Saturday, 22 June 2013

bare footed living

Another day, another Saturday, but not another show - finally a day off. It feels like i have been working at a lot of shows lately. It strikes me how some are really great; really positive vibe going round, lots of energy, relatively organized and overall happy people. Yet some can be the complete opposite and it is highlighted just how misguided and misconstrued the majority of people's misconceptions are regarding modelling and the fashion industry. The sheer contrast leaves me wondering why... I am booked to do the same thing each time, so why is it that my experience is often something entirely incomparable? Yes, all of them accumulate and do tend to merge into one. I struggle to recall many jobs because there has been a lot and my memory isn't the greatest anyway. But the minor details, which are often the ones which carry the most weight in my book can vary so very much. So much so that they colour my entire experience. And I still cannot predict which way the wind will blow when I wake up each day - We can never quite predict much of life. This unpredictability is the core of both the beauty and the anxiety of what we do and how we live.

I knew this week would be madness to say the least. But madness and a busy diary means productivity, and this does always bring me happiness. In this case, I have happiness, very sore legs and feet, some new contacts, and I am reminded once more of how much other people affect our own being. The Yalom book I'm reading almost supports my way of thinking about this.. My 'alone time' has been very limited this week, because so much of life has been happening, and inevitably this involves being with others rather than being alone. I have been thinking of my 'aloneness vs company' debate a lot this week - particularly because one of my very closest friends, Zana is currently in the air heading towards Beijing for summer. We went out for Japanese dinner and cocktails as a 'send off' evening, and it was just a beautiful night. Having already spent a summer in Asia modelling, we were talking about what it would be like, what to expect from the model apartment, castings, food, the other girls, the agency, jobs, communication, living, and general life in Asia. And it reminded me of my own stay in Japan, which was two years ago. Not only has this time flown by faster than I can even articulate in words, but I do often wonder how I would manage it if I went out there again. I have turned it down two summers in a row now. Not to say I haven't considered it; I have considered it to great lengths, but just concluded that it didn't feel right.

My thoughts are full of ironic representations of life, or so it seems. The essence of them being that the one thing I tried very hard not to do, whilst staying in Japan was the one thing that prevented me from having what could have been the time of my life. I have been away and travelled to parts of the world, but by no means have I seen anywhere near enough to consider myself an expert. But I do know that when travelling, the biggest restriction is failure to embrace. We can know what embracing means and we can even attempt to do it, but if we cling onto the comfortable safety of familiar routines we are never truly living or travelling in the way in which we are born to do. It's like walking on sand whilst still wearing shoes. We wear shoes because they are comfortable and it's what we do every day before we leave the house; wake up, get dressed, washed, shoes on and out of the door. And sure, we'd get rather odd looks from passers-by if we roamed the streets barefoot and fancy-free. We'd hurt our feet and it would be very uncomfortable. But when walking on sand or on a beach, the environment has changed. We are no longer in the environment we are conditioned to live in, so we either adapt, embrace, learn what feels comfortable in the here and now with open eyes, or we stick with the old, because the risk of change is too great to consider taking.

If we wear shoes on sand, the grains get into our shoes, we struggle to walk because shoes weren't made for sand, and we have to adjust our entire way of walking just because of our desperate need to wear/have something which is no longer required. What we think of as comfortable is in fact, very very uncomfortable and becomes a struggle. However, if we were to take our shoes off and walk with bare feet, we would not only experience liberation and freedom, but we would be able to walk.. to run even. And not only walk and run, but to feel each grain of sand underneath our feet. We would experience and feel the things that we would otherwise fail to notice. When these metaphorical 'shoes' are gone, there is a new part of our mind freed to experience and learn new things; the new things we want to learn but unknowingly fight against.

Not a bad thought to have whilst sharing sushi and wine with a friend. I do wonder how I would embrace a similar trip now. So many friends are going away. The traveller in me hopes to do the same soon. Home is great, but the world is great too. But I think that maybe my next adventure is more an adventure of change rather than an adventure in a new location. Once more, I have blogged rather than done the things I was meant to do. I am now due to spend an evening with coffee, sushi and wine, and a good friend. I hope to continue living life with my new found bare feet.. where appropriate.

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