And so, here we are. A new year, a new chapter, a fresh start. I went through a lot of change last year, personally and professionally, and already this year the dust has begun to settle and I'm starting to see more clearly. I'm starting to not necessarily "feel" like myself again but perhaps, I'm start to get back to knowing who I am and what I want again. Last year I took some big steps, made some rash decisions, some good, some bad, but each one taught me something. Better to have lived and learned, right?
Being caught up in a whirlwind of social media beef, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and flagrantly discriminatory politicians (not to mention presidents-elect) can take its toll on the ol' outlook on life. It's easy to feel down, and to stay down. It's easy to feel suffocated. But it's vital that we remember that above the clouds, the sun is always shining.
2016 wasn't a great year for the world at large, but it was a pretty great year for me. My boyfriend and I took a leap and not only moved in together but also moved to Berlin together. I've developed a lot as a person, I feel that I've matured so quickly through my twenties, each year I look back and barely recognise the me from the previous year. Continually surprised by how far I've come and how much can change in twelve short months.
In order to "live in the moment" you first need an understanding of how you got to that moment. So much happened last year, too much perhaps, and only now, with the brutal gift of hindsight are we able to look back and take stock of exactly where we are and how to move forward.
Depressing global events may bruise our contentment, but bruises heal. In the healing process we have the luxury of time to pick ourselves up and re-focus. Though a lot is still up in the air for me, I feel more focused and determined than I have in a long time. With that in mind, I have been thinking a lot about my present, my future and about generally giving much less of a fuck.
Firstly, on this blog, I will always cover fashion from time to time. Fashion is in my blood and is just as much a part of my life as food and water at this point. However, fashion will not be the sole focus of Spelling Bee. With the world and my life somewhat in a state of constant flux I have decided to recalibrate (slightly) and choose to write about whatever I want and/or how ever I feel - whether it's fashion, film, music, or anything in between. This is a result of a few things, mainly that my more personal posts seem to generate a lot more conversation and can of course, only be written by me. I am, apparently, quite good at life advice and when trying to decipher exactly what makes me unique, it dawned on me that it is simply that I am myself, and no one else is. Only I have had the series of experiences I've had and therefore only I can share the lessons I've learned from them. I enjoy writing those posts and people seem to enjoy reading them. So that's a lovely coincidence.
An enormous thud of inspiration struck me late last year when I stumbled upon a quote from an unexpected source, American/Western novelist Louis L'Amour, who it transpires once said:
I know it seems obvious, but it had never occurred to me that in order to become a writer and have the confidence to call myself a writer, I must be constantly writing. As much as I can, about anything. I often complain (internally) that I'm lacking in inspiration, that I have no story to tell yet. Then, after reading this quote, I realised my ailment - I wasn't trying. I was going about my daily life waiting for inspiration to strike like lightning and although that does occasionally happen, I can't afford to sit around and wait for it. Good things may come to those who wait, but the best things come to those who go out and get them. We have to turn on the faucet and wait patiently for the purest, clearest, best stuff to flow out (which it will, eventually) and hopefully then, the seal will be broken forever.“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”― Louis L'Amour
Without fear of judgment or consequence I am going to write, write, and write some more. Writing is what I love to do, it's the only thing I've been told I'm actually good at, the only thing which truly comes naturally to me, it just flows, even this post I am writing non-stop, not checking anything or stopping to think of my next sentence, I just type and type and type and it flows out of me, it always has, for as long as I can remember and that is something which I need to recognise as rare and unique and worthy of harnessing. I've been indecisive about my career path for as long as I can remember, but writing has always been there, and constant thread through the tapestry of my life that I'm only now really seeing for the first time as clearly as I probably should have years ago. Ultimately, whether fiction or for film, writing is what I do aspire to do full-time, and I can't possibly reach that goal if I'm not doing it fairly constantly and taking it seriously.
And so, although you may not be a writer yourself, what I sincerely hope I can encourage you to do is to harness your skills, showcase your talents without shame and get rid of the fear of judgment for good. Share your work, share your ideas. Think of who your idols are, consider their career trajectory. Consider how different their lives would be/have been if they had been too embarrassed to share their work, to pursue their dream, or to merely take themselves seriously at what they do. The next time someone asks you what you do, tell them confidently what you wish the answer was and see where it leads. In this day and age, word travels fast and possibilities are seemingly endless. Consider your idols, embody them, become them, believe in your talent, assert your self-worth and slowly but surely the rest of the world will catch up.