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Listening to Yourself: Nina Robinson

So, Nina, what do you want to talk about today?

I’m not actually sure. I came into this with completely zero expectations of what to write about and I have no plans.

Why is that?

I tend to do this a lot. I’m very much a person who is in the moment a lot of the time. It tends to stress me out to think of the future or the past - I much prefer to see how things go as I go along and that’s worked well for me in a lot of situations! I think this will be one of those tasks where I feel like I haven’t got much to say but I will always have something to say, and it will come to me as and when.

What else do you want to talk about?

I suppose, because I’m an in-the-moment person, I could talk about how I’m feeling in life at the moment. I feel content, and I think that is an achievement. It’s impossible to be happy all the time but pockets of happiness are enough. It feels like everything in my life at the moment is enough; maybe even more than enough.

Why do you feel content?

I’m starting to see my life panning out in a way that I’ve always wanted it to, and it almost feels as though it’s ‘happened’ to me, rather than I’ve made it happen… but I have made it happen - I just don’t give myself enough credit! All those bits of admin, opportunities taken, ideas, reaching out to people, conversations, and risks, have added up to something. I also feel like I’m becoming more content with myself as a person; less critical and harsh, and more confident and aware. I’ve come to realise that awareness is everything. Once you’re aware of your traits and why they occur, that is half the battle towards changing them for the better, or in the case of the ones that are already beneficial, just uncovering them and believing they’re there. I also feel content with the fact that I’m fulfilling my creative outlet more than ever, and it’s an absolute joy. It fuels me. I now know more about what I want and don’t want and am realising that I am in control of that if I want to be.

What else do you want to talk about?

It’s difficult to think of what else I can talk about! I’m aware that this whole piece of writing so far has been about myself but honestly, that’s what I find it easiest to talk about, without that sounding self-absorbent!

Why do you think that sounds self-absorbent?

Because I’m doing that thing that comes so naturally where I care too much about what other people think, and it holds me back.

Why does it hold you back?

Things like comparing myself to others or wondering how I’ll come across in certain situations stop me from doing things. For example, I worry about how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ my photography is, and I constantly compare my work to others’. The more I see others’ work, the worse I feel about myself because I think “I can’t do anything as well as they can” and “I want to do things like that but it’s their idea - why can’t I think of my own?”. The inner critic is very present in this context!

What else do you want to talk about?

Right now, there’s a really nice sunset and I’m enjoying the view. It makes me feel happy when the weather looks appealing. When it’s sunny, my mood is instantly heightened. I’m sure that’s the same for a lot of people. So British, talking about the weather! Through lockdown I’ve really appreciated nature more and made use of the pockets of nature close to my flat. If I don’t go for a walk for 2 or 3 days, I start to crave walking, particularly amongst trees and plants and bodies of water. I’ve got a favourite tree (a Willow) in Crystal Palace Park that I like to walk past. It looked a bit sad over winter but the leaves are coming back now. There’s something about the simplicity of actively appreciating what you’re seeing around you that brings you to a place of contentment.

Why do you think it does that?

It’s mindfulness, isn’t it? Being present in a place and using as many of your senses as possible. Also, nature is amazing and it’s easy to take it for granted!

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