I am feeling a mixed bag of emotions this day. My book is about to release and as some early reviews are pouring in, I can’t help reminiscing. And that is why I am cheating for this post of Tretar, I am going back to this very very old picture that formed the inspiration for my first original attempt at Oil on Canvas. I must be such an egotist to paint a self-portrait! But, lets ignore that. This is who I truly am – someone gazing afar, reflecting on life, content in solitude. And just like I have made the colors more vivid in my painting, I add colors in my perceptions. This painting is probably the onset of my creative journey in life; the point when I discovered something more than an engineer in myself; something more than ‘what I am supposed to be’. This painting told me that it is possible to be someone you want to be – a painter at that time. And, although this painting may be full of flaws, it had made me ecstatic. Once you know you are a creator, it is hard to tell yourself that you aren’t. And whatever events have transpired in my life since then, I have found myself most peaceful when I have been closest to creating.
And today, Seven Conversations has brought me back to this starting point. I think I have done justice to whatever little talent God gave me as an artist and I want to keep building on it. I can confess that I have tried to fit in and chase things that I was supposed to chase but none of it made me happy. It is the first time in life that I feel truly alive. And it makes me realize how important it is to stay true to ourselves.
Sometimes, I meet these couples who are totally different in each others’ companies than they are individually. That is a great sign to know whether a person is living naturally or pretending to be someone else. It is good to adapt for people we love but it is perhaps not advisable to bend beyond limits because it is unsustainable. I have seen many happy couples too – they are the ones who are comfortable with each other in their natural form. Similarly, there are so many professionals who are convincing themselves that their lives are what it is supposed to be and that they should enjoy it. But the truth is, what you enjoy can only be determined by you and there is no ‘supposed to’ when it comes to pleasure.
To end, I would just share this gem from Anais Nin for this says it all.
You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.Anaïs Nin
Please wake up.