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Fear and Strength

Fear can be the most crippling thing sometimes. It stops us from going after our dreams and it definitely makes our day-to-day lives so much harder.  I’ve mentioned before that I get anxious sometimes about new relationships; always worried that I would end up being too annoying and driving people away. But I always convinced myself that it didn’t mean I didn’t accept or love myself, it just meant I want to make sure I don’t hurt or annoy anyone and also make people like me. Of course, we all want everyone to like us. But I know it’s impossible, there’s bound to be at least one person who’s going to hate me for absolutely no reason. But that is okay.
I let fear take over when it finally hit me that I’m losing a good friend. My friend is moving away and I let it affect me way more than it should, to the point where I’d feel so sick I’d have a hard time getting anything done and I’d start obsessing in my head. And when the obsessive thoughts take over, it’s the hardest thing to break free.
I’m always tempted to delete anything I write that’s too personal, but I want to be honest. I’m not perfect and I don’t mind people knowing that, I actually want you to know it. I’m always going back and forth between wanting to be a better person, and accepting myself for who I am. I wondered (and I still sometimes do), that if I strive to be a better person, to change, does that means that I’m not trying to accept myself or love myself for who I am? And how much of me should I actually try to change? We’re always taught that we have to love ourselves, that nobody’s perfect, so should we really be striving for perfection? We all know that that’s unattainable.

When it comes to fear, I realized that the only way out is to let people in. Those who care about you wouldn’t think you’re crazy, and they’d want to be there for you. Let those obsessive thoughts out and in the end you’ll be able to laugh about them. I get terrified about the silliest things (and I know they’re silly), like summer. I don’t like summer. It’s the combination of the heat and routines changing and a bunch of other stuff. So I either let myself spend the next few months feeling awful, or just take one day at a time, talk to people, and not live in my head. Needless to say, I’m going for the latter.
I think that every now and then, I’ll have those crazy-obsessive-thoughts-can’t-get-out-of-bed days, I can’t stop them. But I have figured out how to deal with them. The most important thing is really believing that they won’t and can’t last forever. Find strength within yourself, you’re capable of so much more than you think.

So that’s what’s been on my mind lately. I’ve got a bunch of pictures from the exhibition and I’m super excited to share them with you! Every week, I’ll post one picture from the series I did. They’d most likely be accompanied by a blog post, but if not then they’ll be on my Facebook page and instagram.

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Huge thanks goes to Nadeem Rifai for taking the pictures of me with Anna Seaman. Anna interviewed me last week and also stopped by to see the exhibition, such a sweet person! If you haven’t read the interview, it’s here.
On the day of the opening, I thought I’d taken lots of pictures. Then I realized I only thought that because almost everyone was taking pictures with their phones so I assumed I’d have some pictures of the event (that aren’t selfies), but I don’t sadly. It went well, for a rushed and first solo exhibition. I won’t deny that I put myself down wondering why there aren’t more people, but I was surrounded by my best friends and I couldn’t have asked for more.

The series is called There Is Magic Here, and here’s my favorite one.

Once Upon A Dream

Once Upon A Dream

 

8 Comments

  1. you are so right about fear.. we can’t eliminate it but we need to learn how to deal with it and not let it control our lives. Congrats on your exhibition and it seems like you had a ton of fun!! ❤

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  2. Thea

    Amani, you have your first solo exhibition, how incredibly awesome is that?! Thank you for sharing pictures, you absolutely belong there! I am really happy for you!
    Also I am so excited to see the first image of your new series! It is magical and I cannot wait to see the others.
    And last but not least, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on fear and the “dilemma” we encounter when dealing with the ideas of “accepting and loving yourself” vs “becoming a better person”! I fully understand what you mean! I decided for me that getting to know and accept and love myself comes first and whatever part of me  is standing in my way or is hindering me in my pursuit of connection to others or myself, happiness, passion and love, that part of me I will work on and change…
    Also listening to what other people like and love about me helps a lot in shifting my perspective on myself…
    From what I see in your art and read in and between the lines that you write, I think you are a wonderful, precious, sweet person that keeps inspiring me and I am so happy, that I discovered you! 🙂
    Hugs ❤ !

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    • I love that, Thea. It was always a constant battle for me but now I realize, like you said, that loving, accepting, and getting to know yourself should always come first. I think that maybe once you do that, you’ll even be kinder to yourself and realize that the “bad” parts, aren’t really that bad at all!

      You’re incredible and I really hope I get to meet you someday. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for always leaving the sweetest comments ❤

      Hope you're having a great day!

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  3. I believe J-Law said it best, when she said, “if someone doesn’t like you.. well, screw them!”

    I think *every* artist out there feels the same way you do.. but I think we differ on the levels/amount of self-doubts and insecurities. I believe this is what makes us artists.. because we’re actually brave enough to put ourselves out there, for the world to dissect us, through our art. That’s what separates us from, lets say accountants… they are not put their work out there in a gallery for you to dissect them.

    By doing so, we have to open our hearts and minds, and in the thick of things, learn how to take it all in.

    And you know the best part in all this, Amani?

    The myriad of emotions you will go through, in this process. It’s only beautiful if you see it that way. As Ms Eleanor Roosevelt said, Others will only hurt you, if you let them. Same goes with everything else – fear, self-doubt, criticism, uncertainty.

    Let nothing faze you. Enjoy the process. That’s the beauty in all of this.

    Congrats, pics look GREAT, hope to finally see them saturday if i can!!

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    • You’re absolutely right Ruksana. It’s never easy, but it’s definitely fulfilling. I think that as long as we do what we love, we’ll be alright. There’s always going to be people who would try to belittle us, or hurt us, but isn’t that what builds character and helps us become stronger and better people?

      Thank you so much ❤

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  4. Amani, this is an absolutely wonderful solo exhibition! You can be totally proud of yourself, your images make that gallery magical 😉 I have found that the more I accept myself for who I am, and am at peace with that, the easier it is to be the best version of me available… Thank you for sharing this, you are an inspiration!

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    • Thank you so much Natascha! ❤ Wish you could be there.
      That is amazing; I feel like accepting yourself for who you are can also give you a sense of freedom.

      Sending you lots of hugs!

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