I don't like the Winter. Its my least favorite season. During these cold months I am in a constant state of discomfort and discontent. First I'm too cold, so I put on more clothes, I turn up the heat. Then I'm too hot. So I have to put up my hair, take off the extra socks I put on. Then I'm chilled again. I am forever in search of that happy medium.
I don't like sweaters. You put them on because its freezing outside, but how long are you actually outside? Once you reach your destination and you're back inside, you're burning up and regret ever putting that sweater on the in first place. I wore a black turtle neck today and I regretted every second of it. Its like it was choking me. I couldn't breathe. I kept pulling on it and tugging at it to give myself a few seconds of relief, but it persisted to strangle me all day. During the Winter I am never content. Never comfortable.
There have been times in my life that felt like a perpetual Winter and like I was wearing a turtle neck every single day of it. I was in a constant state of dissatisfaction and frustration. I felt like I was working and working and working to obtain a certain kind of life that I wanted, but I was getting nowhere. I was pulling and tugging, and no matter what I did, I still felt strangled and restrained. I was doing everything except what I knew I needed to be doing. I wasn't taking pictures anymore. I wasn't writing. I wasn't myself. I was falling apart.
Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who is known for creating the "hierarchy of human needs". He even created a pyramid to demonstrate the levels of human need that lead to self-actualization. The dictionary defines self-actualization as the realization of one's talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone. I find his whole theory to be fascinating and particularly applicable to my life.
Abraham Maslow said, "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be."
Its hard for me to explain in words this nagging feeling, urge, compulsion that comes from inside of me, driving me to create. I think Maslow describes it so simply and so accurately "What one can be, one must be." By not fulfilling my potential and holding back all these things inside me, I had created my own personal Winter. I was miserable.
Maslow also said, "If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."
If I weren't able to take another picture ever again, or write another word, I would become a shell of a person. I would be lost. That's how much it means to me and my well being. Photography and writing are not just things I do because I enjoy them. I create art because I have to. I need to. Its in me. Its my passion. Its my purpose. Its what I'm good at. Its the way I see the world. Frame by frame. Its who I am.
Just as the seasons change, I'm sure I will one day endure another personal Winter. But as long as I can keep creating, I know I will make it through and I will be "at peace" with myself again.