Anxiety

Frightened of buttonholes.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m frightened of doing the buttonholes on the shirt I am making.

They are kind of irreversible.

Once the fabric is cut (which you do as you start making them) then there is no going back.

It feels like I could really stuff this up.

What if I get it wrong and all the hours of sewing this shirt are for nothing?

Ah, that’s interesting.

I’m worried about the outcome…which is the opposite of how I approach making a shirt.

When I make a shirt I’m most interested in the process. I encourage myself to let go of the time it takes me to do make it and how the shirt will look in the end…and just do this step, now.

I find making shirts such an interesting metaphor for my life. I avoid getting things wrong, which means I find finishing things I really care about can be difficult. It’s ok to get things wrong.

Ok, it’s time to make the buttonholes. 

If they don’t work, they don’t work.

At least I will be moving forwards.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,281

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Nebulous and sharp.

Nebulous and sharp. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Nebulous and sharp. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Life is fleeting.

The edges and shape of it are blurry and ill defined.

It is painful and joyful.

All at once.

Generous and selfish.

At the same time.

A moment crystallises and then evaporates.

Nebulous and sharp.

What next, then.

What next?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,260

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If I feel anxious...

If I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

If I feel anxious. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

If I feel anxious then I have to be anxious about something…right?

Right?

So, then…what?

What is it?

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,234

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Boredom is like anger.

Boredom is like anger. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Boredom is like anger. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The boring bits are the hardest part.

When I am making something it’s easy to do the exciting, interesting, fun bits.

The bits where it feels like something is happening, or at least it feels like I am making progress…or even when there is some great struggle to be had.

The in-between bits, that’s what gets me.

It’s hard to see that any of the effort is worth it when I am bored and nothing much seems to be happening.

I suppose boredom is hard to interpret in a creative process.

Does it mean things aren’t working and that it is time to change something? Or are things about to all click into place and something amazing is about to happen?

I feel like boredom is like anger. It is an emotion that is a front for something else altogether.

But what, I wonder?

Restless, shifting, in transition, searching, uncertain, curious, contemplative.

Yes, I’m wondering what’s next.

I think that’s it.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,232

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Anticipation.

Anticipation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Anticipation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Before the thing happens there is all the thinking about the thing.

The good and the bad.

The expectations and hope.

The anticipation.

Even though the thing, in the end, is never much like all the thinking thought it might be like…the thinking is still an important part of the thing.

The anticipation makes up a part of what the thing is and will become.

That’s just the way it is.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,218

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I use the internet to avoid myself.

I use the internet to avoid myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I use the internet to avoid myself. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I use the internet to avoid myself.

I just did it then.

Endless clicking and searching, anything really, just so that I don’t have to turn up to this conversation with myself.

That’s why having this moment locked in is so great.

There is somewhere to come back to.

Something I can use as a reference point.

An agreed point of reflection.

And so…

I come back.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,207

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My body has things to say...

My body has things to say. Drawing Luke Hockley.

My body has things to say. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I don’t like to think of my body as something separate to my mind. I find thinking/talking in this way reinforces the idea that my body and my mind are somehow “separate” and have the option to operate independently of each other.  

That’s why I have personally stopped using ‘mind’ and ‘body’ as much as possible...replacing them with the idea of  ‘thinking’ and ‘movement’. The body and the mind are both always involved in some way with any thinking or movement that I do. 

With that established I have to acknowledge the ‘body’ part of me (because it is true that I have a body! Just happens that it includes my brain) sometimes has things going on that my ‘thinking’ can’t compute or make sense of. 

Take last night.  

I’ve had a great few days. I’m feeling much more myself. Much more connected and coordinated. Joyful to find myself so...and then, chilling out watching TV I started to feel anxious, stressed even.  

This was one of those perfect storms that make sense from a distance...but are pure chaos in the midst of it all. I’ve got my birthday coming up, I probably had too many cups of tea in the afternoon, lots of exciting conversation at the end of the day, the anniversary of something significant, work is very busy... 

At any rate, my subconscious was talking to me through my body (or movement) and feeling this way was totally unexpected.  

Strangely...though uncomfortable, it was also good. 

I listened, did a few simple things and watched the wave pass through me.  

And then it was all ok.  

I’ve been here before. My response seemed new and how quickly it all passed also seemed different.  

That’s nice. To think I might be learning how to manage myself a little better.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,204

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I hope so.

I hope so. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I hope so. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Do I have the courage to deal with the things that I would like to deal with?

The things that no one else can see.

Can I love and care for and believe in myself enough to take the time and space to heal myself?

I hope so.

I really do.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,195

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An unhelpful conversation.

An unhelpful conversation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

An unhelpful conversation. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m having a bit of an unhelpful conversation with myself at the moment.

Stopping myself from doing things because of how it might look to other people.

I have this habit of knowing what I want and then standing on the edge of it and not taking the action that needs to be taken to make it happen.

Letting all kinds of small logistical problems get in the way of me doing the thing I want to do.

I could really do without that kind of stagnation.

Is it a fear of doing something publicly that might not be quite right?

Of changing direction in public? Of having to explain myself to others?

I’m not sure.

But I would dearly love this unhealthy conversation to stop.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,191

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I feel lost.

I feel lost. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I feel lost. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I feel lost.

Uncertain of which direction to step in.

Where has my curiosity gone?

What’s next?

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,190

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.