There is nothing more daunting than reflection. To look inside yourself to reveal deep rooted anxieties and hidden truths about the life you have been leading. There’s nothing quite like it. It can be scary, nerve-racking, time-consuming, upsetting and isolating. Maybe the reason why we don’t make a habit of reflecting on our daily lives is simply because it’s often not a very pleasant experience. Looking back on everything you have done, said, and thought in the most honest way can makes us feel a little melancholic. I know, because that’s how I feel.
Our brains are built to remember and recall our past experiences so that we can make better decisions in the future. It is a wonderful machine, but unfortunately for us, in the pick-and-mix stand of Life our brains have a real craving for negative experiences. Sure enough, learning from our bad and tough moments is the key to our survival and a wiser future, but it can leave a sour taste in our mouths – particularly when we sit down and open our heads for an in-depth review.
Despite the unsettling feelings it might thrust in our faces, reflection gives us the opportunity to clear our minds and start afresh. So here I am, having spent some quality time scrutinising my life and deciding to start a blog!
I’m kind of young-ish, approaching the mid-twenty mark, still at university, doing a course I enjoy and living quite comfortably for a student. I like to dabble in different hobbies, pick them up with great enthusiasm, but sadly I tend to leave them after a while, to gather dust in the abandoned corners of my world. I’m not fickle – at least I hope I’m not – it’s just that whilst doing the new-found wonderful hobby, I realise that if I want to become any good at it or see anything great come from it, I must invest decent amount of time and energy into the project. Time is something I don’t really have the luxury of. Neither do you, I bet. We all have jobs, projects, schools, assignments and other intense commitments which demand pretty much all the time we do have! So we slowly give in, they win the battle and make us their slaves. I know that all those things are crucial for our lives to progress happily and in a forward direction, but I started feeling a little…burnt out. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the line I started losing the desire to motivate myself. I started getting bored and no longer imagining the life I could have in the future. It sounds more dramatic in writing, but without realising it I just went into autopilot.
In autopilot you do the tasks you must, out of habit and necessity, and just get on with it. You push the right buttons and efficiently run the errands. You get your money, pay your bills, tick the boxes and fit in a bit of food and sleep. You might not realise you’re running on autopilot until you sit down to chat with your long-time-no-see friend and when he or she asks:
“Tell me, what exciting things have been happening in your life?”
Your mind goes blank. You smile and respond with:
“Oh nothing, I’ve been busy with work.”
We’ve all done it, and at times still do it. Sometimes the priorities in life don’t really give us the time to fit in mini-adventures to brag about over tea and coffee. But I feel that a hobby or some activity that is unique to you, giving you the chance to devote an allocated time for your own desires can do you a whole world of good!
When you have a hobby, you are automatically more passionate. It’s one of the easiest ways to inject a spring in your step and a glow to your face! You will have a new topic to discuss with people – whether they want to listen to you go on and on and on is up to them and how fast they can run. You get your drive back to complete tasks with purpose and a smile. You see your life differently, becoming more optimistic and much more interactive. And it all boils down to one thing: your imagination. If you are using it, you are immune to that fateful term “burn out”.
Like I said before, I am lucky enough to be on a course which I really enjoy. Although, learning new things every single day should be keeping me motivated and excited – when you have the burden of future exams weighing heavy on your mind, it can all seem very uninspiring. But exams are things I must do, and I must do them well – so I set off to discover a new source of inspiration, and I was very surprised where I eventually found it!
If there was one thing I have always enjoyed doing, it would have to be drawing. I never pretended to be the bee’s knees about it, but I really did like creating pictures and using them to tell stories. Sometimes the tales I told were based on the truth, and sometimes they were taller than the tallest building in the world! But I fondly remember spending hours lost in my imagination and keeping a record of it with pencil and paper. So I decided to start this blog to illustrate life, in the hopes that it will inspire and motivate me. When I had the chance to reflect and open up my head for inspection, I found cogwheels turning, tired and squeaky. There was nothing glittery inside, nothing magical – because all those things were stuffed into a box with the words ‘not right now‘ on it.
Not right now…
…you don’t have time…
Well, when will I ever have time? If I want to do things that make me happy despite the busyness of life, I’m going to have dedicate some time to all my ideas and aspirations, and let them run around, dance about and attempt to finger-paint a mural on the wall!
I hope you also enjoy these illustrated moments!