Being an Indian female, I was sort of under the impression that life ended at the old age of 30 when you had to get married and have kids. Then, as I grew older, I decided that life didn’t necessarily end after you got married, but when you had kids you were basically a slave to them, so you could kiss all your dreams good bye. But I figured by that point you didn’t have any dreams anyway so it’s fine. Ha.
Which is all really strange, because I realized that my whole perception of the world was binary. Or at least in boxes with clear beginnings, middles, and ends. It’s funny, I spent so much of college wishing I was more engineering like (because honestly, I was terrible at it) and now I realize that I am plenty engineering like. It helps when you’re trying to dissect business problems, or problems in general- because yes, you need to define boundaries, figure out the problem, and architect a solution, but for your actual life, this philosophy, when taken to the extreme, is more detrimental than not. I think.
Being in London, I realize that I want to come back here for extended periods of time. Being in India, I realize I want to be there too. And being in the US, I realize I want to spend time there as well. Maybe if I visit Paris, I’ll feel that way too, who knows (I have this weird obsession with Paris, and the more people tell me how horrid and dirty it is, the more I really want to go- yes I’m just weird like that). And I was thinking to myself, jesus, how am I supposed to pick where I live or what I’m supposed to be in life, or who I spend the rest of my life with, or anything important like that? And then I just asked myself- why? Why does it have to be this or that? Why does it have to fit this mould that I have seen others follow? Because so much of my life has been so unconventional anyway, why would I be under the assumption that I’d have to pick doing this OR that? Yes, I understand the reality that we only have 24 hours in the day, and our life is finite, and we will be unhappy if we try to do to many things and don’t do it well, but at the same time, there is so much between THIS and THAT, I think it’s really worth exploring the in betweens. Really exploring that empty space between here and there. Because I think that space is incredibly vast, way bigger than we think.
I’ve never had a problem coloring out of the lines, but the problem was that there was a box and I was always aware that there was a box I was not coloring in. So I always thought of my life in terms of how badly out of the lines I was coloring. It was always measured by this finite thing.
But maybe that’s the wrong way of looking at it. What if you get rid of the idea of lines and boxes, and just think of coloring, not in relation to anything in particular, but just for the sake of coloring, wherever you feel like coloring. Mostly because it feels like the right thing to do.
Which pretty much means you won’t know what your picture will look like beforehand, which is pretty scary, I must admit, but it’s probably a better way of living. And chances are, you’ll turn out with a way better painting.