I’m willing to bet that at some point in our lives, we have a moment — a moment of self-reflection, when a slight event or a consequence, forces us to reconsider; what do I do next?
It might be a morning, you woke up and just decided it was good day for a run; ended up winning a marathon.
It might in the middle of the night, you got tired of binging on television shows and decided to call a loved one instead.
Went out to get coffee and found love.
A near death experience, a loss of someone close, or in my case; being diagnosed with a mental-illness.
It feels like the end of the world, and every puzzle that had fallen into the right place to form the perfect picture; suddenly doesn’t seem to fit anymore, the pieces seem to be missing and the image is incomplete.
In this moment, I remember thinking to myself; I had achieved what I hoped to accomplish, but to what end?
Everything that I had done up to that point was for some one else, trying to please others and satisfying the image of what was expected of me.
It’s a privilege, trust me, to even have been given the opportunity to have the time to self-reflect; isolate the world for a while, and look at oneself in the mirror.
The moment of decision arrives, do I run or do I give up?
Do I “re-invent” myself…what the hell even is that?
What did you always want to do, but didn’t?
I wanted to write, I had a lot to say but lacked the courage to speak.
Writing was how I could express myself.
Hide behind this virtual spectrum of pixels and openly come to terms with what I wished to express, wanting to be let my energy run wild.
Thus began the journey, the archetype of “giving up” and “moving on”; it felt like I had just watched “Into the Wild” and decided it’d be a great idea to buy myself a van and go on a journey by myself.
Except this wasn’t a van, it was a keyboard — and the journey was a path laid out with incomplete stories I wished to share.
It was endearing, my self-image began to reshape — I began to form a positive perspective.
My outward world view was no longer a reflection of what “others” expected of me, but rather an inward one that was mostly expressed in silence; with the sounds of my fingers clapping away at my keyboard and I witnessed my hands doing a silly dance of ideas that my brain kept feeding them, and frankly it felt manic to the point that there was just too much to say and my fingers couldn’t even keep up.
I would write, without wondering about the outcome, without worry, without any insecurities — I would reflect, hit publish, and let my words form into stories as they formed a life of their own.
Let the birds be set free, let them fly into the skies to which they are bound to…
My very first story was deeply personal, I had no agenda for writing it and neither did I expect anyone to ever read it — it just felt great to get it off my chest.
After publishing it, I found the courage to share it with my father; and the glimmer in his eyes was enough to assure me that I was on the right path.
Finding your Purpose.
At some point in your life; you may find yourself at a place, whether it’s a workplace or a hypothetical existing…
“Finding your purpose”, a story of how a young underdog had achieved the glitz and glamour; and saw nothing purposeful in it, and as such felt the need to depart from it — that was me.
Little did I know, later on, a rambling of why I quit my job and resorted to a different path — would end up being featured.
It was a moment of sheer inspiration and aspiration, to be absolutely damn honest — I cried!
I remember to this day receiving an email from the editors of how they’d like to feature my story in their collection and I fell to my knees — I’d never imagined nor anticipated that a day would come that my work, my writing, my story, would be considered worthy of being shared with other readers.
I shared the story with my entire family, and they all came together to surprise me with a celebration to remind me of how proud they were of what I’d accomplished.
“Office Space” in Real Life
I quit when a cheap printer became more important to my bosses than people
To have my siblings and parents in one room, holding a framed printout of my article — hanging it up on the wall, was the single greatest moment of my writing career and to this day one of my proudest.
It gave me hope, it ingrained within me a sense of purpose.
Looking back to my first article, I realised I’d found it.
I knew that THIS was the right path, because it brought me joy — and it wasn’t about a pay-check, it was about being honest; I could no longer lie to myself.
Convinced this wasn’t a hobby, I’d embark on a journey of promising myself that I’d write every single day — some times even multiple times a day.
It was a drug, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
My readership grew and I met some wonderful people along this journey; conversations that further resounded my belief that my work was worth something, that it had purpose.
Looking back, the second most honest story I wrote was one reflective of my inner-demons; my battle with depression and anxiety, and how it had affected my life and world view.
Lost amongst the atmosphere.
In the Midst of 2016, as vividly as I can imagine; I found myself concerned. I found my wandering amongst the…
I’d become largely isolated, and found peace in solitude.
Taking in life, moment by moment, and appreciating every second of it.
Every experience was fuel for a story, my worldview was now bound to my thirst for the next story I’d publish.
Through this reflective looking glass, I was able to publish some borderline insane stories that made absolutely no sense — and hinged on satire and surrealism; but that didn’t keep me from publishing them, even if they hardly ever got any views.
What it’s like to be accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
When I set fire to my acceptance letter from Harvard, my parents wanted to ship me off to a psychiatric care facility…
Using Hogwarts as a symbol for my personal experience with the real world and how I’d found disappointment in every pursuit — I learnt to make light of situations that would usually bring me insufferable pain and misery.
On this path, I found a culmination of my different identities come into formation; and I’d continue to do so without remorse.
Even if the stories were met with a negative response, or some that I never expected anybody would even give a second glance.
I found peace.
I found harmony.
I found the importance of expressing myself without insecurities.
I even found the courage to write about my celibacy, a topic that I felt was too taboo to write about; but I did it anyways.
Little did I know, it became the most popular article I’ve ever written.
My thirst grew, but in light of doing so — I forgot the purpose for which I wrote; personal satisfaction.
I’d been given a taste of success, the insane glimpse of notifications and claps, the humongous readership, and most of all people finding recognition in my work.
In doing so, I lost sight of “why” I write…
I was no longer writing to satisfy my “thirst”, I was doing it to satisfy a readership.
Thinking about the “right” titles, tags, pictures…what have you.
Even following other major writers, to figure out what they did to get featured every single time they hit publish.
It wasn’t until recently, that my demons returned and I had to take a forced break; I was no longer “able” to write.
In this moment of isolation, once more where I first embarked on my journey, I would begin to wonder; “…at what point do I give up?”.
In that empty room, barely able to move — I’d find myself alone with my thoughts, and I guess I had another one of those “moments”.
A moment of realising I hadn’t quite been honest with myself, I was no longer “writing” for satisfy myself — I was doing it to garner fame.
If history had proved anything, it was only in the moments that I didn’t care that I found success; it was almost always a byproduct of what I enjoyed doing.
Not what others enjoyed.
I had to go back to the basics, learn how to cope with “not-writing”.
Driving myself to the same point where I once began, and restarting my brain.
“At what point did you lose sight of what was most important?!”
I’d lost sight of it when I first saw the gigantic flow of claps and I guess I wanted to experience it once more; not realising nor recognising that it was never in the pursuit of those things that they found me.
You don’t chase “success”, you chase a better version of yourself — perfect your craft as such; let the moment take a life of its own and find its way.
Find comfort that I even had the courage to “write”, let alone even hit publish.
Only in losing myself, did I discover who I really was — to my very core, I’d learnt my lesson now; one never to be forgotten of…
The desire to defend oneself or commit an act is overwhelming when we are denied the realisation for it, the more we protest — the more we attempt to control the mundane. Only in letting go of control, the desire of self fulfilment can be achieved and as such…
…Just be fucking honest with yourself, mate!