I don’t know if it’s the glimmer of hope for being thru the worst of the cold, cloudy days or just that I am trying to be mindful to reconnect with my sillier side lately. Either way, I’ve been watching funny movies more, making my loved ones laugh more, and even just being sillier when I’m home all alone. I’ve started working on a photography project that is very new and fun too. It’s unlike the fine art type of work I usually create - and I’m finding there is a lightness to the fact that it is so opposite of what I’m used to. It feels more like play than work.
Creating fine art photography honestly has begun to feel more like work these days. Or at least I feel too much internal pressure to do my fine art a certain way and then it starts to feel heavy. And I start to overthink things and question myself. That leads no where good. And it’s something I’ve struggled with when I try and put all of my attention on my art.
This little side project is a nice break from that so far. A nice exploration of how else I can enjoy taking photos. And with any luck, I might be able to really build it into a nice little side job. Either way, it feels nice to be doing something new and not be putting a bunch of pressure on myself to do it any certain way. It feels good to be stretching new creative muscles and trying new things and just saying “Hey, let’s see where this goes!”
I think in life and in grief, it’s so important to have things like that to lighten the load - or maybe help us put that load down for just a few moments or hours each week.
I did a lot of things after Drew died that were adventures into the new. I made jewelry. I took pottery classes. I visited new places. I showed up at Camp Widow. I made new friends. I got back into drawing. I tried Crossfit for a year. Ultimately, I took some chances and tried lots of things and it brought a sense of lightness to my grief. Or maybe it’s better to say that it carved out a place in me that was lighter, and felt good, when all the rest of me felt heavy and dark and in pain. Those were the things that proved to me that life was still worth living… and that there was still a lot of really wonderful things about life to still experience. It also strengthened my connection to Drew. I always felt - wherever he may be - that he is happiest when he sees me embracing life in all kinds of fun ways. It made me feel that I was doing right by him.
Now, almost 7 years later, that same thing is still helping me cope with life in general. It’s not always easy to choose to let lightness in. Sometimes, I think we go thru periods that are heavy to remind us how important it is to laugh, be silly, try new things, or go new places. I know at least for me, right now, I am rediscovering that lighter, sillier side of life a bit… and am realizing with fresh eyes yet again just how important it is to embrace both the dark and the light.