I’ve spent New Year’s Eve and New Years Day in the countryside. I grew up spending all of my weekends and holidays at my grandparents’ farm and although the farm is no more, mainly because my granddad died many years ago, we still have the house. It’s a big family house, very cold and wet, but the kitchen is always warm thanks to the old cooker, the kind of cooker that still needs wood and fire. And I love it.
Since there is no internet in the house I didn’t bother bringing my laptop, but I did take my phone with the intention of practicing with its camera and the vsco app. It’s the only app I use before publishing anything on Instagram, I don’t use Instagram’s tools at all. So, I packed two pairs of thick socks and my sneakers, as well as sweaters, scarves and a pair of gloves that I bought recently at Tiger that allows you play with your phone, don’t ask me how. It’s pure magic for all I care.
I am a very insecure person, and somehow the internet plays tricks on me, or so I think. When someone doesn’t give me feedback I kind of freak out. It’s like I need approval or something. I need to know that I’m doing things right when I’m doing them right because my mind always tells me that they’re wrong, they’re always wrong even when they’re right. And well, since you can know when people likes your work almost immediately now, and you almost never get a bad critic… or at least not someone like me, an amateur and almost invisible person (see? It’s me) I know when people like something… not when they don’t, but in my head they don’t. Does this make sense?
Well, when I’m thinking of a specific person or a specific group of people whose thoughts and opinions I would like to know and I don’t get a response, my heart says “they’re busy; they have their own lives, problems, families, time zones, jobs… etc.” which of course is true, always. My brain says “they don’t like you, you’re fake, you’re a pose, and you’re worthless” which sometimes is true too (but in reality that only means that I should work harder).
But when I arrived in my granny’s house this situation changed, it remained only for a few hours. I had no internet, I was relying on 4G entirely, I couldn’t connect all the time because I wanted to use the camera and vsco and the battery runs out quickly (even though I have a little power bank device). Also, I was almost never alone and when I was, I was on one of my wanderings looking and staring at the oddest things: a pile of trunks, some birds flying, a solitary dandelion, a tractor, sheep and their sheep dog, a friendly cat, the forest, old houses made of stone, I even heard a wild pig although I couldn’t see it, and I saw a hawk although I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo… dammit! All that made me forget about my insecurities, at least for almost three days.
I was ready to let go of 2016, but before I finish this entry I must say something good about it. Because there have been good things too: I’ve met some amazing people, truly inspirational. And even though I’ve lost some so-called friends (not too many) I’ve kept the best, and they too inspire me. That’s what I’m looking for in people from now on, inspiration and good humour. Not approval, I don’t need approval. And I must learn to live without that need.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I shall transfer my resolutions from a dirty draft to a nice couple of pages of my diary. Thank you so much for reading and Happy New Year.
- The title is the two first lines of Death Cab for Cutie’s “The New Year”
- The photos are all unedited and unpublished yet