It’s been exactly a year since I last posted an update here. I wanted to say something about how time flies because it seems like only yesterday that I started up this website, but on the other hand it feels like a lifetime ago. Life has an interesting way of changing sneakily around you. You feel like everything is the same, but when you look back you notice all the differences. The growth. Things you’ve lost and things you’ve learned. The small changes over time that, when you look at the grand total, make a huge difference in your life.
This year has been a year of focusing on myself. Really evaluating my needs. Setting boundaries and being more open and clear with my family and friends. I wanted to become a better person not just for myself, but moreso for the people I love. I wanted to be more honest even when it was hard to do so. I wanted to stop letting in negative energy that would drain me of my already very limited energy. As a restult, some friendships grew stronger, some friendships were gained, and some were lost. I’ve noticed that some people simply don’t like to hear the truth because it can be too confrontational, and I’ve learned to accept that and leave people to deal with their own problems without trying to be a part of their healing process, because you can’t help everyone. Especially when you damage yourself in the process.
It’s a strange feeling when you constantly think you’re being selfish, yet people are telling you you need to think of yourself more often.
A big reason for me realizing what I needed in life was reintegration therapy. I have Fibromyalgia and mild Hypermobility, as well as Symphysis pubis dysfunction. These afflictions cause me a lot of pain and fatigue which really affects every day of my life. After years of struggling without getting proper help I finally found a place where I could get guidance. Where a team of professionals analyzed my mind and body and said ‘we can help you with your struggle’. And they did. Immensely. They made it very clear that I can not heal. I will not be ‘cured’. I am chronically ill. But they could help me find the tools to make my life easier. Though I still struggle with pain and fatigue every day, I have learned how to handle it a lot better. I learned how to focus on myself, analyze my feelings, take enough rest, to not feel guilty for not being able to do things (though this is still hard!), to plan my days and weeks in a way that maximizes efficiency and manages pain and fatigue as much as possible. To accept that, when I’m in pain, it’s fine to just lay down and take a nap! (shocking!)
I learned a lot about my relationship with myself and my body. I’m still not where I want or need to be, and some days it will feel like nothing has changed and I’m still the wreck I was a year ago. However, when I actually look at the facts and the reality, I’ve grown a lot. My focus shifted from “what does everybody think of me” to “what do I think of me?”, and trying to keep other people’s judgement out of the equation.
My work is really important to me and my focus shifted completely to my photography business. Sometimes I lose myself in work and just trying to keep afloat, working over 12 hours a day, and other aspects of my life suffer from it. Impostor syndrome causes me to constantly try and prove myself to the world.
I am still trying to find the balance of work, relationships, relaxation and all of these model-blogger- influencer shenanigans. The issue is that I love doing all of these things and I want to do all of these things, but I let one of the things, photography and making enough money from that, take up all of my time and headspace. It ‘s not just a ‘focus on what’s important’ situation, it’s me being obsessive and sometimes using work as escapism. If I work hard enough and long enough I will forget about my feelings and needs. I don’t think that’s a healthy way to live, so I am slowly trying to reintroduce other things into my life. Trying to find ways to have fun, relax, and think of something else for a change. Yes I love photography and everything that comes with creating the perfect shot, my job is my passion, but the entire business side of it all makes me so stressed and gives me so much pressure to perform and be perfect, that it’s utterly unhealthy to be consumed by it 24/7. I need to create room to breathe so I can look at it in a different way. I need some distance so I can evaluate and move on in the right way.
At the start of this year I created the self portraits that you see below. I had just finished my last therapy session with my psychologist and was feeling positive but emotional about it. It’s always strange to leave someone you trust with every feeling, every story and every emotion attached, and go off to do it all alone again. I went to the studio to do a couple of things, and of course got distracted. I found this dress at the thrift store nearby for 3,50, tried it on, put on some Joni Mitchell and just let myself feel every emotion. I let my tears run down my face as I shot these self portraits. I think this release was the start of looking into my own emotions better. Differently. With more respect.
Restarting this blog is a way to do something different and fun. I can post whatever I want on here (mostly because, let’s be real, who even reads blogs anymore?! Nobody will ever see this!). It’ll likely remain a mix of personal life, vlogs, style and make-up and whatever else I feel like sharing. I’d love it if you’d drop by from time to time!
So, hey, if you’re still here, I want to thank you for reading through over 800 words of me trying to make up a cohesive story about what the past year has brought me. I’d love to hear from you about what this year has been to you and what you’re working on.
Lots of love
Necia | Josefien