a letter to my individuality

Dear Individuality, more than ever I needed to contact you, the feeling of suffocation, overwhelm, fragility and self-doubt are so painful that I felt the absolute need to stop and reach out for you.

Is not easy to feel what I’m feeling and to recognize it; the last 2 years I bent and molded myself in the likes of others, I imitated their ways, I created art that I didn’t feel connected to, out of fear of rejection of my true expression. I was fishing for inspiration in the same sea of desperation and sameness were everybody was fishing, the almighty internet.

My Dear individuality, the internet can be a beautiful place for discoveries but also a very dark one. Were comparison, phobia of missing out and loss of a sense of identity is an easy ride.

Many times, I tried to disconnect, I devoured books of self-help, and I tried to stay strong in the storms of adversity and doubt.
I lean into others beliefs, images and perspectives, afraid to stand alone in my voice, the voice I found out that I did not even know.

My dear individuality, I finally decided to switch off and be present, to risk, to disconnect, to accept that I am not perfect and I need to accept, that I need to show up to myself.

Who am I? That is not the quest, the quest, is to know what most I enjoy, what makes me alive, what does inspire me outside of the web.

Trusting my vision and myself sometimes can be hard but I sense that my personal needs, desires, and interests are announcing themselves and I cannot ignore them.
Moving into my identity feels scary but how will I know what makes my heart sing if I do not pause and adventure in the depths of the unknown.
It feels like going crazy, but maybe I am going sane, that is why, I am having the realization of the necessity to switch off and deprive me of the internet, from the opinions and “magnificent” ideas of others; maybe this is the most plausible antidote.

I heard somewhere that creativity flourishes when we have a sense of safety and self-acceptance and this gives me the courage to trust my vision and learn to love myself in all depths flows and all.
Dear individuality, I decided to nurture myself and to recover. To center, cross over from self-doubt to self-expression, paint my journey and embrace my process.

Robert Louis Stevenson said: To know what you prefer instead of humbling saying amen to what the world tells you ought to prefer is to have kept your soul alive. I agree with his thought.
I decided to find a sense of place inside of me; this attitude is an act of self-love, a proclamation of independence from my chronic dependence on the ideas, advice, and visions of others.

Dear individuality, lastly I want to thank you and tell you that I am grateful. For your capacity of standing strong, for not giving up, for the courage, for the trust infused in the storm of doubts, for the ability of being humble and open to learning, for acknowledging the necessity to escape from mediocrity and most important for having the courage to make mistakes, introspect and make a change.

Love Emilia Duarte

by artandotherstories

Emilia Duarte, Mozambican multidisciplinary artist/writer, painter-illustrator, creator of Mimiska and clinical psychologist.


More From Relationships

Dating while sick

by Carla Naylor

Millennial Love

by Sade’ Norwood

Lost & Found Love

by Jayda Rayphand

How to Feel When You Feel Too Much

by Autumn Hutson

Bearing Your Weight

by Dominique LeMaire

Partner First, Lover Second

by Megan Davies