Has it been a year already? I've missed it here.
... Also, name change, let me update you...
Having re-branded 3 years ago, from the image of a person on the Internet, with a public chronicle, username: "Alyen", which I chose when I was a teenager, to "Aelyse" a legal company in an industry I despise, to pursue the entrepreneur wet dream of becoming the overlord of an imaginary empire (never really my goal, but as it happens, I was sucked into this illusion of success, as told by my peers) has left me with more limitations than I could have anticipated.
(images from the beginning of my presence on the internet as Alyen, documented via webcam snapshots on dailybooth.com, between 2008-2011, courtesy of the wayback machine archive)
Aelyse existed because of peer pressure and consequently mimicry. I felt like it had to happen in order for me to be successful, and it was all in a haste, everything had to be done with urgency, otherwise I was failing.
Luckily, my dear uncle Albert (Einstein) swiftly slapped me out of this one, saying that "reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one". I had a kind of epiphany when I read this line.
(images from Aelyse's last available collection in 2019)
Basically, the world as we experience it is not the world as it fundamentally is, and I don't think that the examples of success that I've had in my career are absolute.
Just like every tangible object around us is an amalgamation of different stages of physics, which are energy at their most fundamental level, success is only the outcome of other things presented to us by our perception, not an objective reality.
And what are those other things? you cry. In my case, it is the constant pursuit of purpose, the voluntary surrender to my instincts, something much more abstract than the promise of monetary gain and popularity. And while I still have to pay rent, I do not have to do it under the weight of a system that is based on competition and accumulation. Crushed and diluted.
(Me, presently, back at the studio)
So I'm letting go of societal ideals, just wanting to be myself again, under no pretences and no schedule. Going by my name, and defining my own version of success, which I promise to do with integrity. I hope you stay to witness it.