Damn, we’re almost a week into 2020, and I haven’t reviewed 2019 yet. Of course, it’s not mandatory to do so, but I think it’s a good thing to reflect on the past before letting go and moving forward.
I have not been as active as I wanted to be in 2019. Work, Life and other things caught up with me, and I had to take a much-needed break. Still, I had some creative moments during the first half of the year. I made a trip with my dear friend Sven Fennema (check his photos, they’re great) to eastern Germany, and 2019 saw the start of a new Project called “Promenade Days“. This Project is an ongoing series of visits to different people in different cities. I did a tour through Germany for my first visits, and had a blast! Unfortunately, shortly after this trip, fate struck and made me take the aforementioned break. But, moving forward into 2020, I’ll start working on these stories soon enough!
As said, Life played its part, and I needed to take a break. From everything. I was literally burned out. I couldn’t work anymore, I felt tired all the time, and there was no energy whatsoever to put in creative endeavors. I was in survival mode. I wanted to get going again as quickly as possible, and the only thing I could do to achieve this was not do anything at all. All this came with quite the amounts of feelings of guilt, failure, and shame. It took me a while to process all this.
I learned to say “NO”
But I processed it. I still am. And I am getting going again. Steadily. I learned to be more honest about my feelings, about my needs, and I learned to say “NO” a bit more. That one is still hard, because I came from not even needing to say no because I had already offered to do stuff. Too eager to please. Story of my life.
All this has also had positive sides, next to the learning curve. I had to get out. Do stuff I like. And I did. I started visiting Inkmen Tattoos regularly and got the chance to not only photograph them (the only bits and pieces of photography I did during my burn out phase) but also am a member of this so cool team now! I gained some really cool colleagues I dare already call my friends. My heart goes out to you guys! All of a sudden, I had a new social life in my home town after being away for a while.
Another thing happened. Shortly before the burn out already, but it did. What happened? Well, Tinder happened. I hate the medium, I find it a meat market instead of a dating app. But I got curious. And before I knew it, I had a cool, funny, scary and awkward date. And another one. And another one. Now, six months in, we don’t call it dating anymore. I have found love in such a beautiful, strong, self-reliant woman. We enjoy each other’s company without smothering each other, we communicate in a way I haven’t known before. We treat each other as the humans we want to be ourselves.
Yes, I’m in love. And thankful. I wouldn’t have gotten so far without you, dear Danielle. And I look forward to going, growing with you.
Moving forward to 2020
“I think it’s a good thing to reflect on the past before letting go and moving forward”
There’s no review without a look into the future for me. So what’s in store for 2020. Where am I now?
I started working full time again. I am trying to establish borders. I’m feeling the itch again. Yes, I want to take photos again. I have taken first steps towards this. Thought about what I want to do this year, what I want to accomplish:
I want to work on some projects this year. Of course, there are some old projects that I will pick up again, but there will be new stuff as well.
- Promenade days: the project I mentioned before will have my attention. I will write the stories from last year, and I will probably visit some new people
- A new project I want to work on is photographing well-known locations and landmarks in my hometown, Tegelen. With a twist. I want to do all this with a digital pinhole camera. Combine old techniques with new, and let modern times look old. Why only visit other cities when you can do cool projects so close to home, right?
- I want to start photographing people again. I want to practice with lights, flashes. I’ll start with one. A familiar lighting technique called the Rembrandt light. And I want to start, not with models, but with family and friends. Hence the name ” Familiar Faces”. More on that soon.
- The last thing I want to do is reach out to photographers. Walk with them. See how they do things. Learn from them. And share that knowledge with a big heart and a big thank you shoutout to them on my blog. I have some people in mind, whom I really respect for what they do, for who they are. Maybe this is a bit of a sidetrack to Promenade Days, I don’t know yet. The idea is fresh and still being worked on. I’ll reach out to the photographers in mind soon enough!
I will visit concerts with friends and my love. I will travel in my new camper van “Minty Mindy”. I will keep building relationships in my local community, from friends to family to loved ones. I will work at some WordCamps, but not as many as I did last year. Saying no is not always paired with negative work. Positive stuff can drain you too. I found that out. I’ll take my time to breathe, I’ll take time for me, and me alone. I’ll enjoy. And I’ll share. Whatever I can. Whenever I can. Hello 2020, I’m looking forward to you!
This one goes out to all my friends, family, and other loved ones. You know who you are, and you rock! You made 2019 a good year, despite all the hardship:
Danielle, Mom, Dad, Maartje, Sven and Family, the Inkmen crew (Stan, Richard, Bas, Mitch & Shirley) and families and friends, Hagen, My sister from another mister Nathalie, the WordPress community, especially the organizing teams I worked with who had nothing but understanding (WordCamp Retreat Soltau, WordCamp Nijmegen, Meetup Nijmegen), my understanding colleagues at Savvii , All the great people I visited already for Promenade Days, and all the people that reached out to me in one way or another.