Once I was talking to a friend about my blog and noticed: “Everyone says that the blog must give something, and I don’t know what my blog can give to the reader”. Her answer was: “Your blog can show your search for meaning. And it has value. You are searching for meaning, for beauty in your everyday life – you don’t create those glamorous Instagram accounts, but collect your doors and things you like. Because not everyone knows what he likes. And you can show your way”.
The search for meaning. That resonated with me instantly. If something I have done a lot in my life it was this: searching for meaning of my life, building it up stone by stone. First in my twenties, when I had gone through a long year of dark depression and, in search for something bigger than myself, became Christian. Though I always had been looking for spiritual wisdom, I was skeptical of all organized religion, especially Christianity. Still I wanted to do an experiment because my world had become too dark and hopeless. With years I got really involved with my faith because I was a part of active baptism church that viewed it not as a religion but as a regular practice. And practice changes the mindset.
Ten years later, however, I found myself at the brink of my faith when certain elements didn’t match together. And as the church belonging in Norway is not as deep as in Ukraine, I was slowly slipping out of it, and out of my religion. New questions arose, and new desires. And at a certain point I went through a shock, physical and psychological, which left me cut off from all I knew and held for truth before. I turned 30 that year, I was suffering from the pain, unanswered love and loneliness, and for the first time in ten years I felt also lonely in this universe. The faith could not give me my usual consolation, and I was left alone to rebuild my life and fill it with a new meaning, even though I didn’t know where to look for.
At that time I turned to beauty. Beauty as the closest proof of life’s wonder, the sign of amazingness that the eye can see. Patterns in the things most random, created by nature and created by man. Flowers and trees, fashion collections and accessories – this has become my focus of attention. Recently I have noticed that in the periods of transition, or confusion, when I change my direction, when I don’t know what to do and how my life will unfold next – I turn to beauty. I make it a conscious process – this my search for beauty. I take my camera and go out to the streets. Even though I have never been in love with this city, even though I made myself believe I know every corner of it and there is nothing left to surprise me. I still go. And still find. It is like some universal law. When you want to find – you find. When you want not to find – you don’t find. And my inspiration is warmed by this thought: “when you look for beauty – you become the beauty yourself”.
What I want to tell here is not that the beauty is solution to any crisis and an answer to any search. What I want to tell here is that when you have that stubborn desire – to find meaning, to create your own life, to reinvent yourself – you will do it. It will happen sometimes eventually, without you knowing when and where it happened. Like a grass grows, little by little with no sound. When you set out, even with little hope, you will build it anew – stone by stone. And after some months you will suddenly find yourself in a new place, on a new level – and you didn’t realize that all this time you were building your way up to this new level, step by step. Building your way and building yourself.
This is the stubbornness of the creative spirit, as Elisabeth Gilbert puts it beautifully in her book “Big Magic. Creative living beyond fear”. This is creative living. Trying and making mistakes. Daring and taking consequences of those risks. Falling down and picking yourself up, every time. Reinventing yourself. Facing your fear and learning to walk with it, holding it by the hand. Experimenting with your life. This is what makes life interesting and worth living. This is all I wish. An interesting life.
To all you, stubborn creators of your own experience! Cheers to you!