I’m incredibly guilty of getting stuck in my routine. Particularly in the winter months, leaving the house can be a chore. When my weekends come round, after a long old week at work, I’m more than happy to sit in, in the warm and not move from my sleepy blanket cocoon. Now, as much as that sounds like a pretty dreamy set up for a lot of people (including myself…) it starts becoming slightly Groundhog Day-esque and the weeks start merging into one, with nothing particularly interesting happening from one week to the next.
When you’ve lived somewhere for as long as I have in Oxford (5 years this summer…) you can feel that you’ve explored every possible place to be explored or that the places that you frequent are no longer as exciting as they once were. I’ve been feeling this with the city I call home lately and as much as it is a cool place to live, it does just become the norm after a while.
Couple of weeks ago I had to visit the print department at the Ashmolean museum, very briefly, for some work training. As we quickly filtered through the main body of the museum to get to where we needed to be, I had little flashes of excitement, fluttery stomach type thing, as we paced through. I’ve been feeling a little bit uninspired lately. This time of year can be really draining for a lot of people and I, for one, have really felt it, so after that little flying visit I knew I had to go back and properly absorb it all again. When my weekend came round it was top of my list and spending my day off there last week was just the refresh that I needed.
I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time at the Ashmolean over the years I’ve lived in Oxford for one reason or another, as a tourist, as a student and with work. I’m no stranger to those galleries, but I’d forgotten how important little visits to museums and galleries like this were to me. Art and history have played an incredibly important part in my life, I studied it at university, I work in the industry and when growing up was always incredibly keen to visit all of the museums and galleries of every place we visited.
I was taught at home due to my family’s love for travel and when I hit an age where I’d worked out what I enjoyed learning and what I truly hated I started dedicating more time to my favourite subjects, art and history, and spent less time on the subjects I loathed with a passion, maths and sciences. My love for art is engrained within me and I totally blame my parents for it. They probably should have pushed me into something more serious and something which definitely would have made me more money (ha!) but, in reality, I wouldn’t really want it any other way.
Being in an environment like the Ashmolean museum, or any gallery/ museum to be honest, just makes me feel so incredibly at ease, I feel like I’m properly in my natural habitat when I’m surrounded by history and art. I know how pretentious this probably sounds, but for me it’s an environment that makes me feel comfortable, it’s what I know and what I was raised on. I’m sure other people have places like this that make them feel happy and truly relaxed, whether it be the cinema, the theatre, or a certain shop that just gives them that buzz or that nostalgic feeling that you just can’t quite put your finger on.
I’m not really sure what my message is within this blog, but I think it’s something to do with going back to what you know when you’re feeling a bit uninspired. Taking things back to what you love or makes you feel comfortable can be a brilliant way of maybe pushing you in the direction of something that maybe is a little out of your comfort zone or inspires you to finally pursue that dream that faded in the slew of adult life. For me, little days like this one, spent in a museum and art environment, makes me realise that I am on a career path that younger me would’ve been proud of and that makes me incredibly happy.
Thanks for reading,