full moon/full heart
It's a full moon and caitrammy.com is finally back. I didn't mean to shut it down for three months. I thought I was motivated and inspired enough to shake things up. Then I was overseas and realising I was still exhausted, still struggling, still just not quite there yet. So I kept putting it off until I felt ready. I am constantly changing my mind about things - the new site has gone through at least four changes in the past week alone. It's taken me awhile to figure out how I wanted this to run, but I'm feeling like how it is now is a good place for it be in. Anyway, we're here now (finally), on the phase of the moon I was born under - ready to start anew. Here is a little update on where my life is at.
A major reason I've wanted to have this online writing platform has always been to talk about the state of my mental health. It's important to put it out there, not just for my own healing process but to let other people know they're not alone. I've struggled with depression and anxiety for many years. Anxiety still makes itself known on a mostly daily basis, but in terms of depression, I'm not entirely sure anymore. I've been cultivating a meditation practice every day for 6 weeks now and while I was a huge skeptic at first, I'm starting to see the benefits.
I'm almost at that point where I look back on those bad years and feel the urge to laugh. To laugh at how out of control things actually were without me realising it. Sometimes I think about how opposed I was to ways of dealing with my depression. I couldn't see a way out and didn't believe anything would actually help. For so long I would shut down any helpful suggestions that came my way. I remember exactly how that felt and all I can really say is that I'm happy to be on the other side of it. I don't know how I got here but I'm glad. I had tried so many times to create a self-care practice for myself, but nothing seemed to stick. After seeing how beneficial meditation could be, I started to take it day by day. The good thing about meditation is that even if you fall asleep, it still works. So because - as a normal human being - I go to sleep every night, that's when I put it on. It wouldn't happen otherwise, for some reason I seem to be totally useless at keeping habits that will be beneficial to my health.
There are still elements of my depression that creep up on me sometimes and make me feel like I haven't made any progress. That could be something I deal with for a long time and that's okay because I know that it's getting better. I can feel it. I'm in a pretty chill place in life but I know this meditation will help me deal with all the feelings and emotions that will come when the pace of life picks back up again. I'm feeling very open about the future for the first time... ever? It's a nice feeling.
At the end of July, I went back to Scotland for seven weeks. It's where I'm from and several years without having gone back was getting a bit ridiculous. For me, this trip was partly to see how important it felt to be there. Was moving back what I needed to do? Let me tell you, I didn't quite find that answer. It doesn't feel like it would be a wrong decision to move back, but it doesn't feel like a wrong decision to stay in New Zealand either. For quite a few years there's always been that part of my life, my heritage that I've struggled with. Being a Scot while living in New Zealand with a Kiwi accent.
Now, I think I just needed to go back more often. I felt so much like a Kiwi in Scotland and I didn't care. I loved being back - seeing family, seeing the country. It's a beautiful place and it had such good vibes but I think it's time to give living in New Zealand a proper chance. We now have a Labour government with Green party ministers and I'm excited to experience what good can come of this for NZ. Being Scottish and feeling Kiwi doesn't feel like something I have to wrestle with anymore. Also, I really like road trips and finding a toilet during one in Scotland is an actual nightmare compared to New Zealand, so...
I experienced a lot in Scotland but most importantly I seem to have gotten most of my inspiration and motivation for my creative practice back. I don't know if it was because of what I saw or because a part of me was sort of fixed while I was there. Whether it was one or both of those things I'm just happy it happened.
*I also went to Bali and took a lot of underwater photographs of coral reefs. Keep an eye out for Scotland and Bali photo sets appearing on the site over the next few weeks.
I wouldn't say my creative practice is back in full swing. I'm not sure I even know what full swing would be for me, but I've been able to refine my interests - experimenting in those mediums. I've started making ceramics again - though as most things I do, it's a very slow process. A lot of the pieces I've made so far have been hand-built - I like the imperfections this technique creates. Though I recently did a wheel throwing class - which I undoubtedly sucked at but it was fun. I'm excited to develop my pottery skills. As well as that, I'm trying to find the perfect crochet beanie pattern. I wore a beanie every day in Scotland (just because it was Summer, doesn't mean it was warm), and realised how much a part of my style beanies are. So I'm hoping to make progress on that and keep heads warm when winter comes back around. Just to add to my workload, I'm getting back into animations as well. It's sort of like I'm just going back to the three things that had me most excited at art school - ceramics, crochet, and animations. Watch this space!
Like what seems to be everything in my life, I have no idea what the future holds for this site. There will definitely be series of photographs under the 'photographs' heading whenever I get out of the house with my camera. In the journal section... I don't know. Perhaps there will just be some drawings one day, random bits of writing another, but you'll most likely find updates like this every now and then. It will be nice to look back in a years time, I can see how far I've come (in a good direction... hopefully... fingers crossed...).