On some days you simply have to shove

How does that old adage go? When push comes to shove... it’s been a bit of rough sailing lately, which has kept me away from writing. I thought the Easter days would bring about the much needed turnaround I was hoping for, but here I am, stuck. It’s not just the writing, but an overwhelming frustration with the world in general, the government(s), the social distancing, isolation, but most of all the job hunting. I gave myself a break last week in order to step back and gather my strength and thoughts again, searching for much needed self-motivation and determination.

Unemployment is draining on the senses and willpower, and when the rejections come in as quickly as the applications I send out, at some point I reach a tipping point and simply want to throw in the towel. It has taken a lot of introspection and personal assessment of what I can do, what I want to do, what is out there, and how to make things happen. Long story short, I’ve spent the last three days wallowing in yet another wave of application forms, knowing that in spite of all the hours I put in chances are I may never hear from them again. Nevertheless, one has to remain positive and I keep reminding myself that I and several hundred thousand people out there are in the same boat. I am incredibly grateful to have a broad skillset that allows me to cast a wider net in several sectors and am not ultra specialised that confines me to just one niche. This of course has its advantages and major disadvantages. Jills-of-all-trades are not exactly in demand at the moment, at least not in the European job market, but I firmly believe that somewhere out there I will find my perfect match in terms of that dream job. It just takes a little more effort and one more bucket of patience.

In 2020 my pandemic project was to experiment with portraiture, determined to turn a weakness into strength. When I did the latest photoshoot of my daughter and processed the photos I realised that those 12 months of work really paid off and I have come a long way since.

March 2021 was a turning point for in more ways than one. Now that I suddenly have the time for those shelved projects, I figured it was time to face an old nemesis: floral photography. How many time have you read here on this blog that I am no a fan of floral photography? So I decided that enough was enough, and I asked the universe whether perhaps my approach was the one holding me back all along. The moment I realised that I kept trying to compare myself to other photographers instead of seeking out my own path and signature look, just like with portraiture, things fell into place.

It’s very much like my cooking style – I rarely have a menu planned, and basically just decide what I’m going to cook only when I take a look at the ingredients in the kitchen. I am no florist or botanist, so I am not out to re-create what is on the table, vase or flower pot exactly the way it is. I am and always will be a storyteller, and whether it is a small bunch of orchids, or a tiny bamboo blossom. Here are some of the results thus far, which are part of a bigger collection

There is something liberating about finally having found what has been eluding me all along. I still have a long way to go, but I must admit that I am actually beginning to enjoy this floral adventure. It’s not just the petals and the colours, but there is something about leaves as well:

Basically the past two weeks have been lessons in pushing aside negativity and shoving new challenges onto my own plate. Takes a while to figure out what exactly I’m looking for sometimes, but then I shut the voices in my head up and start telling the story my way.

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