Today I did an exercise. A simple yet tiring exercise. I had to try give new names to old objects. I had to call a chair anything but a chair. A table anything but a table. Every object in the room had to be given a new name. Any new name. And it made me tired. Mentally tired.
And through this simple exercise I discovered that my Creative was in hiding. Hiding out of fear from being beaten by my Analytical and my Realistic. Analytical was even arguing with me about this simple fact – “Of course, you’re creative. You write and stuff! But don’t even think of making a spelling error. And definitely make sense. Always make sense! Other than that, be as creative as you want. Don’t forget, it must be perfect.” And Creative hides. In Fear.
And then it hit me.
This is why travelling is important to me. Yes, to embrace other cultures and history and experience new wonders. But outweighing all these was that it allowed me to be creative. To be limitless. To be unrealistic. To be able to openly say “I don’t know”. To accept that I know nothing in this new world and I can enjoy every moment with absolute innocence. I can make mistakes and laugh at myself.
Oh, how I love to laugh. And laughing at myself is too delicious. And to share this encounter of laughing at myself with someone else is even more delicious – knowing that you could mistakenly bring that much joy to someone provides a deep satisfaction. Not embarrassment. There is no need. Because life isn’t as serious as we pretend it to be. It could disappear right now. So why not laugh?
There is so much pressure in this world to be constantly perfect. To be constantly right. To be constantly happy all the time. I remember while traveling earlier in the year, for the first time in a long time, actually feeling a feeling. It was one of sadness and I knew it would pass but the pleasure in acknowledging this feeling was immense and it made me appreciate the feeling of happiness thereafter even more. When I travel there is no constant rat race, no pressure in making yourself known; stretching Analytical and dwelling on Realistic. There is only Creative. And while I understand and accept that all three aspects are essential I know that my Creative in my day-to-day life doesn’t enjoy the same amount of airtime as my Analytical. When I travel though my Creative takes control and keeps me present; in the moment and alive.
And in the midst of all this thinking or lack thereof; I read two odd books. Unrelated to anything and their writing different to each other and to what I am used to (going with my new routine of breaking habits and making my brain use energy and not trying to conserve it). Two thoughts, emotions, ideas stood out for me. In two quotes. One from each book.
“Time should move… Don’t go in for a life where time doesn’t pass, the way I did. That is the single biggest bit of advice I can give you.”1
“And what was most intoxicating for Willie was that for the first time in his life he felt himself in the presence of someone who accepted him completely. At home his life had been ruled by his mixed inheritance. It spoilt everything. In England he had grown to live with the idea of his difference. At first this feeling of difference had been a liberation from the cruelties and rules of home. But then he begun in certain situations…to use his difference as a weapon, making himself simpler and coarser than he was. It was the weapon he was ready to use…But there was no need. There was, so to speak, nothing to push against, no misgiving to overcome, no feeling of distance.” 2
1. Desai K. The Inheritance of Loss . Penguin Books 2006.
2. Naipaul VS. Half a Life. Picador 2001.