Aaaaaand I’m back! A very belated Happy New Year! I want to thank everyone who stuck around and kept asking me when the next blogpost would be. Overall, I’ve been posting much less on social media than I used to, as the pandemic definitely hit my creativity and sense of inspiration. I did not want to create content for the sake of content, and in my daily life, I fell into a deep rut. It took a while for me to get in the swing on things this year, but now I finally feel ready to come back to this platform as well. In order to stick to a writing schedule, I will consider this space as a little online diary and archive for photos of some sorts.

Like most people, I found it difficult to stick to a consistent routine, as most days just seemed to melt into each other. But as work got busier and I started doing things again occasionally on weekends (always keeping safety in mind), I felt extremely productive and ready to take on more. I was talking about this phenomenon with a friend the other day, about how productivity makes creative. When I just sit around all day, it’s extremely difficult to rise from my chair and actually make something of my day. Whereas if I push myself to just do something remotely productive, whether it’s cleaning the coffee machine or make a grocery list or finally cancelling that one email subscription that’s been annoying me for months, I feel a lot more creative and eager to do more.

Work has gotten very busy in a short span of time. The State of Emergency has been lifted in Tokyo, which means we could start production again. And planning one shoot is already extremely time consuming, but planning all the shoots we’ve put off because of the situation and moving forward with them in one week time… the word busy becomes an understatement. But don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the whole process of shoots, and I believe that finally getting this started up again has boosted my creative spirit to new heights.

When we reach the weekend, I don’t just want to wind down, but I want to do something for myself. Back in Belgium, I had many hobbies and a very active social life, which of course due to the pandemic died down in Japan anyway, but I never invested in it here as much as I did in Belgium. So I decided to proactively take on hobbies again in a social environment. I joined a book club, which not only encourages me to read more, but I also get the chance to (virtually) meet a bunch of intelligent and fun people. I joined a theatre group, which is something I’ve been thinking of doing for years. I stopped acting after getting my theatre diploma when I was 19, and never got back into it because of the workload of uni. But this theatric world is something that fascinates me endlessly, so I looked up an organization in Tokyo and immediately signed up. They are not doing any productions at the moment due to obvious reasons, but once they do, I’m ready to jump on board and delve back into this part of my life. I also started taking reformer pilates classes. I’ve dabbled with pilates since I started working out more regularly, but I never really took classes for this. I would go to the gym and as a warm-up I would do pilates by myself on a mat. I’ve been seeing reformer pilates everywhere online lately, and it’s something I really wanted to try and challenge myself in a new way. And lastly, I’ve been investing my time in cherishing deeper and meaningful relationships. I used to be so exhausted after work pre-pandemic, with the long working hours and commute, but now that we have this indefinite remote work system, for which we only need to be at the office 2 to 3 days a week, I feel so energized and excited to talk to people and invest in relationships. Whether it’s making time to jump on a call with close friends more often, or sending messages to people I’d like to get to know better.

One final topic I’d like to raise here before signing off, is that it is also perfectly okay not to be productive, and in all honesty, I hate that word. If we strive to be “productive” all the time, it just spirals to the opposite direction, creating a weird sense of anxiety. So by using the word “productive,” I don’t mean to stress yourself out with everything you should be doing, but for me it meant to find those few core significant elements in life – i.e. theatre, working out, reading and human connections – and actually do something with it. Mentally it will be a challenge to get out of that rut, but once you’re back in that flow, things will happen organically and will take less of a toll on your mind. I know I keep writing “you,” but please understand that this is all from my perspective and that everyone’s situation is majorly different.

These are a few photos shot in Tochigi Prefecture, where we had our first shoot of the year last Friday.

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