Finding one’s voice in creating…and living

On the 30th of November this year, I reached a milestone: my short story Clara appeared in the November issue of Electric Spec magazine. This is the first time that a short story of mine got published. I can’t explain what this means to me. But then again, anybody who has decided to live their dream knows the gleeful feeling of moving a step farther along their path.Continue reading “Finding one’s voice in creating…and living”

The muck on our lenses

When I was a kid of perhaps five or six, I had this recurring longing to be able to get out of my head and experience the world through the eyes of somebody else. When strangers walked by me on the street, I would look at their faces, stare at their eyes, and wonder what they saw, how it felt to breathe through their noses, how it felt to have the thoughts of a different brain. It was as if I was looking at the world through two holes the shape of my eyes; as if I was stuck in a limited shell, and I longed to break out and experience a different point of view, a different body, a different mind than my own.Continue reading “The muck on our lenses”

Finding balance in life is not a balancing act

There has been a lot of hype around the concept of finding balance in life: work-life balance, balancing social life vs me-time, balance in parenting…you name it. Recently, I listened to an interview with children’s books author and illustrator Lori Richmond (whose work is lovely, by the way) and she said something that really jarred me. She has two kids, her husband is most of the time away, and she works full-time as a freelancer. All in all, she is a very busy person. When Dan Blank, who was interviewing her, asked how she fights the anxiety that comes with having to manage too many things in life, she said that she has given up on finding balance in life and has instead learned to juggle very, very well.Continue reading “Finding balance in life is not a balancing act”

Turn the other cheek. Really?

Something happened to me a couple of weeks ago: one of these small occurrences which at a second glance has the depth of changing one’s perspective on life. As I was taking a turn on my bike, I collided with another bicyclist. Thankfully, it was a minor collision as we both managed to break in time. What followed, though, made me cry all the way home.Continue reading “Turn the other cheek. Really?”

No longer hiding behind clutter

In the past few weeks, I happened to travel to various workshops. This reminded me of how much I like to sometimes be away from home. But really, why do people enjoy going away for a while?

My husband and I have built a happy, peaceful home, so in my case family troubles are not the answer. The reason for my nomadic inclinations came to me only when I chanced to stay for a few nights at a lovely house in Zurich. What I realized during my stay there was that the predominant furnishing was white walls.Continue reading “No longer hiding behind clutter”

Keep learning, live long, live well

When I read Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, one specific detail took my deepest attention. Clarke describes (no spoilers here), in his riveting way, how astronaut David Bowman’s day on the spaceship Discovery was scheduled, and specifically states that two hours of the “day” were allotted to studying.

At this point, I remember putting down the book as I stared into nothingness. I thought: Wow! I wished I had such luxury. At the time my son was about a year old (now he’s two), and I still worked in research. All I was able to do was scrape time to write (and occasionally read). But time to study something? Unimaginable.Continue reading “Keep learning, live long, live well”

Is it a weakness to chase a dream and the discipline of free choice

“The Offering […] requires discipline, not the discipline of slavery, but the discipline of free choice.” – Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra.

Let me put into context what Paulo Coelho means in the above quote. As I understand it, he talks about the discipline to freely take the choice to love our job even if it’s not our dream job. This pouring of love into doing the job, he calls the Offering.Continue reading “Is it a weakness to chase a dream and the discipline of free choice”

A bad habit called stress

It’s difficult to lose the habit of being stressed out. This is one thing I’m beginning to learn. I quit my job at the beginning because, after years and years of denial, I finally accepted that research is not my path. I imagined, as I geared up to tell my superior about my decision, that the day I quit my job will mark the beginning of a happier existence. And though an evening and a day of HUGE relief did follow, what came afterwards was nothing like the easiness of mind I had envisioned. Nope, what followed was a complete and utter descent into a dark, ghostly state.Continue reading “A bad habit called stress”

Our hearts are keeping time

It’s funny how sometimes the tiniest of occurrences can unleash a landslide of emotions and associations that can propel our minds to a totally new place.

Once, after yoga, I overheard a conversation between my yoga teacher and another student that threw me into a small frenzy of thought. What I overheard while all of us were changing was that the student—an unassuming looking woman—was leaving next week to Antarctica on a research ship. She would be sailing around the islands down south for four months.Continue reading “Our hearts are keeping time”

Boldly, with love: a manifesto

I admit it: I have done my fair share of lusting for success and validation for my writing. But I’m putting this out here because I wish to let go of these thoughts. And publishing them somewhere where anyone can read them is my version of shock therapy. Will anyone find this post is another question. But for sure, even the possibility for this confession to be read by anyone is terrifying enough.Continue reading “Boldly, with love: a manifesto”