In the spring, I’ve been feeling lost, I experienced a lack of personal motivation and it made me reflect more on my feelings and emotions. I went through a series of self-reflection questions and realized a lot of the things from my childhood and teenage years.
It made me understand that in my 30 years I never truly lived for myself. I lived for my parents, my friends, and society but never truly for myself. I don’t know who I am and what I truly like. So this put me on a quest to create authentic life and live according to my heart.
Missing my old life
I do understand that we have to move forward. This is a part of our lives. But I miss the aesthetic and creative part of my life when I felt fully aligned with myself. I used to take a lot of photos, journal every day, make videos and art, craft, and find beauty everywhere. I miss these times. I lost myself somewhere after 2020 after my internship finished and COVID started. I had to move back to Belgium to wait for my visa and being separated from my fiance, and now husband, for 18 months was hard.
I think my most authentic years were somewhere between 2016 and 2019. The last semester of my college, bachelor’s degree, and the internship – all of this was so hard, and in the end, I lost myself.
I miss the simplicity of life and expressing myself freely.
Little life moments from May
I just want to create more, be more authentic, and have a beautiful and aesthetic life. I cherish beautiful things. That’s why I jokingly say I am a hoarder because I love to collect beautiful things and memories. In May, I spent some time creating those memories and making my environment more aesthetically pleasing to myself.
Authentic social media
I miss old Instagram and blogs when everything was less commercial and more real. People were not trying to post a copycat picture with their best angle, they simply posted authentic moments from their life – food, going to the park, visiting a gallery, them doing silly things. I truly miss it.
A few days ago I deleted fake accounts on Instagram from my followers, I was shocked how many of them have been following me – fake businesses, private accounts with zero followers, etc.
I also unfollowed a lot of pages myself. I realized that I want to see only those pages or people who make me happy, who inspire and motivate me.
I’ve been also falling in love with rain. I love how calm it feels before the rain starts. I even started missing fall. I love when September is about to end and everyone is going crazy about Halloween. It is one of my favorite holidays and I love everything about it, especially how cold yet calm it is in the evenings.
I finally tried to make focaccia. For my first time, it was very good. There is definitely room for improvement but I am proud of myself. I felt like I was living my cottagecore dream. Focaccia is extremely easy to make and it comes in different varieties, sizes, and shapes. I am vegan, so all the ingredients I used were vegan. My next stop is focaccia with vegan parmesan cheese, mushrooms, and olives. Here is the recipe I used.
Full moon and Lunar eclipse
On the 15th of May, I and my husband went to the park to look at the Blood Moon and the Lunar eclipse. It was so amazing, I’ve never seen anything like this. I brought warm tea and we drove around looking for a good spot. It was Sunday and the night was perfect. I don’t think I will ever forget this. We went to the park, there was another person far away from us. I remember spinning around and feeling happy. “I am free”, I thought.
I decided to start Substack to practice my personal essay and opinion piece writing. I always loved to write and lately, I’ve been feeling a strong connection to my inner writer.
I’ve been writing since 8-9 years old. As a child, I used to create books and magazines, and write a lot of stories and poems. Later, I discovered the Internet and blogging and started writing more blog posts about fashion and day-to-day stuff. I was also obsessed with cinematography and was interested in play and screenplay writing.
Around 18, when I moved to Belgium, I felt lonely, and writing poetry and short stories in both Russian and English really helped me. I learned so much about myself and discovered hidden places within my soul.
However, later on, I stopped writing. I lost inspiration. Although, honestly, writing is not about muse and inspiration. It’s about consistency and work. But anyway, I also thought that I will never be a famous poet or writer. I love writing in Russian, so how many chances do I have to be published in Russian (especially now)? And in English, not my native language? Well, again, I was so wrong.
Having any kind of a creative hobby or any interest in that matter is not about becoming rich and famous. It is about your inner self and the happiness that you get while doing something.
So of course, while I’d be extremely honored to be published one day and would love to write for various publications, so far this is just a dream. But it is up to me to start doing something about it.
I constantly have different ideas for short stories – fiction and nonfiction – yet I always think no one cares. But in April I decided to start again. It makes me happy and I feel that I am able to heal through storytelling. This is why I accepted my inner writer. Yes, I am a blogger and a writer. Maybe an average or even worse than that but who cares? I love it.
My first post was about Good Girl Syndrome and how my whole life I struggled with the expectations that my parents, my environment, and society placed on me. I wrote about a few examples from my life and the fact that I no longer can live for others. I have to live for myself. I would appreciate it if you read it.
I also started reading more essays and poetry, and one book that I keep thinking about is Blue Nights by Joan Didion. While initially, I thought the book was 4 out 5 and I couldn’t understand her writing, now the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear. I would definitely recommend this book, it is a good collection of personal essays about losing a loved one, past memories, and overcoming pain.
Other fun things we did
In May, there were a lot of nice memories. Some of them:
- Going to a baseball game in Durham
- Going on a walk in the rain
- Enjoying rain more
- Reading more essays
- Iced raspberry latte
- Trip to the mountains
- Time with Pringy
- Making pasta with asparagus and Impossible meatballs (best vegan balls ever)
- Eating mulberries from the tree
- Taking some film photos
Creating authentic life. My own choice.
Making all these memories and documenting them really helped me to review my life and what direction I want to move, at least when it comes to my inner feelings and sense of myself. I am more aware of my feeling, emotions, and things that make me happy or sad.
So how will I create my own authentic life in the long run? By..
- Reading more
- Writing more and creating my authentic art
- Doing things I always wanted to do but never did
- Expressing myself through my style, makeup, nails, hair design
- Designing and making my own clothes and jewelry
- Listening to my intuition
- Setting the boundaries
- Creating my own schedule
- Reflectin on my life and my decisions
- Healing and nurturing my inner child
- Expressing myself honestly
- Putting myself first
Finding personal motivation
Honestly, when it comes to finding motivation, it can get hard. We look for quotes, inspiring videos, and mentors. While it still works for me, and I love some good quotes, it’s not 100% my way.
However, when I think about myself, my dreams, and little Julia who dreamt so vividly about her future and her plans, I suddenly find my inner strength and can move forward. Thinking about who I was as a child and not letting down that kid anymore – this is where I find my personal motivation.
I will always be creating art, writing, dancing, singing, and exploring simply because as a child I never got a chance to fully do so. Now I am an adult and I am in charge of my life. I get to decide what to do. Little Julia was let down so many times and I can not afford to do the same to her.
So I started making lists for myself such as:
- Things I need to change
- Things that make me happy
- My soul’s songs
- Movies and cartoons that make me happy and I need to rewatch
- Things I want to learn
- Things I want to do but never dared to do or simply never did
- How do I see my ideal self?
- What is important to me?
- What do I need to let go of?
- What are my values?
Creating these lists and answering these questions really helps me to put everything into perspective. I cannot stress enough that we should be living our lives for ourselves and not for others. Our parents, friends, relatives, and society always project their fears and insecurities on us and try to live them through us. Not a lot of people live in the thriving communities where their creative endeavors are supported. And so when we grow up it is up to us to decide how we choose to live – in projected fear that is not even ours, average and without any dreams, or authentically and freely full of ideas, art, dreams?
I do understand life is not this or that, there are many different lifestyles to live. All of us have our own fears and insecurities, but I just want to say that we have to separate what is truly ours and what is someone else’s.
This experience is true to me and I know this side of life, and this is why I choose to fill in my life with adventures, magic, art, self-expression, inner freedom, and authenticity.
What do you want to see more of in your life? How would you describe your life right now?
How was your May and spring in general? Do you think you live authentically or do you also struggle with it? How can you create authentic life? I’d like to hear your thoughts about it.