I had a conversation the other day, about how I don't feel like an adult yet, and that I don't think I'll feel like an adult for a very long time. Or until I get a full time job, and live in my own place where I pay my own rent, and start having a lot more abstractions to worry about on a daily basis. I think I've also come to romanticise this state of independence, where you get to choose your own IKEA furniture and plant basil on your windowsill, which is actually more like constant a obsession with fuel prices and watching for your almond milk and chicken to go on sale, and some amateurish balancing of your monthly income. So really, there is no rush to get to this 'adult' stage - it is arbitrary, and not as fun as I imagine it to be. While I want the qualities of emotional maturity, of having my shit together, of being financially stable - I also do want to be growing. Growing implies incompleteness - of not being good enough yet - which seems to go against this whole concept of 'I know what I am doing, look at my minimalist apartment', but I want to be aware of my inadequacies and be patching them up and making ground where I am lacking. And this goes arm in arm with the whole financial security and building a fulfilling career thing - because I can't be satisfied in my day job if my skills don't enable me to work in a good one.
I think lately, I've become aware of how I have stagnated, or neglected the creative side of me. I've been dipping my toe into Adobe Illustrator over the past year, but event photography is the same generally, and during the semester, it's been really difficult to get outdoors and organise some friends and just take pictures I wouldn't normally take. I'm also aware of how lucky I really am to have these friends who are so willing to be photographed. We have a really great symbiotic situation going on, where I help them liven up their Instagram feeds, and they help me grow bit by bit, and make sure I don't spiral into an existential crisis where I've lost meaning and inspiration in my life.
So recently, before I flew out of Sydney into Queenstown (I may write about this later), I shot Tara and Alice a couple of times, and looking at these images, I realise now that I am still growing, and I am so relieved to feel that. The same me from last year couldn't have taken these photos - partly because me last year didn't even know Tara, and me last year had never come to these places before - but also because me last year probably didn't see things the same way as me now. I am particularly proud of the image on the top right starring Tara because past me backlit everything all the time, and probably would've written this shot off as not possible, or probably not good. So I am proud of myself for this little thing.
On top of this, I feel like I am on my way to better things in my life. For the first time, I can confidently say that I am employed, and I am earning a consistent and good stream of income. I can actually save and plan for holidays. Unfortunately, I am still a long way off from earning enough to allow me to move out of home, which I will deal with, because real estate is impossible right now. My last semester was by far my best academically in these past couple of years of university - my mum was very proud of me. But it is also true that I could be writing more - I'm not, and there isn't really anything I can say to back myself up. I'm not reading enough either, and my copy of 'Tender is the Night' eyes me disappointedly from a metre away. I am exactly 38 pages in, but Pokemon Sun is much more alluring and I have nothing to say for myself in defence.
But that's what new years are for. I'm going to do things like eat better (specifically - binge less), and buy less clothes (because I don't actually need a lot more). I'm going to tend to the small things, like getting last year's pants I bought on Boxing Day hemmed, and buying new nail clippers. I might become more diligent about my skincare, and I will focus more on learning new skills, like Adobe Illustrator and Premiere. I want to volunteer more (my applications are still being rejected), and do more things that scare me.
Less than a month to go - keep me accountable, friends.