For the past few weeks this has been my mantra before going to bed at night. Being in a new city, albeit a city where I grew up, had spurred on some negative feelings, largely due to the anxious nature of settling in to a different place, but more particularly in the field of social media, an area I have strayed away from for months. But coming back online and back to Cape Town was a lot more nerve wracking than I had anticipated. Things have changed and I too, have created a culture of my own far away from the one I am in now. A culture of expats all living and working abroad, a culture of creatives all working together trying to put out content, a culture of women supporting each other and carrying each other through and an overwhelming effort from friends and photographers to encourage and help one another in the pace of it all.
My dear friend Jeff Simone and I started taking photos over a year ago and I remember him clearly saying that he wanted to practice. He wanted to practice taking photos of people. He wanted to get better at photography and was willing to take photos of a number of creators on blogs and social media, so that he could get better. For a long time I thought Jeff was helping me out, but now I believe there was a part of him that thought I was helping him, that the subject was the one helping the photographer.
This story is an important lesson for me, and I’m sure for so many others out there, that our intention in what we do shapes the way we do things, the way we create, and also the way we start. We all start from the bottom. And the top is where you define what success means to you.
You are not in competition with anyone else.
Though that’s what it felt like when I arrived in Cape Town. I could feel I was in a new pool, a pool with new creators, people who I haven’t connected with, who have already established relationships with each other. And in a state of anxiety, I felt as an outsider, far removed from my own team of creators, from my own community and from my own friends. And the more I pondered on this, I came to realise that there was no Gretchen Weiners moment. Maybe these groups of creators were just reflecting something back at me. They were reflecting at me something I once had, something I miss. An emptiness came over me, a loneliness. I was without – without a team and to begin again takes a lot, to grow with people takes a lot. And the whole experience has reflected where I’d like to be and just how much it’ll take to get there.
“Where we are not is just as important as where we are” Matthew Mcconaughey.
Photography by Lindsey Fourie.
Lindsey and I have been working together for the past few weeks and I couldn’t have asked for a better fit! You’ll see so much more of her photographs in my upcoming blog posts and on my Instagram feed.
Thank you as always, for reading!