Monthly Archives: November 2013

this crippling pain

nobody really likes to talk about real pain. or maybe nobody really likes to hear about real pain. so conversations like those – they’re rare. people want to share the happy, the good. because that’s easy. and when the bad is let out, more often than not it’s a reaction to pain that gets verbalised. disappointment, hardships, anger. but what about real pain? pain that logically everyone understands, but is so uncomfortable to discuss. and on the rare occasion that someone decides to be real about hurting, what do you then say? can you really comfort a person? change how they feel? and if you manage to, how much does it really matter? can you take someone’s pain away? or is it a constant cycle of sharing and comforting until the pain goes away? would you get tired? tired of holding someone else up. tired of caring when you have your own share of pain.

for over a year now, i have been in pain. i wouldn’t really say it’s an emotional pain, but then again, i would. i live a really great life filled with really great people. and even though it took a while for everything to take shape, i’d say my life as a whole has been pretty perfect. i have love, acceptance and freedom which = happiness to me. so how then could anything make me hurt so bad? about a year ago, i started getting little episodes where the right side of my body (or nerves) would pull tight til it hurt so much that my heart was racing and i rushed to the hospital a couple of times. but it would normally only last a few hours and by the time a doctor saw me, he’d say that it was probably just my muscle being strained. even though i know my own body, and i know what a muscle strain is. so i went back to the hospital on normal days to try to get something sorted (despite completely hating hospitals) and they kept half ignoring me, not being bothered because yes, it wasn’t too serious and i was clearly not dying. until i gave up on getting medical treatment for it.

it’s something i wake up to everyday now. not so bad that i’m in tears, but it’s a dull, aching pull and the left and right side of my body feel like…well they don’t feel like the same body. i have used this pain for the better, to motivate myself so much so that i now have really healthy eating and sleeping habits, and do yoga on a daily basis. i believe bad things are never just bad. everything happens for a reason and if i push through pain in a good way to benefit myself or those around me, the pain itself stops being a bad thing.

but fact is, the pain is still there. it is still there because general hospitals doesn’t take you seriously unless you are dying, private hospitals are unnecessarily expensive and i am under my own care, not anyone elses. so maybe we try a more traditional approach and look for one of those chinese acupuncture places and hope they find a nerve that is pinched or twisted and make everything go away. but there’s no certainty there. if i believed that anyone could fix it with absolute certainty, i would already have it fixed by now.

the real pain though, is in how crippling something like this has been for me. i create art. it is my soul, the one thing i do that truly makes me happy. and what makes me special isn’t my brilliant talent. what makes me special is my extreme dedication and relentlessness in finishing complicated pieces. and i’ve only just started to make real art. but now, i work through the pain, and i have to put down the pen (or brush). i have to spend more time taking breaks than on finishing my pieces. i aim lower because the level of details i’m actually capable of putting in to my work, i just can’t do that right now.  i feel crippled. and that’s real pain. even though on the surface i look happy and healthy and capable of doing all sorts of things (which i am), everyday it hurts. it hurts to not be able to do the one thing i’ve fallen in love with.

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i decided a while back, this is the life i’m meant to live. i spent years trying to find my place in life. all sorts of artistic outlets, partying because it’s supposed to be “fun”, trying to work different jobs, making money to have a “better” life. nothing has made me as happy as i am – sitting here in my simple, natural life – just creating art. it truly is a symbiotic relationship. because we have removed unnecessary desires, i can choose not to have a day job and then have all the time i need to create. and creating gives me something real to do with my time (since i don’t have all the money to do anything that well, costs money).

what do you do when you can’t do what you want to?

i guess life is still pretty perfect for me. i am still happy. mainly, with myself. i walk a path that i fully believe in and that’s more than most people can say. so what’s a little disability? nothing, absolutely nothing on a larger scale. so i don’t complain. not outwardly. to the rest of the world, everything is and has always been great. because i know others who are faced with way worse to deal with than me. but the pain does exist, and it is real to me at least. and sometimes i wish it’d just go away. that someone, something would just take it away so i can feel like myself again.

parenting

last night at dinner, i couldn’t help but notice the family sitting next to me. mum and dad, a little boy (about 3-4) and a baby girl being carried by their maid. the boy already had a smart phone in his hand and was completely distracted by it as his dad attempted to put food into his mouth. sometimes he opened up his mouth to eat, but not once did he stop staring at the phone. then 10 minutes into the meal, the girl (still being carried by the maid) started to make noise. to my complete surprise – and not in any way the good kind – her mum pulled out her smartphone, unlocked it and showed it to her almost crying child. their maid then took the phone and held it out for the baby throughout the remainder of the meal. because the little baby girl couldn’t hold up a phone for herself yet.

i had to fight all my anger and remain seated because parenting is a personal thing and no one has the right to judge anyone else so openly on their parenting skills. but what they were doing was disgusting. that is fact.

i have reached a point in my life where thinking about children and how i intend on raising them has become very real. watching families interact gives me a chance to learn before it is me in that place. and while i do know that all parents will make mistakes, myself included. i feel there’s definitely some things that are black and white. like giving your child the love and attention they need (as opposed to shoving a phone in your baby’s face as she is carried by someone who is not you)

i never really understood how good a job my parents did in raising me. not til the past few years. with them getting divorced and me feeling alone for so long, it was a tough journey letting go and looking past the pain to the really good childhood that i had. and i did have a brilliantly colourful and happy childhood. in fact, if it weren’t for school and peer pressure messing with my head, i think i would have been more than happy to stay at home and spend all my time with my family, the way i love to now.

my parents filled me with love first. and as they loved me unconditionally, that gave me courage to be bold and face the world, stand up for myself, believe in what i believed in. i have always had a platform to voice my opinions and someone to listen to my feelings and concerns – even if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear. they taught me discipline and order which now allows me to have my life organized and myself focused. i am who i am today because they gave me a solid foundation to build myself on, then set me free (and by that i mean really free) to learn the rest on my own.

they also banned me from using my phone during meals ;)

so many people don’t get as much love and freedom as i did – at the same time. my parents have never stopped loving me no matter what i went through finding myself. and now that i have, they are right there to be proud of me.

i thought about it. and that’s really what i want to give my children when i have a family someday. all the love that i can. all my attention and care. and then take a step back as they grow up and let them choose their own path in life. no harsh expectations or judgement because it is my responsibility to create a space in which they can be their true selves. not theirs to live up to what i want them to be.

and when they really test me, i will bite my tongue and then reread these things i have said here to remind myself of what i’ve set out to do. i’m really hoping they don’t turn out as stubborn as i am. although secretly, i kinda already know they will.

festival of light

sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. but other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.

honestly, what good is material wealth when one’s soul is malnourished? i see so many people who seem to have a lot, chase for more and never get enough. i think somewhere along the way i reached a point where i realised that i not only have enough, i have too much. wayyyy too much. and then i started giving things away – products, clothes, gadgets. having less has been surprisingly freeing and fulfilling at the same time. teaching myself to not be too attached to desires has created space for me to enjoy the much finer things in life. to go back to the basics, to be simple. i will not waste this lifetime in pursuit of temporary pleasures. instead, i choose to feed my soul. i try to spend time really observing my surrounding which then makes me think of life on a much larger scale and as that awareness grows, so do i.

what i achieve inwardly changes my outer reality and now, i can be so thankful for everything i have. today is deepavali and – for the first time in my life – actually feels like it. having warm housemates that want to share the festive season and waking up to yummy indian food has filled the day with so much love. and it’s only noon. it means so much to me to be living in this house – so tucked away we couldn’t have found it even if we tried. being so happy here serves as a daily reminder to trust my instincts and take leaps of faith when i can.

today is the first day of the rest of my life. i’ve been told that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. so i’m going to want wisely.