Human Emotion as the Ebb & Flow of the Ocean

Shani Leead
Oct 5, 2017 · 2 min read
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Some days you feel sad and lonely. Others you are wild and joyous. Back and forth… Back and forth… I asked my friend Eleanor if she would portray a wide range of emotions…while in the freezing cold ocean…wearing a T-shirt and shorts. Most people would look at me like I was crazy, but the minute I said ocean, this dolphin was in. In fact, she was so in that it was hard to get the more serious and negative emotions out. We were having too much fun. Nevertheless! we managed to get the shots I wanted. Shots that exhibit humans as contemplative, hurt, scared, worried…Goofy, weird, spontaneous, carefree…and on, and on. Back and forth…back and forth…

I wanted this series to be a reminder that negative or uncomfortable emotions are just that, emotions. And in the same way that positive ones can be fleeting, so can negative ones. I’ve had to restructure my thinking about emotions. It doesn’t help to feel down about the fact that you feel down. You don’t find yourself analyzing why it is that you feel happy and when is this magnificent feeling going to end, do you? Well, maybe you do. But most of the time, when we’re excited for something we don’t give it much thought, we just live it. If we so readily accept those positive emotions, then we must find it within ourselves to be vulnerable–to be human–and accept the negative ones too.

Because the switch back to the good place? It happens. You bounce from one feeling to the next. And each time you arrive before you realize you were ever going there to begin with. Whether it’s because you’re lying on the wet sand and freezing your butt off for a shoot but it’s all so hilarious and absurd that laughter comes out in shaky bursts…or you’re lying on your bed staring hopelessly at the ceiling because you’re tired of things not working out…There will always be something that pushes you forward again. Maybe it’s a wave pummeling you into the sand. Maybe it’s a friend gently knocking on your door. Or maybe it’ll be this post? Whatever it is, I want you to know that you’re not alone in this roller coaster of emotions. The ups and downs of life can be as vicious or as wondrous as the ocean. So grab that seaweed and take a bite. Don’t go your whole life wondering what it tastes like.

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