“To look life in the face and to know it”

by shalinijena

Lately I have been having doubts about the decisions that I have taken in my life. Most of them are career oriented. I keep asking myself, have I been doing this right? Am I lost? Do I not know what I want to do next? I have been so confused at my own confusion and – I understand when that is related to love problems – but work? Wow. I never thought I would be confused about work. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. And then something happened that is pretty much inevitable in general term called “life”. Change.

Now, I am a kind of person who loves change! I hate monotonous life. I just hate it. Its not like everyday needs to be unique or something but I have known myself to not handle routine life in a row. It gets me all worked up about how useless my life is, while people in Instagram have so much more exciting things to do.

That blabber aside – its been tough. And my workplace is not really a kind of place where you have the liberty to share your concerns such as these. You see – when you are in the film industry – you are here because of your passion. That’s it. Doubting the work you do (not the project) is almost like doubting your passion and that is looked down upon! I understand that. I have been judgmental in the past too. But since, that’s the past – I am not going to JUDGE myself about it anymore.

So after a lot of pent up emotions inside, I finally decided to share it with someone who I felt was trust-able and probably not judgmental. And I did. In the process of explaining it to this very kind woman (and an amazing writer!), I found myself asking her – if all this is worth it? She spent a lot of time listening to my woes and after some discussion I was finally able to understand my dilemma. So, I decided to not beat my head over it and wait for the right time and then do the right thing – as per the passion commands. But the question that I asked her, really bothered me! I mean – I did not know if being in one of the best places of the industry and getting to learn from the best people in the industry – was worth it or not? That’s scary. What do I want? I asked myself. And there was no answer. For a person, who is always so sure of herself and the decisions that she takes – this is sort of a panic attack.

And then I woke up this morning, did my one routine that I don’t get sick of doing – I made tea. (When I do get sick of it – I order it from the dairy downstairs. But its still the most routine of all the things I do. Don’t even get me started on my bowel movements!) Anyway – so I made tea and started reading a book. I had an hour to go to office and I always need some time for myself before I go to work – that’s the only way I can function in a normal manner for the rest of the day. So, I was reading this book and I had a sudden urge to write something. I immediately took my diary from my bedside drawer, my pen from the pen stand on the bedside drawer and settled myself on the huge cushion for my back, on the bed. And I looked outside – it was raining.

My windows are big. When I had taken up this house – that was all that I was sold with – the ample amount of windows in my house that led to a magnificent view of the greenery outside. That’s a tough gain in Mumbai and I can’t stop bragging about it. I looked at those trees outside and in the rain, the light green looked lighter and the dark green looked even more darker. What contrast! Their barks, so deep brown – were flaunting their beautiful scars. And it came to me, in the most poetic way possible. The answer to my question – this is why its all worth it. 

I might not have a lot of time for myself, but when I do – its all mine. I am not worried about the next project because I am safe at this point. So, at this point – I can keep looking out of the window and remember how satisfying life is. Unless of course I lose my job and then I will have to worry – but until I don’t – I have this moment. I can pay my rent. I can pay for my groceries. I have a bedside drawer (Its important. I paid for it!). I have a space for myself that is my own and I might not have all the time in the world to think – but I have everything I need to sustain for myself – so that whenever I get the time, I have all the means to THINK. And I wouldn’t trade this for ANYTHING else in this entire world!

Yes. I am here because of my passion for films. But that does not mean that that part of me will always be satiated. And the last thing I want to do is pretend that it does. It won’t. Its very important to do what we love and its even more important to not make it a habit. We don’t want to end up eating snacks and be full by the time dinner’s ready. How will we enjoy our dinner otherwise? (imagine a high pitched squeaky voice saying that)

I realized that we tend to create a projection of our enlarged selves and then pose it to be real. We actually believe that people don’t see it. And we keep doing it because it tends to make us stronger, so we get quite convinced that that image is true. I don’t want to be captured in that image of myself. I don’t want to be captured in the philosophies and the wisdom of the philosophers. I want their wisdom to help me grow, not stunt it. I want it to make me powerful, not weak.

Like in the book, “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham,Virginia Woolf writes to her husband:

  “Dear Leonard. To look life in the face. Always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it. To love it for what it is, and then, to put it away.”

A part of my life felt simpler today. And hence, the urge to share.

❤ 🙂