For those of you that follow this blog, you will know that I am going through a challenging time at the moment. For those of you that don’t - in short - I am going through a break up. Whilst it is the best decision for me to progress in life, all the usual break up symptoms are still very much present. Thankfully, I have a great coping tool.
Withdrawal, sadness, anxiety, feelings of failure are all doing the rounds inside my body and mind right now. At times it can be exhausting, and I feel an urge within myself to just completely shut down and surrender to the pain.
But where would that lead me? How would feeling sorry for myself aid my development as a person? It wouldn’t. If I was to allow the negativity to take over then I would miss a valuable opportunity to grow emotionally. Sadness would turn to bitterness, and I would eventually run the risk of slipping into depression.
Like many I could fall into the trap of contacting the person with which the relationship broke down. Sure, it would give comfort to my withdrawal, but it would not be the source of my recovery. That’s where street photography comes in…
Street Photography as therapy
I am currently travelling through Spain, so far visiting: Bilbao, Zaragoza, and at the time of writing this, Valencia. It is such a beautiful part of the world and the culture is something that really resonates with me. Of course, this trip is a perfect opportunity for me to put a lot of hours into shooting street.
Having this passion, this obsession with documenting the world I see, gets me up and out of bed in the morning. There is something about packing my bag; with my laptop, a good book, my notepad and pen, ready for a day full of shooting, that gives me so much happiness.
Most importantly, it gives me purpose…
Any relationship that ends can sometimes leave us feeling useless. However, that just isn’t true to reality. We all have a purpose, and it is in the most challenging of times where it is important to focus our energy on it.
Knowing each night when I go to sleep feeling sad, that the next morning I have day full of passion and purpose, keeps me feeling positive about the world. Just the process of walking around and seeing new places, meeting new people and taking photos, keeps me centered and focused. Shooting street is not just a great feeling, it is also a great distraction from other things that are going on in my life, preventing overthinking, anxiety and low mood.
Whilst it doesn’t completely eradicate the feelings of grief, it allows me to manage them. Most importantly, it allows me to manage them in a healthy way. Because any time I feel like acting out or allowing my emotions to make me behave in an irrational manner - I just pick up my camera, go for a walk, and photograph what I see. It really is free therapy.
I should also note, that whilst street photography is playing a huge part in keeping me happy, it is not working alone. I am very fortunate that I have a wonderful support group, both in my personal life and online. Honestly, the response I have got from both sides has completely blown me away. If only to realise how much I mean to people, and when at the most difficult periods they are here to prop me up, this break up was worth it. Words do not do justice for how I feel about everyone who has been here for me at this time.
Find your own purpose
We all go through tough times in life - I am sure some of you reading this right now are too. Whatever challenge you're facing, I urge you to invest into whatever it is your passionate about, and use the difficult energy to do something positive. I am almost certain it will help you on your journey to becoming strong again.
I know it is definitely working for me. Because if it wasn’t for street photography and the amazing people in my life, I would most likely be getting lost into a bottle of whiskey, crying into the Tinder App and losing interest in all the beautiful people and things around me.
Thanks for reading.
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