shop floor rewind / by 3.1

I originally uploaded this image and text to Flickr on Saturday 20th September 2014

I originally uploaded this image and text to Flickr on Saturday 20th September 2014

A rehash from the archives.
Holy shit. This photo is 8 years old.

I've been rewinding a good 7-8 years, back to the start, throwing stuff away.

Deleting stuff has never felt so good.

You know, when I started out here, whenever it was, all I intended for this all to be was place to save my memories, possibly preserve my soul in some way (if you believe in that), and to run away from one of my fears: Forgetting stuff.

You see, people like me, we hold onto the past and come out with crap like, "Oh – but this is what makes me me!" It also became a means of torturing myself – I can say confidently that I know not everything bad that has happened has been my fault, but I'll still turn around and want to cop the blame for it. However, the problem with holding onto absolutely everything, including the past, is that the fear of forgetting stuff becomes all the more realistic because there's only so much you can actually cram into one's skull. The idea that you should only hold onto the good stuff is lost; I got so used to holding onto the good and bad that it just became hard to differentiate between the two.

The other problem I have now is that wrongly or rightly, a lot of my life has been played out here on the Interwebs. On reflection now, I'm not sure how I feel about that. But along the way I've learnt various things about myself and about humanity. How fucked we really are, but equally, how amazing we can be. It's so tragically Shakespeare-meets-Charlotte Brontë. I can't go back – I've met so many people from deviantART (the early, early days!), Flickr, the days of blogging; my Internet footprint probably goes around the globe! So disappearing completely is never really going to be an option. There's also the fact that some of the stuff I've taken over the years (especially a lot of the London Transport stuff) is now of historical importance, and for some, my photostream is partly an archive of some very niche things.

But I have toned things down a bit. I think.

I have met some amazing people on here over the years (and a few of them have become my closest friends in real life) and seen some amazing things, and over time, this became less of a place to dump memories and countless pixels, but a place where I could learn stuff.

And as people have probably noticed – the updates, the uploads – they've all become quite infrequent. Gone are the days of plugging in my iPhone and uploading relentlessly out of habit. I've even found myself taking less pictures in general. It just feels nice to be stood around in some wilderness somewhere, doing absolutely nothing but taking in the scene, and perhaps even forgetting things at the same time whilst my mind is being blown by some panoramic view that nature has offered me.

And I feel less stressed for it. Because sometimes learning to forget can feel just as good as having freedom.