What ‘lights’ you up? The answer can be different for every human being. Maybe there is more than one answer. Usually, that is the truth. Meaningful work, loving family, hobbies…writing, singing, sports, or just sitting in solitude and watching the sunlight. Each of us has to find his/her own answer to that question.
Recently I was watching Elizabeth Gilbert- author of Eat, Pray, Love – speak about her journey home. Home was the term she used to describe something which she loved more than anything. ‘Writing’ was home for her.
After the stupendous success of Eat, Pray, Love, she faced a great fear. She was scared of writing again and failing to meet the standards of the first.She shared that she was happy when the next book flopped, because she could finally get back home without any more fears…She could get back and simply write for the sheer joy of writing. She went on to write many more beautiful books.
The challenge, in her perspective, was that we tend to give up our right to reach our own ‘ homes’. There are many pressures preventing us from doing so. We have to find what gives us joy ( lights us up) and stick with it, without allowing anyone/ anything to dislodge us from that sacred space with their judgement of us.
In one way, this is what the great Jospeh Campbell spoke of in his iconic writings. ‘ Follow your bliss…’ The Hero’s journey belongs to each of us. Every adventure need not be heroic. It could be just the insistence that one has to have an hour every day, to be alone: to just be.
Even that could be a small heroic victory. Because, it could be your idea of bliss. That could be your ‘sacred space’ to rejuvenate yourself.
One of the things which lights me up is enjoying words in any form.
Is there some written rule anywhere that only successful people can write? Only those who are published should dream? Only those who are famous should indulge in imagination? Or that only when you are supremely talented, you should dare to put a pen on paper- that too in only ‘specific’ human languages?
Who made all these rules? If I get joy in writing / translating from vernacular languages, who defines the ranking or stature of my happiness? Why would I justify my ‘home’ to anybody else?
Even today, when I hear some people discuss with great authority on the how/ why/ what of another human being’s choices, I cannot help a smile. What do they know- these so called experts- on what makes another person’s heart beat rise? Perhaps it is work. Perhaps it is love, perhaps it is a pet. Perhaps…million choices…Instead of wasting precious time trying to find fault with another, they would benefit, if they were to discover a ‘home’ for themselves.
Inside my book shelf, I encountered a few books created during my journey home. With every passing day, I am getting there. Unapologetically.