Day three: Why Am I Counting the Days?

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Killaloe, Ireland (photo taken by Kemi Otaru Oct 2014)

I’m on holiday in Ireland just now and I have to say my brain has kinda slowed down….in a good way, mostly. I don’t have my work mobile and I didn’t leave any pending projects which could make me hypertensive while I’m away. So I’m asking myself why I’m counting the days on my recent blog posts??! What’s with day one, day two etc. ? Don’t worry I’m not asking You, the Reader. I’m asking Me, the Writer.

Maybe I wanted to see how long I’d go before I stopped writing daily. Well, if it’s that then I’ll fail because I can’t write every day. Why? Well, I’m not on holiday everyday. Duh. I’m not competing this blog thing with anyone. I already did that in 2008.

To be honest, I think misunderstood the Blogging 201 instructions. If anyone actually understands how I get my junk started for real, please write in the comments.

So as a heads up, my next post will probably not be tomorrow but it won’t be long after. Also, I won’t be counting the days. That’s just stupid.

Day two: Do Photo Essays suck?

What are your views on photo essays as a blog strategy? Sometimes I think photographs are powerful if they just tell a story you don’t need to tell yourself? At the same time, my medical diagnosis is a Writing itch or twitch even. I feel like if I just post photos here, I’m just avoiding saying what I really think.

What do you guys think?

My happy little skeleton: Individualism in children

My happy little skeleton

My happy little skeleton

Last week at LegoLand, my daughter asked for her face to be painted. We stood in line and watched as each little girl stepped off the bench after being transformed to a princess or flowery fairy. When it finally came to our turn, my little 5-year old said, “Can I be a skeleton please, Mommy?” My jaw moved to talk her out of it but I’ve learned to let her be her amazing controversial self. I envy her individualism- all she needs is to know that Mommy & Daddy think she’s beautiful no matter what. There’s incredible pressure to fit in and even as adults, I think people still “screen out” folks that are not like us in one way or another. I’m proud of my daughter. As she starts primary school this week, I will continue to support her in being herself no matter what. I learn from her every day and I feel blessed to have her in my life.

What you think of me

My 5-year old daughter LOVES music. She’s got a great sense of rhythm that even her teachers have picked up on. Each time we are in the car together and I’ve got music playing, she sings along – particularly if it’s a female artist. She also makes special requests like, “Mummy, could you play that song with the girl that wants to wreck a ball??” Then I skip to Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’. As she listens to the song, she will often ask, “Mummy, is the girl in the song happy or sad?” Most of the time, I say the girl is sad. I see in my mirror that my daughter becomes sad too. Suddenly, a somewhat meaningless song becomes a sadness-inducer. Today – a day after my birthday- I couldn’t help thinking about how I often let other people’s feelings or disposition smear on me.

Self-conscious

I admit that for most of my life, I’ve been virtually obsessed with what people think of me. At first, it was a guide as I picked up social norms in the different cultures I was raised in. People’s reactions to me helped me know if I was doing the right thing. If people seemed anxious, I would become anxious too. If they appeared pleased, then I was pleased. For years, I learned how to behave by observing people’s reactions to me. I suppose it’s a skill that everyone picks up from early years but it often made me miserable. Ultimately, people are inconsistent and unreliable. They approve of you today but they are not sure of you tomorrow.

Self-aware

I recently started reading a book on authentic leadership (True North by Bill George). As I read the first few pages, I realised that I’d carried a bad habit into my adulthood. I thought I was being self aware by considering others’ reactions to me but I was really being self-conscious. Self-awareness is considering my own reactions to situations – identifying my triggers and managing them. I can’t control how people feel or what they think of me but I can control how I react to it. I’ve found this realisation liberating. I can be myself far more freely without the extra pressure of guessing, considering and trying to change what people think.

I’m now really loving my mid 30s as it’s so much better than my mid 20s. I suppose with age, who you really are cannot stay hidden.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Loved & Abandoned

"Loved & Abandoned"

“Loved & Abandoned”

 

I shot this on Sunday afternoon near my home. I caught one glimpse of it and had to make a U-turn.

The scene represents a friendship left to die, passion allowed to wither and a life once energetic, ultimately not lived to its full potential…

 

Photo credit: Yekemi Otaru

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