productivity and culpability

Recently, I came back on this website: the last post was two weeks ago, and the last portrait was two months old.
All of a sudden, realizing this, I was overcome by panic. What the hell was I doing for two months, not being able to come out with a single new portrait, while still working daily on this project? More than panic, I felt terribly guilty. I felt guilty of not being able to stick to my commitments, of not being able to keep up the pace I promised in the first place, even though no one ever came to me to
demand content.

In fact, the person I blame the most is myself.

While contemplating my life, I realize I spend my days questioning anything and everything, and reminding myself I am not good enough. In the morning, I tell myself I should have woken up earlier so I could come out of the house quicker. At school, I regret not trying harder in the way I study. At the library, I regret not succeeding in an exercise. When going to get my photos printed, I regret not taking better photos. When re-reading one of my articles, I regret the fact that it wasn’t written better. When going to sleep at night, I regret not finishing everything that was on my to-do list.

I realize that the life I lead is merely a long road filled with regret and guilt.

So I take advantage of the time I spend traveling away from Paris to re-evaluate myself and the guilt I constantly feel: I’ve never evolved as much as I did in the last two years, but in the same time, I’ve never been less proud of myself on a daily basis. For example, today was an excellent day for me, I went out and had a good time with my family, but when I came home I felt extremely bad because it hasn’t been a productive day.

To begin projects sounds cool and easy, even more in this strange era in which it is “hype” to work like crazy. But to begin a project by yourself also means not having a boss: if tomorrow I decide to quit this project, no one will hold me accountable nor fire me. That’s why the pressure I put on myself is even more important, because apart from me, no one will do it.
We live in a society where every minute of your life has to be productive and where you must constantly fight against the scourge that are procrastination and idleness. This hustle society in which people who have ambition and work 24/7 are looked up to, does not make things any easier. Many people have complimented me before, for being a “hard worker”. Is that really a compliment?
Everybody’s running around all the time, having drinks as if their life depends on it, with full schedules. To me, being “productive” means being on track with my studies or my projects (specifically VraiesMeufs), but is that the real definition? An uneventful day during which I rest and spend time with the people I love is also part of the process of productiveness. Sitting behind a laptop is not where you find inspiration and motivation to do what you want.

From now on, I commit to not blaming myself for my actions. I try my best and that’s cool. Sometimes I’ll do ten different things in a single day, and sometimes I won’t do one. But I won’t blame myself: even the low moments, freeing time to not do anything in particular, allow for new ideas. They allow for better reflections, and they feed my creative and work process. What is more, I don’t believe you follow me on this website expecting content every week with zero tolerance. Sometimes I’ll be early, sometimes I’ll be on time, and some other times I’ll be late, without justification and each time stronger than the last.

translated by Sophie