Post Trip

Anna Cantrell
day 17:: reflection // 5.31.17

Life and how you see it is about perspective. It’s interesting to see how that changes and shifts over time. New lenses coming into view, changing positions, shifting surroundings, they all change the way we perceive our world and how we perceive ourselves. Whether it’s people, places, ideals, or identities, nothing stays the same. It’s a constantly changing concept built by the many factors we are subjected to. We are often surprised when we believe one world to be an environment of safety and comfort, just to find it dark, forbidding, and uncomfortable. Tension, struggle, and negativity will creep in places you would never imagine. An event of celebration sourly turns to one of deprecation as our anticipations slowly melt to nothing. There is hope though because just as those things could possibly happen, so too will the good shift into focus if only you look for it. Areas you once thought to be fearsome turn out to be incredible environments of growth and contentedness. Looking for it though is what is so difficult. It’s hard to get yourself to refocus your lens. Amsterdam forced me to reconsider what my role is in myself, and what my role is in my environment. Also, what is my environment’s role to me? The trip changed my relationship to myself, to my environment, and others around me. There are things I am letting go of, and things I am restructuring in how I interact with my world. There are ideas that I have lost forever, and those that I will embrace to make me a stronger, happier, and more successful person. Some things, some ideas and perceptions, have to be shed to move forward, and I intend to do exactly that. The experience was an incredible opportunity to develop as a designer, and as a person. The chance to gain new perspectives and points of view are invaluable to growing and developing as a professional. It is certainly something I will never forget.

The hospitality, creativity, and eagerness to learn of the Dutch people I met there were truly inspiring. I can’t thank the people enough who allowed us into their studios, workspaces, and archives to facilitate our learning. They were all incredibly gracious and welcoming. One day I would love to return and spend more time in their studios.

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