Life seems wrapped up between going to work 9 to 5, taking care of household chores and running errands over the weekend. And in what’s left of it, we end up staring enviously at the seemingly perfect lives of Facebook friends. So the question is what then, should one be doing with life? Let’s take a few steps back. All the way to school.
I vividly remember high school when we had something called SUPW (Some Useful Productive Work). Schools in India have an hour dedicated to extracurricular activities that interest students. I recall making pottery, baking, singing and taking dance lessons. These sessions helped me expand as a person, identify my abilities and interests and stay creatively engaged.
However, as years passed, I couldn’t quite keep up with those activities. What I had so joyfully learnt during the time eventually became a distant memory. Time became a slave of daily routine. My mind tells me I should have further honed those interests and skills. But not being able to do so slowly induced a sense of listlessness that I understood only later. Life in this world got taken over by busy schedules and responsibilities.
I was determined to trace my way back to my passions and pursuits. The way to do it was by exploring once again what I loved. In a world that is constantly grappling with problems of the mind and the body, doing what you love is the way to keep away ennui. The excitement of doing things that interest us creates Eustress or positive stress and is unlike normal stress which constantly creates mayhem in the mind. Positive stress keeps us motivated and fulfilled. It enhances creativity and helps stay focussed.
In times of rejection, being stuck, hopelessness and demotivation, passion for something larger than ourselves helps sail through. It becomes an anchor when there is nothing else to hold on to.
All this contemplation and voila! I knew what it was that I needed to fill the void with after I had worked, run errands and taken care of chores. I finally knew I didn’t need to gaze at others’ lives. Instead, I decided what I wanted my epitaph to read–Shayan Belliappa: cooked, sang, painted, and above all, loved and lived life.