Stop worrying and start doing.

It’s been little over a month since my last blog post and we have now moved on from Mexico to Peru. We have been from Lima to Paracas, Huacachina, Nazca, Arequipa, Puno and finally Cusco. We are here in Cusco for just under 2 weeks and our trek starts in 3 days and I am nervous and apprehensive. This has been a theme over the last 5 months in some respects - there have been so many new challenges and unknown territory - quite literally. But every time I catch myself worrying or missing home I have to take a moment and remind myself how lucky I am to be here, and for how long I have wanted this.

Since I graduated in 2011 it’s fair to say I spent most of my waking minutes (and some sleeping ones) worrying about a career in the arts; what type of direction I wanted to go in, what I was good at, where I would go to get one? Then as I started to network and get reputable jobs in the sector across Dorset I spend most working minutes worrying about when I was going to give it all up and go travelling. I know it sounds like a grass is always greener scenario and to some extend that’s absolutely true.

You always wonder whether you have made the right choices at the right time and the truth is you probably never really know, because you only have the choice you have made and you have to live with that and learn to love it. I was offered an incredible job - a chance to stay working for an organisation that had huge potential but I turned it down, because it felt like the right thing to do at the time. Do I wish I hadn’t - no. Do I think about what could have happened if I accepted the offer - yes of course. But I am happy with the choice I have made to come to the other side of the world to gain new experiences and give myself some much needed space from home and from my arts bubble.

A lot of us feel a bit trapped sometimes, trapped within ourselves to make the right decision - or to not make a decision at all and let life continue as it’s what we know - even if you do you not feel like you are ‘making’ a decision, you still are in some way or another. It’s easy to flick through Instagram and see all the amazing achievements everyone else has - the beautiful things they are making and the hugely successful life they are living. Social Media is fantastic at showing us all the best versions of everyone - I am guilty of this too - my feed is endless pictures of glorious food, amazing museums and picturesque scenery from our travels. I didn’t feel it was right to share the 5am selfie of myself when I had food poising and had to make the decision to stay another night somewhere and miss the bus - then spend the next 12 hours in despair as I tried to get space on another - maybe I will next time.

But my point is - don’t forget all these insta-feeds are expertly curated and are self-preserving. We don’t see people’s struggle we mostly just see the glossy end results. Also it’s naïve and unfair to underestimate how hard people have to work for their success - whatever that looks like and their social media accounts don’t do justice to all the hours, stress and money they have most likely fed into their business or creating themselves and carving out a career.

I admit, I am a little late to social media things - trends and the like, so I came across Sara Tasker and her beautiful Me & Orla Instagram only recently. For those of you that are big Insta-heads (is that the slang, I don’t even know?!) you probably already follow her work and know her story - if not go check her out. She has her own Podcast series and during our travels I have found myself listening to a few of these in between destinations. Although an older podcast, the one I was most recently listening to was called, How to stop caring what everyone thinks with Sas Petherick. If you have 45 minutes on your lunch break at work, walking the dog, cooking dinner.. I urge you to listen to this. Sas’s wise words really inspire and make you realise that you shouldn’t be striving to put out an image of yourself that is for others. I couldn’t be more timely either, as it is Mental Health Awareness Week. I believe social media and many aspects of mental health are linked and if we all took a break from it every now and again and spent time doing the things we want rather than looking at the things we want we might feel happier and a little less worried.

If you listen to it, let me know what you think or if you have any podcast recommendations let me know!

Insta - @meg_dunford // Twitter @megdunfordart