Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

This afternoon Bhavna and I went for a walk on a section of the 7.89 kilometres (4.9-mile) paved loop trail around Thompson Park in Holmdel starting at the parking lot at Cross Farm Park. I wanted to try something different new and had scouted the area near Colts Neck where I pick up craft beer from Source Farmhouse Brewing. Part of the trail follows the rim of Marlu Lake. We walked about 6.26 km. When we started on the trail, I noticed that Cross Farm Park is mostly open meadow filled with New Jersey wildflowers; based on my limited knowledge, Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), Sugarcane Plumegrass (Saccharum giganteum), Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and others.

We walked and talked, and Bhavna noticed that I seemed a bit distracted. She asked, "what's going on". I told her I was not feeling motivated at work and life in general, that I was feeling anxious and disconnected. I was burnt out, and that on some days, I just wanted to sit and stare into the distance.

I talked some more about my anxiety over the end of my contract in December, the need to train to maintain my certifications and skills. Where once I was passionate and energised and engaged with work and life, I had a lot of mental clutter and spent most of my free time reading blogs or watching crappy sitcom TV.

CQueen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) | Sunday 20 September, 2020 | Day 182 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR f/5.6 | ISO 800 |

Uncertainty about the future, challenges with physical health, continually existing in the same unchanging environment, and having to stay distant from my friends and colleagues are just some of the things affecting my ability to focus. I told her I was feeling isolated.

While we walked, I photographed whatever caught my eye. It wasn't until we were home that I realised that our talk might have inspired my photography that evening. I had subconsciously opened the aperture of my lens and used the narrow depth of field to isolate my subjects from an otherwise crowded scene. Is this how inspiration finds us? Is it a random thing that just happens?

Cross Farm Park | Sunday 20 September, 2020 | Day 182 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR f/2.8 | ISO 400 |

Bhavna and I continued walking and talking. My belief in my abilities, my self-esteem, and my optimism are low. We talked about ways I could find to push past this low point, but we both struggled with things to do to change my mental state. I have very few options during this global pandemic.

At the end of the walk, I realised that even though I dislike online training, it’s my only option right now. No in-person courses are being taught. My main concern is how I will be affected by learning while sitting for hours at the same desk and computer where I sit for hours to work?

We drove home in silence. I ate dinner, then cleaned away and organised the mess on my desk, which had become a reflection of my mental disarray. Removing the physical clutter may clear the mental clutter, and I’ll find the inspiration to find a way forward.

Tomorrow, I’ll plan Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely training goals to accomplish before the end of the year.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, Dune by Frank Herber

Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project and Lens-Artists Challenge #115 – Inspiration.