Why, write this article now: If you’re anything like me, then the first thought that would pop up in your head is that, this is a click-bait article or rather an opportunist mindset. If you’re undergoing emotional and mental hygiene challenges, (just like me), then you’ll understand the urgency of penning these thoughts down for myself and others (again like me) who are being impacted at the moment.
The past: There are ample scientific, theological, social and cultural studies that indicate, that the world, currently is, exactly as how it has always been. Crazy. Charles Darwin knew it when he spoke about evolution theory, just as Einstein knew, when he proposed the ‘theory of relativity.’ Eastern constructs such as Hinduism or Buddhism (along with other eastern religions), Vedas, medicinal practices, yog and other studies all, in their own ways, endorse the same view. At the end, they all teach us “the value of goodness,” “the values of adapting and evolving”, and base themselves on the foundation of “positive thoughts, positive emotions and positive actions for a more balanced world and therein a balanced human existence.” However, as we know, it is easier said than done. The current world, where we live in (And I will here talk about only my generation or the ones who will follow us) is scary. We are the millennial living in a post world war (s) era. We are definitely fortunate than our earlier generations, as we today, have access to things, which were absent before. Whether it is easy healthcare access, advanced digital technologies, improved social and welfare schemes, we definitely have a lot many things, better than our parents or grand parents.
The complex present: Today, when I look around me and see circumstances in which our world currently, operates in, I see a complicated world, full with complications owing to complex social and cultural dynamics of the planet, such as globalization, immigration, poverty, environmental destruction, gender inequality, etc, creating emotions of fear, anger, hatred, shame, guilt, sickness, corruption, lies, deceit. And then, there are the modern-day concepts created, which we (or may be it’s just me?????!!!!) hope, will address the gamut of all our troubles. Whether it is feminism for gender equality (or should it be gender equity?), or clean politics for good governance, environmentalism for fighting climate change, Resistance movements (such as #metoo #alllivesmatter #adivasilivesmatter, #mentalhealthmatters), end up creating more complex problems, because “politics!?”
The political twist: Say, what you may, but I totally believe that the current politics in our country and anywhere else, is drastically different from what our earlier generations had. Back then, perhaps our great grand parents and grand parents fought for freedom from slavery and injustice of age old practices and colonialism. Our parents, then fought to establish a new world order basis this newly found freedom. To give you an example, our grand mother most likely have been wonderful housewives with talented abilities and deep contemplated ideologies for her era. Our mothers and aunts, might have been the first ones to reclaim their freedom and equality by joining services or entering the societal workforce.
Fine, till here. But, what happens, next is where it all gets distorted. Today, we no more fight for our freedoms, but to keep our freedoms that our forefathers fought and earned. But we are not fighting for that. We are fighting for our idea of freedom. All of us, each one of us, whether, it is about political ideologies (whether you are on the left or the right), our idea of social constructs, our idea of ‘a community, a nation and a world.’
That said, I am fully aware, that not all people are struggling. Some of the people, already understand this and it is evident through their actions, including media personalities, celebrities, journalists, social activists, artists, musicians, dancers, doctors, politicians and the aam admi (common people.)
But, if you are somewhat like me (who can make no sense of what’s happening around), then scroll down and read. I want you to know, that you’re not alone and that you and I can overcome this. TOGETHER.
THE GREAT WORLD CONFUSION:
At the moment, the people in the world can be categorized, in a few ways, as below (amongst others). These are my observations. I am sure, you might have more to add to the list:
1. People who are affected by the above
2. People who don’t let this affect them
3. People who let this affect them (because it somehow impacts their personal or professional life)
4. People who don’t let this affect them (even if it is somehow impacting them personally or professionally)
5. People who talk about this, because they care and want to make a change
6. People who don’t talk about this, (because they think, they alone can’t make a change or are more cynical and believe that nothing changes, even if they want to)
7. Last but not the least people who don’t talk about this because (they believe, they can change things by action in their communities and not by talks).
What is happening to me? Going crazy. No, really! And I am not going to shy about saying so. Because, I am aware of many people, my colleagues, my friends, my relatives, who are going through this. So what exactly is impacting me? Politics. Politics around haves and have nots. Discussions around careers, self-goals, rich, poor, religions, communities, ecological destruction, people, their dreams, behaviors, mindsets, the shameless privilege, the ignorant ideas of patriotism and nationalism, the hatred, the people creating dictionaries for hate language, people forcing their opinions on others, all exacerbated by the technology and social media.
When I travel and write: When I started travelling, I did it for myself. When I started writing, I did because I wanted to write. In the middle of this somewhere, I lost my direction. I became a traveler, then I became a travel blogger. Next what happens, is anybody’s guess. I started doing things to be heard, be seen, be relevant, be a great story teller, be an influencer, be a voice, be “India’s top xx blogger”. My life went down the drains. Anything, I would do be from now on, wouldn’t be enough. Do this, do that. It became a rut. Write xx blogs , per day, per month. Do SEO, Do social media, Do this, write about that.
What The Hell Happened– I joined social media, particularly, the Instagram groups, blogging groups. Started talking to random strangers, met some random people. I indulged in random online conversations. I spoke, where I shouldn’t have. I kept quiet, where I should have spoken. Then, I started fighting, arguing, criss crossing, fretting. I ended up feeling dejected and rejected. Then it started to show physically. I started shivering, my mental breakdowns began. I started crying. Anybody and everybody could provoke me at the tip of their finger. I started skipping food, forgot to drink water. I would lie each night on my bed, only to sleep at 4AM in the morning. I felt drained. I am now dealing with Sinus, hypothyroidism, tonsillitis. I started taking painkillers and got addicted to them. I popped them like ‘gems’, in my partner’s language. I felt the walls of my home are closing in on me. I broke down. I forgot, why I started. And then, it all exploded. I cried, I suffered from anxiety and then I got depressed. I went hysterical. Eventually, I ended up with my therapist.
Now, I am not saying that I didn’t meet any good people online or I didn’t make great friends and communities on social media. I did. In fact, some of the best people, I met in my life today, I met online. I met, my partner on social media Q&A site- Quora, for Christ sake!! But, I forgot to balance. The balance of Yin and Yang. The balance of offline and online. The balance of the world and the being of me. I have become more confused. Paranoid, anxious, excessive mood swings. I don’t know, who I am. I don’t know what I believe, what I do, why I travel, why I write? I ended up with my therapist.
So, why exactly do I write?
I have been contemplating on this question for a long time. Moreover, since last week. The question troubled me from the beginning, perhaps when I wrote my first essay as a kid, for which I won a silver medal. I started reading others, talking to people on why they write. Some said, they write for themselves. Others write for other people. Some journalists, I met, said they wrote because “media is 4 the estate of democracy”, “some said because they love storytelling.” And I internalized all these statements to such an extent, that I started to become angry, when I saw none of the statements above, had the outcome, I desired. Injustice still prevails. People still fight. I am feeling unhappy. I am sick. People didn’t appreciate what I wrote. Some people didn’t appreciate my reporting and they said it is all one sided. I kept growing angrier, sad, lonely. I couldn’t find the purpose of my life, of my being and my writing. I wanted to do something for myself, for my world, for our planet, for our environment. But I couldn’t. I felt burdened, like I am not up to the mark. That, no matter what, I do, I will never make a difference. That I am useless.
And then today, something happened. A thought came to my mind. Why do I write? Because I want to share my thoughts and ideas with the world. I have stories, which I want the world to know. But I am not doing it for the world or others. I am also not doing it for myself. I am doing it for the purpose of my being. My job is to share ideas, highlight challenges and suggest solutions. Whether people agree, disagree, whether my ideas are being implemented or not, is none of my business. Because, I have already fulfilled my job. I have perhaps, done my role by doing my job- which is share whatever, I feel. Tell, what makes me happy. Highlight what I see as wrong and suggest solutions, which I find apt as per my understanding. Stop being or trying to understand what others mean. Be more me. Be more my power. Be myself. And listen to the world. Ruminate on it. If I find something good, pick it up. If something is bad, say it through my writing and suggest alternatives.
Find inner strength & healing. Keep writing.