I’ve wrapped myself up in life’s transitionary silks and crawled into a self-woven cocoon. I’ve labeled this current epoch a ‘cocoon state’ because I feel there have been a lot of adjustments in multiple facets of my life. These adjustments have caused me to change pace, think laterally, and feel differently. I’m curious if a caterpillar ever wonders what it is doing when it enters its cocoon phase. Surely a caterpillar couldn’t possibly know, comprehend, or envision what life will look like when it unravels itself from the spindles of darkness that temporarily held it in a state altered existence? As romanticized and dramatic as the sentence above may seem, my life has still been colourful in the cocoon phase. The colour in my days over the course of the last week have shone brightest through the conversations I’ve had with friends and mentors of mine. I’ll do my best to expand on what the cocoon phase has entailed and felt like in the paragraphs below, whilst also attempting to write with some degree of creative license.
THREADS OF THE COCOON
Some days the cogs in my mind turn slower and deeper than other days. Most days, the cogs turn fast which result with the engine room in my brain to pushing out idea after idea. This state of mind is an exciting place to be in when everything is moving efficaciously. However, recently the engine room has felt a little gritty and sticky. For the purpose of this blog, I’ve called my mind ‘the engine room’ because the mind has the power to affect how well we operate physically, emotionally, and mentally. I thrive on the feeling of being in a sharp, excited, and positive mental state. As I adapt to the current chapter of life, some days I haven’t felt so excited or sharp. It throws me off balance mentally when the days lack the thrill and glimmer of what they’ve had previously. My days haven’t been bad and I’m not seeking any form of pity because I know I am still in a very privileged position. Period. I’m simply exploring the changes in mental bandwidth which I’ve experienced in a hope to understand myself better and potentially open up new avenues of thought for anyone that might read this. Through conversation with those around me, I know I’m not the only one who has found this time unusual and tough to navigate.
I’ve built the cocoon with multiple threads of silk, each thread representing a different aspect of my life. Without the travel thread being spun, the thickness of the other spindles has increased. The piece of silk that shows up consistently amongst the patterns of the cocoon’s fabric is the ‘physical’ one. The part of my life has been consistent for both my training and self-maintenance. I have invested in seeing a physio regularly and a gym membership, two luxuries I wouldn’t normally have overseas. Furthermore, I’ve been following a more routined running regime which has allowed me to gain some structure within my week. As you can see, MY physical endeavours seem to be moving smoothly. I’ve had a few little hiccups with soreness but I know I have all the processes in place to get over any speed bump that comes my way. As I no longer train for endurance efforts, I feel I am in the cocoon phase physically as my body shifts, strengthens, and adapts to get used to the intensity of faster running. Running has always been a patience game and always will be, I’m excited to see what happens in 6 months time when I’ve put together block after block of training.
It’s clear that the physical spindle has intertwined itself securely into the cocoon, but what about the other threads of silk? The other spindles come in the forms of ‘creative’, ‘emotional’, and ‘purpose’. Creativity is something I value deeply, so working out how best to explore and express my creativity has been challenging. Whilst I’m travelling inspiration is boundless in my ever-changing environment. As a result, there is a lot to draw on when I dive into the creative pool. Navigating the change in excitement levels for documenting, creating, and developing ideas/art has been interesting. I’ve found myself been very reflective and looking inward as I search for what I want to create and why I want to do it. It doesn’t mean there is less inspiration around me, it simply just looks different and comes in different forms. My ‘creative receptors’ will recalibrate and I ultimately believe this will show in the work I produce, how I photograph, and what I write. Similar to the physical, I’m excited to see how this time develops me creatively and how a ‘flat spot’ effects or influences my future work.
Twirling the ‘emotional’ and ‘purpose’ coloured pieces of silk into the cocoon may not have altered the shape of the cocoon but definitely affect how I am as a person when I exit the cocoon phase. Emotionally, I feel like I have been on a rollercoaster. As I’ve strapped myself into this rollercoaster, there have been twists and turns but no serious drops or extreme highs (which I’m very pleased about). Over the last week, I’ve spent a lot of time talking with friends to work through the varying feelings I’ve been having about been ‘stuck’ in Adelaide and how that has influenced me mentally. I am grateful for the quality of friends I have and the depth of conversation we can enter; I have often left these conversations feeling a lot lighter. Developing from these, I have been thinking about the work I want to do and how that will fulfill me. I believe that when you have a purpose for the work you do, things start to flow a lot easier. Understanding my purpose and how I do my best work will always be a topic of refinement and a project of self-optimization. Alas, this won’t be the last time I enter a cocoon phase.
If you’re like me and find yourself in the cocoon phase right now, don’t fret. There will be many positives that will come from the cocoon phase, so even if you can’t see them right now, trust me because they’re imminent.