Photography and Knits by Elise Sophie

norwegian flowers, books in a stack on the bedside table, cups of tea, films with lots of swearing, pincushions shaped as mushrooms, cats with big hearts, friends with many names and flavours, music with a lot of dimensions, knitting needles that mysteriously disappear, and yarn. lots of yarn.

fredag 1. januar 2016

Happy New Year

In January 2015 I started the year off by stating that this quote from Walt Whitman was going to be my guiding motto for the following year:

"Happiness, knowledge, not in another place, but this place, 
not for another hour, but this hour."

By the end of the year I'm sad to say I had completely forgotten this guiding principle that I so hopefully set myself at the start of the year. I'm also rather saddened by the fact that my state of mind this New Year's Day is pretty much the same as it was at the same time last year: hesitatingly optimistic, but still mostly rather insecure.

I do get a general feeling of eagerness when I look ahead at what the new year might bring, which I try to hold on to whenever it takes place in my mind. My problems in the past couple of years haven't really been that I haven't been able to imagine good and valuable things to come in my life, but rather that I struggle to thoroughly appreciate the small, but good, things in my day to day life. By thoroughly appreciating I mean letting those little things form the basis of my happiness and become my focal points from day to day.

I have a bad habit of always wanting to be in control, to always have a master plan for the future. I think part of being able to live thoroughly in the present involves letting that need for control go, and to accept the future as something malleable and variable. The nature of the future is to succeed the past and the present, therefore allowing my current self to change and develop involves allowing the future to be what it will be. I do have a plan for the future, but it is overarching and indistinct, and the road to that future is unclear. My future, however, does not involve an insecure and apprehensive person like the one I see myself as now. 

 photo Juniper Frost_zpscbel4r7j.jpg

A lot of my insecurity revolves around career options (or in my case, the non-career option, which is my ultimate goal which I hope to achieve in not too long) and it has to a great extent been chequed and kept under control by the constant comfort I get from being able to sit down with my needlework at the end of the day. As you may know from previous posts from last year, I overworked my arms and wrists some time in October, and had to stop both knitting and refurbishing the house. I currently work as a teacher in the local high school, another one of my career options, after having received a MA in History from the University of Edinburgh. The problem is that I'm not sure. I'm unsure and insecure about what I want the portion of my time that I spend outside of home, earning money, to consist of. I've given working in nurseries a fair chance, having worked in a couple for over 12 months together, and now I'm giving teaching teenagers a fair chance. Getting a job after uni is expected, and from I finished studying in June 2014 I decided that, having a job that's non-profit, and which can benefit more people than only myself (in that I make money from it), is something that I'd like to do. The trouble is, after having spent over a year trying it out, I'm not so sure anymore. One way of escaping the gnawing thoughts about the future and what I should or should not do, has been to knit.

What I do know, is that I obsess over the fact that I'm not enjoying the 'plan' I had for my future self, back in the spring of 2014. I also obsess about the fact that I can't knit at the present, and not being able to escape my thoughts through working with my hands (either knitting or refurbishing) has had a severe effect on my general well-being. I'm quite shocked by the importance that knitting has to my sense of well-being, and frankly, a bit frightened of my dependance on it. Therefore I've tried to reflect, and reflect again, on what's important to me, besides knitting. Knitting and textiles remain my number one passion, and that will not change. However, harking back to the paragraph above the picture, the future is uncertain. My current self will not be the same as my future self, therefore the future I envision now, cannot be the future that I eventually will experience. This necessarily means that the current situation in my life and health is not the entire and eternal situation of my life and health. Things change, develop and move on. Just as surely, my arms will improve, and in the mean time I need to focus on my motto of last year (which I officially choose to claim for 2016 also), which to me means to let the present take centre stage in my life. To not obsess over what I can't do right now (knit), but embrace all the things I can do and do right now. I'm in the geographical place I want to be, now I just need to get comfortable with the person that I am, and will become, in time, and accept that I might need to try a hundred different "careers" (non-profit and for-profit ones) and still perhaps not find the right one, but that that is also just fine. It's ok. 

On another note, I would LOVE some suggestions of interesting and fun new hobbies to try out, while my arms recover their former strength. Preferably something that does not involve using one's arms... and does involve using one's head (or any other body parts).

Happy New Year to you all, and thank you for sticking with me through this past year, your visits mean more to me than you might think!


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