Thursday, December 31, 2020

As I write this post after months of not writing I've been reflecting on how weird things have been. This year I didn't commit myself to any type of yearly project I'd normally force myself to work on to keep myself "busy" or "creative". I was told years ago to always be creative. I don't think that mindset works anymore. Being creative does require you to do the work and practice practice practice, yes, of course. It helped me create new projects along the way, but those past projects just seemed so half assed realizing most of what I've done in these last 15 years have been half assed. I want my projects to have more polish. I want my projects to have more time. I don't need to rush. And I think seeing the progress of how many of these photographers I follow have that issue.

At the beginning of the year I told myself I'd slow down and realize some of my thoughts and feelings before working on anything creative. I didn't know that the world would do the same realizing their own efforts be put on hold. Many of us had to readjust normalalities to a temporary normal. Those limitations insisting on folks to stay home, but go out if need be. Mostly respected, but also rebelled. You have to wear a mask wherever you go. Cleaning protocols have been taken serious for the very first time. Take out delivery always the best option. Go to work, but stay home if you really do feel like shit and then take a test to make sure you don't really have the shit. We thought that working while slightly sick was acceptable. It isn't anymore. Take care of yourself or else you won't work. Kinda sucks huh? I've done my best to abide by the loose rules we need to work around this crazy mess. And when you give certain groups of people rules they tend to make excuses as to why they shouldn't. I've never seen so much stupid in my life. I thought I was stupid, but man some of these folks really have no idea or don't care to have one.

I haven't seen much of anyone this year other than my girlfriend and her family and the people I work with for months. It's certainly a test. Something I'm not very good at. However, I've come to realize the luck I've acquired during these crazy times and how my loved ones have all survived this crazy mess. I connect with my family on Zoom. Folks that I've looked up to give me the time of day to talk online. Friendships have gotten tighter. Toxic folks still kept away. I'm fucking lucky.

I'm not sure what else to say because not a lot has happened for me. But for the few things that happened they became very important to how I would look forward to 2021.

1. I live in a house again

For the last few years I've lived in an apartment of some kind. Earlier this year we were given the opportunity to live in a house. It's been a long time living in a bigger space. Probably the last time I lived in a house was with someone who couldn't afford it. Little by little we've made some adjustments to the house (IE her dad fixing shit) and had added our flair to what we wanted it to look like. It felt like home after a month of buying and adjusting the place to our needs. The home still needs work, but it feels like home.
2. Casually creative. Seeing and listening rather than playing and capturing
I've been consuming rather than showing much work this year. I've only written two songs and casually photographed my experiences here and there. I never realized the burnout I endured until 2020 landed. I couldn't really pick up a camera or write a song. Fifteen years is a long time to feel like you've done minimal, but it's given me something to really think about. I took a year off not knowing I took a year off.
3. Joshua Jorgensen
I recently got connected with a friend I grew up with in my adolescent years. We were huge on playing fighting games growing up and had connected closely with that. I've never had someone like him be so passionate about it. We had a falling out years ago, but somehow found ourselves speaking again and sort of ironing out some things I had questions about. Probably one of the things I wanted to talk about with him is all the shitty things I've done to our friendship. That's something I'll never forget. And Josh if you're reading this... I'm sorry for being unreliable.
4. I actually took time to realize a bit of my mental health
Some of you that know that me casually reads my blog know of my depressive history. As I reflect on these times I've been trying my best to understand my depressive moods in a "working on it" approach. I'm certainly stable, but do tend to dive deep on these thoughts that cripple my willingness to do anything. I've learned that I just need to go through it. I'm sober and hope to continue to be sober or the amount of time I exist. And to be present on the goods and bads are what helps me realize my human mistakes. I'm not perfect. And I don't know how to be. I'm just what I can be.

I want to leave 2020 behind, but I want to embrace what challenges we had to face upon being present in this forsaken year. Bringing what I know from this year to 2021 should help me solve some things I may need to face in the months to come. I'm sure I'll be a bit more creative this time, but damn the year really got me fucked up. I had to reflect and listen and understand and support and honor the folks who really did it this year. Make no mistakes I'm hoping to work more.

Thank you all for being there for me. Especially this year when us asian folk got the brunt of something we never really did. love, Arthur