I went out to get groceries the other day for the first time in over a week (holding out as much as possible) and in the midst of being inside the supermarket, trying to not bump into anyone, leaving 6ft of distance between us (more for the elderly), and feeling like I was on a gameshow (anyone remember supermarket sweep?), I broke down and cried. I love the supermarket. It’s where I can talk to strangers about a foreign root vegetable, where I enjoy looking at the shelves for new products, where I daydream about recipes — how can I incorporate this in a sweet or savory dish? — where I people-watch, myself, where I can be free, spend hours and come out with just one thing.
But not these days. Not at all. And all of this broke my heart as I quickly moved along, so much pressure over me, because while I feel like I can fight through the virus, I don’t know if I have it or not and if my existence is spreading it somehow. And in the middle of the tears rolling down my face, I couldn’t even wipe them with my plastic gloves for the obvious don’t-touch-your-face-reasons.
I came home feeling creatively drained and frustrated. I understand why we are doing what we are doing. And I will stay in for as long as need be, but I will not let it get the best of me and my heart.
So I whipped out my Sony Alpha camera I received for Christmas, downloaded a remote app, put it on a tripod, found the most flowy dress I had in my closet —one that reminded me of the time I wore it to a lavender field on a nice, summer day— and started to tap into my journey of learning self-portraits. My shadows were all off, exposure, etc., but I didn’t care. For the first time in a while, I pivoted my creativity into something totally new. Something I’ve “been meaning to do.” A new form of expression.
It’s a very scary time and we are feeling a whole slew of emotions. We can feel down, but don’t get stuck there. We must continue to work on our mental health. Take any frustrations or natural feelings of anxiety and turn it into something new. I am excited to embark on this series of self-portraits. I don’t know how to shoot on any other mode except auto (I know, I know — I’m more of an iPhoneographer pro!), but I am going to put in the work to learn. I am going to learn, continue snapping, and share here. I hope this helps inspire you to turn your feelings into something creative and something to look back at after this wave settles.
This is my #IsolationCreation. With time, things will get better. Our health. Our world. Even my new outlet: self-portraits ❤.