Acceptance. It's really the key to finding your place in the world. It's that recognition that you like this, but not that - you like to draw in charcoal, but not pencil, or you like Fuji film more than Kodak. Or hot countries more than cold. We all spend some much time trying to fit in with how we think we should be. But this doesn't take us closer to our soul, but further away from it.
Until my early twenties I felt like I just didn't fit in anywhere. I couldn't find my place, but I couldn't seem to squish myself into the hole I was supposed to be occupying either. I imagine this feels quite familiar for many creatives. In a way that's to be expected - I'm a great believer that artists pave the way for society to follow, as they navigate the not-so-comfortable cutting edge.
With creativity comes sensibility. A sensitivity to the world, or your medium. That's the thing to embrace. Finding your place is all about where those sensitivities can flourish.
I've been thinking a lot about our place in the world, as we start to tidy up our house to put it on the market. We've packed some of our clutter away and I miss it already. It's not that we're going far, but I do feel a loyalty to our 1870s house, with it's lovely open fire and cosy "workers" cottage feel, and a front door which opens straight into the living room. Still I'm looking forward to the perfect house coming our way, with enough space for creativity and kids and still room to swing a cat.
But while the move will be important, I know that for me coming home to myself often involves a journey. My nomadic soul loves to move and somehow this brings me closer to myself. I find it can be very creative. The journey shakes away the stresses of day to day life. It provides a hiatus that allows the words to flow, or the inspiration of a different perspective to come into my photography. And I love the silence that travelling can bring.
But I didn't really find my place until I went to India, one of the noisiest places on earth! When I arrived I was an over sensitive person who cried too much. By the time I left I had begun to connect with who I was for the first time. The difference? In India being "tuned in", having a spiritual take on life, is normal. I met loads of people who were just like me. They interacted with the world like I did, and then gave me the language and tools to start working with the sensitivity that had felt so wrong up until that meeting. I learnt to meditate, to use and trust my intuition. To understand I wasn't imagining the things I "saw" "knew" "understood" beyond the normal world. I accepted my true nature.
Don't get me wrong it was not the easiest journey - not physically nor emotionally. And it's been a long road too. India was my beginning. It opened the door. But I couldn't have survived in this world without the skills I learnt there. I like to say - I met a monk and it changed my life. It's true. It did. But the reason it did was that I was "seen" as I truly was for the first time in my life without judgement or rejection. Today, try to set aside the judgements you have about yourself and just respond to your own preferences. Allow yourself to be as you are, and that will take you closer to finding your own place in this beautiful and complicated world. There is, after all, room for us all.
Angel lives in the UK and is dreaming of a beautiful new house in which to thrive.