If you’re one of the possibly three people who check this place regularly, you might have noticed that I have been AWOL for a while. I have a host of reasons for this, with the primary one being my doing writing elsewhere and the prime one simply being lack of discipline and a calm mind.
2015 was my annus mirabilis. It was the year I discovered myself truly, discovered my love for a lot of other things and people, discovered a city, sealed the void in my heart, discovered happiness I didn’t know I had, laughed every day, and discovered a certain sense of sanity I had lost several years ago. It was the best year of my life. In 2016, the seal broke immediately. But over half a year in, my mind is a little calmer, my sense of self is a little stronger, and while some bonds have become weaker, I’m holding on.
I’ve discovered a lot of powerful things over the past two years. Floating right at the top, refusing to get suppressed, is the power of laughter. Laughter heals. Laughter helps heal. Laughter is omnipresent, waiting to be tapped in and spread its wings. Make people laugh; be with people who make you laugh. It’s uplifting to immeasurable levels.
The power of fragility. Being broken causes a kind of insanity, a desperation, that nothing else comes close to. It’s a million pieces of glass shattering in your head every waking minute. It’s nightmares of the most horrific faces when you sleep. It is the removal of reason, the questioning of purpose, and the perennial search for existential validation.
The power of obsession. Obsession drives hard work and hard work drives success. There is talent, there is need, and then there is obsession. Talent and need always hit a plateau. Obsession hits consistency. Obsession drives a kind of madness that is best described only when felt. It can make a person someone they are not but want to be. But obsession also walks a thin line; a thin line between mania and yield. Staying on the safe side gives returns beyond dreams, moving to the wrong side just removes your sense of self.
The power of futility. Futility forces a kind of acceptance that willpower cannot. When there’s no security net to fall back on, there’s change. It’s not a change that comes out of want, it comes out of acceptance and introspection. It’s the acceptance of your own mistakes, acceptance of a close friend’s demise, acceptance of a parent’s personality,
The power of love. Love is a tricky thing. It is hard to understand. It is either easiest recognized or hardest. It shows its head either at the first moment or at the very last. It manifests in a dozen different forms, starting from the wee baby that holds your finger in a death-grip to the awful things people do themselves in the name of faith. Love is a terrible thing. It can take you to great heights, soaring above with world in happiness, and if you’re not careful, it can drop you to the greatest depths like a pebble that disappears with barely a plop.
What follows each discovery is the power of Recovery. Everyone recovers, from everything – from death, from broken friendships, from being embarrassed in front of 200 people, from a fight, from a failed career. Some people need more time, some people just need more mental tenacity. A lot of us need both.
Another valuable lesson I learned is doing what you love. When you find something you’re passionate about, do it. It’s a call I had ignored for years because I had leaned on others’ judgement of what’s good for myself. Not that they were wrong at all, just that they discounted the fact that the world changes, and more importantly, people do too. Self discovery is an amazing thing.
With the clarity of self-discovery comes the full realization of your shortcomings. I am so absent minded I made a list of my shortcomings — multiple times over — and forgot them each time. I wrote them down, then forgot where I put each list. So there, right at the top is forgetfulness. This is quickly followed by awful time management, then by inability to prioritize, trusting too much, inability to get into confrontations, and several others. For about a decade, though, I think I have been aware of these. But I’ve always considered a personal characteristic my strength — the ability to put a positive spin on anything. So my shortcomings have let me to quickly forget unpleasant memories and bear no grudges, do what I want in a flow, tackle multiple things at once, being nice and kind to people (for the most part), and just being an overall hopeful person. Turns out this doesn’t always work (especially multitasking, which I am awful at suddenly). And therein lies my biggest shortcoming — finding a balance. Where is it? I can’t find a balance between work and play, between friends and family, between food and exercise, between being sociable and being reclusive, between being approachable and intimidating, between sending too many emojis and sending too little, between spending too much money and spending nothing, and between compromising and being stubborn. Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learnt in the past two years is to not be a constant floating bubble of sunshine on a dewy garden perennially. It doesn’t work. The more upset you get, the more bubbly you are, and that’s just unsustainable; more so when you are other people’s happy bubble.
As this dead blog becomes more active, the storm of my life now is raging less. The annus horribilis draws to a close, and I make notes to myself, inexplicably on a public blog: Flip the balance. Accept that negativity is a part of everyone’s life. Prioritize which bring-downers need to be eliminated and make the faults drive you. Life’s biggest questions are answered for the moment, now solve the tiniest puzzles because they take the most time and effort. Work on the important changes more than the urgent ones. Be persistent, be strong, be disciplined, be sincere, be calm, and be confident that therein lies that balance you seek.