• Laurence Boswell

Getting Back to the Basics

This year started off rough. In fact, really rough. At the turn of the new year, I laid in bed for almost two weeks straight, sick with a bad cough, headache, and loss of energy. When I finally felt okay enough to get out of bed, I went to work, knowing I had a lot to catch up on. I worked for a small city called Harrisville as the city planner. The day I went back to work was the day I found out I no longer had a job. I left in tears, afraid of what my future would hold. I was living with my boyfriend at the time, and luckily he supported me while I figured out the next step in life. I spent a lot of days stuck inside, stuck with my own thoughts. I came to the conclusion that I should go back to school. I always knew I needed to obtain my Master's, but never felt like it was the right timing - until now. In the meantime, I focused on my photography. I was offering my first online course at the time, and creating a very vulnerable series about childhood trauma and abuse. I was also seeing a therapist to work through the trauma. Life was slow, and oftentimes a bit depressing. But it gave me a lot of time to think, to make some hard decisions, and to move forward with my life. Fast forward and I'm sitting in my living room, with leafy green plants surrounding me. Two big, tall windows let the sunshine pour into the room. The warmth brings about a sense of peace. I'm living in a different city. I am working a temporary part-time job. And I'm single. I'm not sure I've ever been happier in my life. And this is why: I'm learning to get back to the basics. I've quickly realized that getting back to the basics means getting rid of distractions. I've learned that doing too much, and stretching myself too thin gets me nowhere. Therefore, I've told myself that I want to work on three areas in my life: Getting my body in shape, paying off debt, and building my photography business. That's it. Although the world is nothing like it used to be, and sometimes quarantine can be difficult, I've used this time to truly hone in on myself. I work out about five times a week. I go to my part-time job and then work a side hustle delivering groceries. I'm putting together a photography course for beginners and will be teaching that in a few months. When I get some free time, I relax and read a book or watch TV. Sometimes I'll get outside to take a walk and enjoy the fresh air, or simply experience the warmer weather. I've learned to shut off unnecessary distractions in my life. I've turned off most social media notifications on my phone and rarely spend time scrolling my Facebook feed. I spend more time sitting and thinking, pondering, sitting with my emotions. I rarely spend money on new items, such as clothes, gadgets, or even eating out. I have shifted my viewpoint of, "wanting more," to "living with less." As a result, I have felt a sense of freedom and a sense of peace knowing that I'm okay with who I am, where I'm at in life, and what I have. Living this way has opened up so many unexpected opportunities. Also, I am accomplishing and excelling in my goals. This period of my life is one of true growth and healing. Instead of surviving, I feel like I'm finally thriving. I've learned hard lessons in how to love and take care of myself. I've learned what I deserve and how I should be treated by others. I know what my boundaries are and where to spend my energy. That's not to say that some days aren't hard, and exhausting, but life seems lighter and joyful. I believe when we truly "get back to the basics," we realize how much we have. I also believe we start to look inside and figure ourselves out. I know I've been in a position where I've done everything in my power to NOT look inside. It's a challenge to face yourself, your vulnerabilities, and struggles. However, once I finally did, I learned a valuable lesson: I need to be seen, heard, and loved for who I actually am. Tips and Recommendations: This month, I do not have any photography tips to share, but I will share some throughout the year. However, I will recommend a few books that I've read. These books have changed my outlook on life and helped me focus on the basics. If you have read or do end up reading one of these two books, please comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts!

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