We are born into this world, not knowing what’s to come or what obstacles we might encounter. The very first thing we do is to scream for air, we scream because something has changed. The protective layer and warmth has disappeared. The first few months you depend on another human being, to keep you safe, out of harm’s way. After many, many months later. You’re supposed to be an adult. Taking care of yourself and making sure that you “make the right decisions”.
We’re not given a manual on how to live life. Yet it seems like we’re programmed to copy patterns. As we look around, we have all kinds of patterns around us. We are expected to follow these patterns, some call it society, community, family. These patterns are not static, they evolve or die. We’re all somewhat responsible to what happens to these patterns, the ones that “seems to matter” we try to keep alive as long as possible. But there’s a catch, who decides if a pattern is good or bad?
I followed these patterns by the book, especially the ones that I was given from my family and the society. I thought I had it all and that I knew how my life would turn out. I had small ambitions on becoming a photographer, yet the society made sure that I knew that I could probably not make enough money to make a living out of it. So I put it on hold and made choices based on the patterns I was given. Between 2008-2009 a chest pain started to grow, sometimes I had a hard time swallowing food and I felt really tired all the time. One evening, I had trouble breathing and I collapsed on the floor, thinking that I was going to die. In the ER I was told that I had a panic attack. My patterns started to crumble, my body was telling me a different story than what my mind wanted to believe. I was trying so hard to fit in, have the right things around me and knowing what would happen in the next 30 years or so.
10th of August 2010, would forever change my way of thinking about life. I received a call from my mom. All my patterns shattered, exploded. I cried, screamed, the protective layer and warmth disappeared in an unexpected way.
My sister who also struggled to fit into this society, decided it was no longer worth trying. I can still remember the church bells. I hoped that they would sound louder and louder, so that I could wake up from this dream and not walk towards the grave which would be my sisters last resting place.
Six months later I thought about ending my life too. I had no purpose anymore, no patterns telling me what to do. I was left to fend for myself. After ending up in a mental hospital, it started to change, they asked me what I would like to do. So I wrote a list, photography was one of the things I wrote down. But I told them the same thing that society told me, I could not make a living out of it. Why? Why wouldn’t you be able to make money out of it? – I had literally nothing else to say about it.
A quest begun, to find a purpose with this life.
After studying photography I was given a new way to think about life and how I could interpret my ideas, emotions and traumatic memories into photography. I was given no instructions, only the freedom of creativity. Freedom. I was cut loose from the patterns I was given from society, my community and family. I was no longer bound to the rules and expectations. I can still feel them tho, from time to time. It’s getting easier, choosing and creating my own patterns.
It’s time to evolve.
Cut the umbilical cord and take a leap of faith.
We might scream, cry and feel lost.
But it will be worth it in the end.