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Opinion: Retrospective

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It’s a new year. Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?

Around this time it becomes important to spend some time alone and look back on accomplishments and failures, on past goals and successes, and of course to plan and look forward to the future. Perhaps though, at least for me, the former seems to still lack a distinct flavour and needs some more time to stew. On the other hand perhaps I am looking at the wrong direction in search of answers…and successes. The end of the month saw me spending a lot of late nights returning by train from Tokyo with lots of time to gaze vacantly out the windows at the passing blur of lights, lost in a sea of thoughts, what ifs, and should haves.

I look back on the year and see a spiral into isolation. I see a bold line demarcating my boundaries and comforts. I see new strengths in public speaking and presentation but at the same time an ironic pull away from individuals and the confidence I once held speaking my mind online. Ironic, that juxtaposition. The more we know, the more we realize how little we actually know. With that, the more I’ve experienced in Japan, the more I grew as a person through my failures and successes the less I felt confident in sharing my opinions on a public stage. Despite being aware of this, I’d still spend several nights a week walking home from work and being critical of myself for this lack of confidence. To be honest, I really hated myself for it and it put me off from not only writing and updating, but shooting as well. I wanted to change it but didn’t know how. More over, already being surrounded by these failures week in and week out I lacked the effort to attempt to create content, not wanting to be responsible for even more of those failures in my life. This slowly spiralled downward and took a lot of time to recover from. You get into a habit and it becomes really hard to break from.

Looking back a bit on life there are some key moments when I stopped worrying about people’s opinions, or the chance of success, or even the risks involved and just went out and did my own thing, for myself and not for others. Some of them were quite uncomfortable and scary but in the end I came out of it feeling good, and having learned something new in life. It gave me new perspective and built new facets into my character. I realized that when I took these chances is when I felt most happiest in life. Despite the failures and the critical words of others I still took it on to myself to face those challenges and came out a better and happier person for it.

If I think about it, perhaps this is just another one of those cases. Perhaps I just need to continue to step out of my comfort zone, and toughen up my skin a little and continue to make mistakes. Coming into the new year I aim to adapt that perspective when it comes to photography and story telling. I may lack the confidence to be vocal about the subjects that interest me now but I will make sure to do what makes me uncomfortable, regardless of whether I may step on some toes along the way. I want to be able to create content that people can enjoy and that I can feel happy about.

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