We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there, too.Kristin Martz
This poignant statement is one I resonate with entirely, and really, I wouldn’t be stretching it if I said it gives me goosebumps. Truly, immersing yourself in the things you love awakens your senses and makes you feel whole again.
Life, as we know it, can be a rollercoaster of unexpected circumstances, unusual situations and complex, layered reactions and emotions which aren’t all that easy to deal with.
When it comes to taking a break or re-charging, the urban, city-life culture that has seeped into the minds of the working populace, has us choosing to unwind by heading to social gatherings, bonding over drinks with friends, casual dating, watching a movie or television shows. Entertaining and outright fun, these options have their own contribution when it comes to “feel good factors” and are definitely required from time to time.
However, with the passage of time, and some contemplation, I have come to understand that although great fun, these options fall into the category of a “quick fix” that serves as a temporary, convenient distraction from a heavy, fatigued and overburdened state of mind. When faced with difficulties and despair, or even dark times, in extreme cases, what we need is an outlet that is deeply personal and evokes an enduring feeling of belonging.
Both my professional and personal journeys have been rather interesting. I started on a scientific and analytical path, becoming a pharmacist by degree and venturing into research and development in Big Pharma, followed by strategy consulting assignments in the corporate healthcare world. This further led to my adopting roles in healthcare marketing and business development.
On a personal level, I have always been seen as a happy-go-lucky, humorous extrovert, but I also enjoy alone time in part. I am someone who feels things a bit too much and impulsively wears my heart on my sleeve. Not afraid to be vulnerable, I tend to let my guard down easily. I am hedonistic and philosophical, with a creative side contrasted by a scientific bent of mind.
I am also a hyper-energetic individual, with thoughts racing through my head constantly. While this energy does set me apart from most people, it can also get to me sometimes.
At a certain juncture, the years of navigating through life’s twists and turns, along with trying to come to terms with me personally, finally came to a standing halt.
I began to drift, disheartened and disillusioned with the world around me, I felt a strange restlessness. I wanted to run away from it all, as far as I could, to escape the emptiness and void, but within I knew somewhere, that running away wasn’t the answer. I had to build a life I did not want to run away from.
I began to search and yearned for something more, unsure of what that was. I decided to take a sabbatical to pull myself apart, discover meaning and put myself together all over again. I was hoping that once I began to explore new and different avenues, I would chance upon something that moves me.
During this time, I travelled to Europe for the magic of liberation, Ladakh for the exhilarating beauty of its mountains, Rajasthan for its grand architecture and forests, which are full of magnificent surprises and wonders of the natural world, as well as Sri Lanka for its green tropics and a relaxed, friendly way of life.
I developed an interest in photography and using images and text to tell a story, especially pertaining to wildlife and landscapes. I also began to experiment with content writing and researching a career in psychology.
I tried to push myself out of my comfort zone and go on difficult treks that I would never have attempted in the past. I tried to do as much as I could to stay close to nature, whether transfixed by transcendent mountains, breathing the salty air by the ocean, meditating by the calming waters of a lake or absorbing the sights, scents and sounds of the forests …. And continue to do so.
Nature is a hallowed boon, with something for everyone. Back home, I also spent my time learning how to play with different flavours in cooking, getting lost in many a writers’ web of imagination by reading amazing books and peacefully exercising by the beach.
Through this process of experiential change, in looking for connections, meaning and purpose, I uncovered a hidden inner talent—a surprising ability to paint and create artwork. This has greatly influenced my evolution as a human being in the recent past and I have found my calling. When I am painting, I can feel my emotions rise in harmony and for the first time in my life, experiencing catharsis, almost sublime and miraculous, making me feel overwhelmed and free.
I am currently in the process of converting my passion into my profession by expressing my love for wildlife through painting and learning new forms of art. I also work as a content writer, being able to release my thoughts and ideas and watch them flow into words.
Well-being to me is a happy space, a tranquil world of your own, where you are drenched by things that you love, in purity, that stimulate and soothe simultaneously. None of us will know what causes this soul-stirring feeling within, until we channel our energy into attempting different things, looking at the bigger picture in life and trying not to get caught up in everyday hassles.
For me, this has been the biggest factor in contributing to the meaning of well-being and in reinventing myself.