PERSONAL, Uncategorized

Life As It Is

Leiden in autumn

Leiden in Autumn

This September, as a 28 year old, I’ve started my new study at Leiden University. A challenging task which included me moving to a different country for the second time within a year. As someone who would assume that this alone would be stressing enough for anyone; I was restless enough to not only move, but move away from the country that my husband would continue to live. Hello long distance marriage and all the baggage that comes with it!

The commuting and the planning and the overall unknowingness of the whole situation is definitely not something for the faint hearted. Going back to living by myself again after living together for quite sometime might mean that I have to do a lot less tidying up (yay!) but it also means that most of the time I’ll be laying in a bed that is half empty (meh). All those little lost moments together is the harsh side of this new adventure we jumped in so eagerly.

Is it all that bad? Well, it might depend on which day someone asks me that question but frankly; no.

Being on the much older side of my classmates means that making friends is not something that comes as naturally as it once was. Plus, the fact that I’ll be 31(thirty-one) by the time I graduate and going back to the working life around that age is a thought I would rather avoid. Beyond all the negativity my mind tends to pour on me, my life is what it is: I am doing something I’ve been dreaming of for the last three years.

Living in the Netherlands, was an idea that we have always assumed to be well into the future. Doing a study here (let alone living) which will enable me to learn the language, culture, history, literature, art and linguistics was even beyond that. So why bring myself down over everything that comes after that point?

The answer brings me to my current situation: an inner struggle of going in between being grateful and wanting more. Being grateful for being here and having this opportunity to experience versus wanting to live here with my husband and get to try this new life out together. Okay, and maybe taking some years off of my age might also be helpful at this point but let’s not get into that just now.

Will I ever find a way to settle down to one of those feelings? Probably. Maybe. Hopefully. I’m trying to pick one that will make me the happiest even if it means to have to wait some more. After all, time is all I have.

-Ceren

If you would like to see more of my photography, come and find me on Instagram  @crn.spymn !

 

 

 

 

 

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PERSONAL, Uncategorized

Ramblings on Social Media, Somewhere Between Inspiring and Overwhelming

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Social media, especially Instagram has become a big part of my life since I’ve joined a little over a year ago. Some may even claim (okay, I claim) that I’m even addicted to it. They (yeah yeah, I) have a point.

If Instagram is praised as a ‘community designed to inspire you and share your aesthetic passion with like-minded people’, then why do I often feel so overwhelmed by it, rather than inspired? Have all the positive rays of artistry and beauty this app provides completely missed me?

With approximately 700 million followers, Instagram is huge. With influencers and content creators and feed editors; a whole new generation of ‘successful people who made it’ are popping everywhere. If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. As someone who is a humble owner of an account with 2 thousand-something followers, I am not even close to ‘making’ anything. Normally, that is fine. Heck, it is more than fine, it’s great! But then, why am I feeling like I’m missing out on some secret club where I just can’t seem to get an invitation to?

I mean, with free products to ‘unbox’, invitations to ‘openings’, restaurants to ‘try out’ and parties to ‘check out’ and if you are one of those who really made it, workshops and photography or styling workshops to ‘set up’ does look like the new glittery life. And, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Punk is dead but Insta Glam is here to stay! One like  at a time.

When I first decided to join Instagram, I knew I wanted to do more than just taking selfies or posting random moments from my daily life. I wanted to post about what impressed me and made me admire. That was, this little city where I live now: Delft. The classic Dutch architecture and the little streets simply made me happy. I loved it in the summer, even more in the fall. With including my trips to other places here and there, I still mostly post photos of this cute Randstad corner.

Sounds and feels simple enough. Well, apparently not. As much as I would like to convince myself that I am doing this for my own pure pleasure, my hand (and my mind) still wanders every couple of minutes to see how many people liked my photo. Some kind of momentary relief, a hint of feeling appreciated.

Paying attention to which hashtags to use, watching the time to decide when to post that day… The lighting is off in this one. My feed is too crowded. Why can’t I snap photos like this girl? I have no set theme. He has how many followers? I should post everyday. Wait, what? I’ve lost how many followers? But, why?

Waste of my time, my energy and more importantly, my creativity. All the things I thought I would get from Instagram has turned me into someone who compares what I choose for the world to see with other people’s creations. An endless search for something so subjective yet somehow through the Instagram’s ‘like system’, so uniform.

So how to fix this? Actually, that is still something I’m yet to discover and practice everyday. Maybe take a small break to reset my mind and use this time to recharge. Who knows? Being an Instagram celebrity may not be in my future but I will continue to smother people with my semi-daily snappings of the city I live in and some others I occasionally visit.

-Ceren

If you would like to see more photos of the Netherlands (and contribute to my addiction), come and find me on Instagram  @crn.spymn !

 

 

 

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