Lately, I have been trying to be more intentional about focusing on being, rather than doing.
Be somewhere and absorb what’s happening. Sit, have a drink, just watch people go by. Listen to the river.
It’s okay if I don’t tick all the boxes on the travel guide, if I don’t finish that music track over the weekend or film stuff. Sometimes, part of me feels like I should always be doing something. But if I want to recharge my creative batteries, I need to allow myself to be. Go places. Meet people. Without agenda or todo list.
I’m just writing this down here so I don’t forget.
This is one of the things I am grateful for this week: my terrarium survived 365 days!
Between its creation on 15/06/2021 – during a terrarium making workshop over Zoom – and now, I have had a few hiccups . Unfortunately, one day I had to amputate part of it, as some of the plants were dying. I am not sure what happened. Did I put too much water or too little? Did I expose it to direct sunlight? Not sure, but I had to remove the unlucky plants before they started decomposing. Otherwise it would have risked the entire ecosystem.
Honestly I am quite surprised. Every pot of herbs I buy ends up dead within a few weeks, and a terrarium seems orders of magnitude more complicated. But, on the other hand, I managed to get a baby lemon tree out of one seed, so what do you know?
I think it’s all tropical plants, so I didn’t think it was going to last long in London, but so far so good! To celebrate, I put it’s original birth date on the jar using my label maker.
This might not be very creative per se, but there is a certain beauty in arranging life in a jar and watching it do its thing. Somehow it always goes in a different direction from what I originally intended. Actually, it feels quite similar to what happens when I make music!
Anyway, it brings me joy that I found a spot for it in my living room. I guess styling the place is some form of creative act. I think it contributes to me being inspired sometimes.
As I’m getting back into making music – and creating stuff in general – I find myself struggling with finding ideas, telling a story, getting past the finish line.
There’s probably something I am doing wrong here. There is so much I want to accomplish, and a lot I don’t know exactly how to do. Without fully knowing where I’m going, it can feel a bit daunting when I’m still not back at 100% of my energy levels.
So I’m leaning into what I know inspires me. I’m rediscovering what I’ve loved doing in the past, what I still enjoy experiencing today.
So for the next few weeks, I am going to try having fun, and avoid caring about making the best stuff possible. And the one thing that gives me energy at the moment is synthwave 🙂 There’s something to it, a formula, a pattern, a familiarity that feels like the music is hugging me. I know it’s weird.
I realised recently that the very first thing I was doing in the morning, right after opening my eyes, was checking my phone.
Messages, Twitter, Instagram, amongst other things. That’s the first thing I do when I wake up.
During a day, I check my phone tens, hundreds of time. I don’t even think about it, it’s just a reflex. Before I know it, I’ve opened Twitter and I’m doomscrolling. Or I’m checking Instagram stories from people I don’t know, photos of people I don’t follow.
This is stressing me out. I need to stop but somehow I’m not ready to uninstall the apps! What if something happens in the world and I don’t know about it??? (I know, it’s silly). I came across this video from Casey Neistat again a few days ago, and I relate a lot. I thought it was worth sharing.
I’ve moved social media apps to a different screen, and put them in a folder. I named that folder “Stress” because that’s how they make me feel anyway (whether I check them or not). The apps are still there, they’re just a little bit harder to find. So far it’s working. I unlock my phone without thinking about it, and when my thumb reaches for one of these apps, I have a few seconds of confusion, followed by “ah, yeah, right, phew, let’s just lock the phone now and not check social media”.
I’m going to keep doing that for a few days and see how I feel.
How silly is this? Imagine explaining this to our ancestors!