06-10-2019

Step By Step

By In Life

This is not a blog entry about a New Kids on the Block song. Not even by far. It’s about struggle. And the struggle is real. It has been for some months now, until it escalated about two months ago.

a burnout… It was a long time coming. In the last months, I even saw it coming. And I didn’t do a thing about it. Because I didn’t know how.

During the course of my life, I have accumulated some habits that actually led to this moment. I recognized the habits a while ago and started seeing a psychologist about it, but it was too late for what was coming. A situation at work was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. I don’t blame work. I love what I do, and I like my colleagues a lot, even though a lot has changed in the past few months. It’s the situation that occurred and my reaction to that situation that is to blame.

Blame here is a big word. I don’t want, nor do I need to ¬®blame” myself for what happened. What is happening… I just have to accept it, and start building again. See my psychologist, work on structure, and especially work on connecting with myself again.

I seem to have lost myself up to a point where I have only been prioritizing work, and there was no room for creativity no more. The hard part about that was that I had just started on a new project called “Promenade Days” in which I have asked people to show me around in their City, and spend time with me while I photograph them and get to know them and their city. I spent an amazing week in Germany and met the most wonderful people. And now (yes, burnout) I’m beating myself up for not meeting expectations. Especially my own.

Of course there’s a lesson in this. I want to be perfect. In everything I do. I want to be liked (who doesn’t, you say), but regretfully to an extent that I don’t condone mistakes I make, or “imperfections” on my part.

So, how does this go on? I’m taking time for me now. This is actually the first time I used a laptop since August 12th, for things other than the work-related re-integration process I’m going through. So I’ve taken some steps to recovery already.

  • Acknowledging I was burned out to myself was a hard first one.
  • A harder one, as for my wanting to be perfect in other people’s eyes, was bringing people up to speed on what was happening. I can say, it took me a couple of weeks.
  • Finding help, going to a psychologist to work on the underlying problems was an easy one for me, actually, I found I had hit rock bottom, and wanted change. So I looked for help. Probably the shock from acknowledging my “failure” was big enough for this to be an easy one.
  • Another one, which costs a lot of energy still, is my re-integration process. Gotta get back on my feet again.

Writing this blog article is probably a tiny step too. I am finally touching a laptop again after almost two months to do photo-related stuff (read: live my passion) again. I shot my first real photos again yesterday at Inkmen Tattoo and actually imported them already and did the first culling. I’ve still got a long way to go, but there’s hope.

And, I learned… nah, I’m learning to lower my expectations of myself. So no SEO shit on this one, no images but a header image, no trying to write a good article this time. A lot of what I wrote can be repetitions, or might seem incoherent. My mind is, too. So this one comes from the heart. An imperfect, healing heart.

~B.B.

Written by Bas

Photographer, traveler, lover of black coffee, red wine and gin & tonic. Wearer of black glasses and a black hat, always a camera in hand, and the occasional writer.

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