sporting an oversized jumper, biker shorts, and platform trainers. In a word full of cliques, Instagram themes, and our systemic hyperfocus on aesthetics, not fitting into one specific category or having to hide parts of yourself in order to do so causes a war in the mind over something completely natural and normal. If you're really into horror movies and find yourself sobbing to romantic comedies on a regular basis that doesn't make you less of a horror buff. If your aesthetic encompasses a lot of baby pink and yet you're a fan of rock music, you're not 'doing it wrong' either. Isn't it strange that this is enough to cause such a conflict in us and merk our sense of self so badly that we are then left questioning our preferences and idea of self?

"If you are not fitting into any system, you are entitled to build one". - Shaanu_

Standing in the middle of the SALE floor in H&M, staring at a pair of pants for 20 minutes and feeling out of it, in fact, fits an imaginary aesthetic I've conjured up for myself, only to feel completely overwhelmed by the decision, and throw it down; leaving the store with nothing. It's a situation I'm all too familiar with. Only now, I'm making a promise to stop asking myself if it fits the image I have of myself and instead and if I like it and if I'd wear it. If the answer is yes to both of these questions then it cannot be going against my identity. Making decisions, having unique ideas (conflicting or not), and enjoying aspects of different cultures, subcultures and cliques are completely human.

Remember, the world has all kinds of complexities and cognitive dissonance isn't a new concept for us to wrap our heads around. Embracing and accepting all the different parts of myself is tough and at times I may come out of the other side more confused than I went into it but self-discovery isn't a destination you reach, it's an endless pursuit with no sigh of relief at the end, so we may as well make the experience enjoyable and experiment with our own sense of self as much as possible.

Share your opinion:

  1. I agree, depending on others for motivation is not the best option. The quote has a strong meaning and I always remember it if I’m not accepted.

    1. Motivation is okay, I think it's when we think to be successful or happy it has to be done the exact same way which limits our creativity I think. Thanks for reading!

  2. I think a lot of things hold us back, and we need to be more accepting of ourselves and not worry what others think! If we are constantly thinking about little things, it can definitely overwhelm a person!

  3. God this gave me a lot to think about. A really through provoking post, Piper. You have a fantastic way of writing too! x

  4. Very thought-provoking.... Thank you!


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