Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wiping the slate clean- Letter to self.

[How do you begin writing when you're writing after an abnormal break of two years? It's like you're under an enormous pressure by the unhappy troll of blogdom who looks at you dismally. As if you were that challenged child in class who was capable, but never lived up to the expectations. *Tch tch... you could have become a doctor, no! What is this? Art?* But that is besides the point. If you are confused, you can just start by writing how you are under pressure by the unhappy troll of blogdom...

After so much chatter, you might be compelled to think that the writer of this blog is in a terribly happy chatter-y mood. Chatter can be misleading though, as you'll find soon enough.]

I sit under my blanket at 5:48 am with a hot (not sexy hot, but hot hot) laptop (P.S.- also sexy) on my lap, wanting to attempt writing all that has been going on in my head for the past two days. Of course if you are one of those people who aren't interested in what goes on in other people's heads in 48 hours, you might want to leave.

Two days ago, I was a very happy person.
Very much the "Mere paas gaadi hai, bungla hai, bank balance hai aur Ma bhi hai" types happy.
And here I am, in such a short span of time, wanting to move away from everything and everyone I know, to a land where I can start my life with a clean slate. So what changed?

I didn't know! All I know is that I woke up one day and wanted to get up and leave everything. I tried attributing this massive pendulum shift to more comfortable and soothing solutions like PMS, Piscean mood swings, overactive imagination and the likes. Didn't work.
It was just a giant and pressing need to run away to a small town in Europe (my fascination returns, for those who know), maybe even get a name change, and spend my life happily as a Ms. Rasia Kasparowicz (yes, I Google searched for an appropriate Greek name) incognito!

Those who know me will also know that I am hardly the kind of person who would want to live incognito. I have a compulsive desire to be heard! To speak! I will also speak about the latest thing I ate, if it's interesting enough. Or if it's not, I will make it sound interesting till you either salivate or appreciate my wit.
So I did what all modern day youths do, in order to retreat in a shell. I deactivated my Facebook account. (Trust me, it does feel better)

After two days of listening to people talk and talk and talk on TED (Entertainment while working, in the absence of Facebook, and I thank God for it!), I started to introspect. (Crucial piece of information- I listened to talks on Psychology, so yeah, that's the influence)

I started tracing where this desire to retreat originated.
One would imagine it stemmed from a deep routed psychological scar I received as a child, or explain an innate hatred of society I might have as a rebel, or go Freudian and come up with multiple perverse complexes which have now surfaced to haunt me.

The answer I found was shockingly bland and non-classy; Someone had criticised me. My networking frequency!
There, as crass and boring as it could get. The only complexity to this, being, that that someone was someone I hold in high regard.

It takes certain courage to admit to even your own self that you are influenced by something as simple as a stray opinion. It goes to show how fragile you are. And it is definitely something that needs to be changed.
I do not know how many of you reading this are also like me. Not one to be extremely happy about grand praise, but tremendously affected by sharp criticism.
If I had to play shrink on myself (which is what I eventually did), I realised that I placed my sense of self-worth in what others thought of me. To be precise, a few crucial others. I am reminded of Rand's Peter Keating, and his need for admiration by his peers, and I remember thinking even 7 years ago, how similar we all are, sadly, to Keating.

The moment this epiphany dawned on me, I cringed at myself, took one hard look, and decided it was time to start fresh. And not by running away to a scenic locale (which you anyway must do; urban life is highly overrated), but by changing how you perceive yourself. By realising that only you can appraise your own worth. That a contradicting opinion is just that- a contradicting opinion! 
An awesome person stays awesome and a crappy person stays crappy- even if someone thinks contrary to that. Cabbage doesn't turn to Tandoori chicken no matter how much you wish it to. Ask me, I've tried.

The one thing you cannot change though, is that some people will always be more important than others, and hence their opinions significantly more effective.
Be that as may, do not make the mistake of holding them up as mirrors for you to see yourself in.

Also, for over-thinkers like me, here is a fabulous quote by poet John Milton which I came across in one of the TED talks:

The mind is its own place,
And in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell,
A Hell of Heaven 

On this note, I'd like to tell everyone to wipe their slates clean, paste a broad grin on their faces and order that darned Tandoori chicken! :D