The answer to a question no one asked.
I’m pretty sure the only people who visit this blog are myself when I’m searching for typos, and the 5 bots that are currently following me on Instagram. However after several months of silence on this website, I’ve decided to push myself to return to blogging for the end of 2017, and give you, the good people of the internet, another amateur “National Geographic-crossed-with-Buzzfeed” article to enjoy.
However the problem is that as we come to the end of year, I’m still trying to work out what I actually did in the last six months, and what lessons were learnt in all that time. So bear with me on this one while I use this blog post to mentally backtrack through the last six months of 2017. I promise there are some decent photos below.
Failing to blog
Here’s a little behind-the-scenes scoop; I actually wrote an entire blog post back in August about the two weeks I spent travelling in Portugal this summer, complete with illustrations I had drawn for it. Alas, it will never see the light of day. Believe it or not I do exercise some level of quality control on this blog, and it turns out a long-read post about solo-travelling in Setubal bay, complete with musings on growing up, and the history of Portuguese discovery of the Azores didn’t make the cut. The main problem with that post was that I tried to end it with a weak conclusion about adulthood and the importance of staying hopeful and curious as you grow up. Yet here I am at 22 with even less of an idea of what I’m doing with my life than last year, and honestly it doesn’t feel great. Overarching narratives are hard to come by – hence why I’m writing a listicle.
Pretending I’m a Morning Person
Full disclosure, this pretty much only happened once, but since this is a blog I’m going to take one small detail in my life and make a really big deal out of it. I hate getting up early, and can barely function, let alone engage in small talk, before 10am on a good day. However, a few weekends ago, my friend persuaded me to get up before sunrise to drive with him out of the city we live in, and into the rural clines of England for an early morning photography shoot. You can see some photos from that adventure below. Watching the sunrise over a field of frost crystals did make it worth getting up at 6am on a Saturday, and it was a lot of fun to literally see the area I live in a new light.
Pretending I’m German
Back in September I travelled to the Black Forest in southwestern Germany with my family to visit some old friends, get reacquainted with places I visited as a child, and rediscover my love of German food and culture. It turned out this is a pretty intense love, and I spent a lot of winter 2017 wearing a “Die Schwarzwald” baseball cap, eating spätzle, making Feuerzangenbowle, and getting really into the Netflix series Dark. I’ll level with you, this was a bit of a tragic obsession, (especially considering I can’t speak German at all), but some really good food came out of it. You can see a visual journey through my obsession with Germany here.
Oh boy. Let’s backtrack a bit more for some context. For the first half of 2017, I felt as though I made some really positive moves in my life. I managed to work through some insecurities I had about myself and my past (more info about that here). I made some professional achievements and worked on some projects I’m still proud of. I moved to a new house, travelled to some new places, improved my physical fitness, and also at some point learnt how to play the ukulele. Part 2 of 2017 however, was not nearly as successful.
I spent a lot of it saying goodbye to or falling out of touch with friends as they moved away, or started intense, unsociable work schedules. I got bitter and petty about things I had worked hard to not get bitter and petty about anymore, (namely people with poor communication skills, putting effort into maintaining a friendship and getting little back in return, and other first world problems), and to make things worse I kept distant from people, because I didn’t want to explain the ridiculous, irrational things fuelling my bitterness. All of this left me feeling like I’d regressed into the worse, more anxious and neurotic person I was prior to the past year, which is a bit of a hindrance when you’re trying to get into the festive holiday spirit. So time for my first new year’s resolution; I’m going to try and dial down on the social media for 2018, and try to spend less of my life getting frustrated at my messenger app. It looks like I’m not the only one hoping to begin the new year this way, and besides, if I let anxiety and bitterness get the better of me, I’m doomed to keep making the same mistakes, and to keep getting angry about the same things. Among other things, that might make this blog a bit repetitive.
Despite my track record though, I am going to try and write some more blog posts here in the next few months. There’s something oddly cathartic about creating content online, rather than just continuously consuming it like the internet is some kind of all-you-can-eat buffet. Which brings me to how I’ve probably actually spent the past six months…
Scrolling through David Harbour’s Instagram.
Yep, that pretty much covers the second half of 2017. Here’s to a successful and photogenic 2018 that involves me getting a life. I’m looking forward to sharing some exciting stuff with you very soon…
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