out of the woods vintage lettering by tori mok

A Journey Through the Woods

The past few weeks have been internally (and even externally) hectic for me. As a result, a large part of my life came to a standstill— creative work, non-creative work, and anything classified as productive (meaning binge-playing Two Dots doesn’t count). Meanwhile, time raced ahead in its usual cold manner and so there I was in mid-January, with less-than-high-spirits, trying to make sense of the internal mess and confusion I found myself in.

And then I came to fully understand, that when a close relative becomes terminally ill at a moment’s notice, it takes a toll on everyone involved. When life takes a sudden, unexpected twist for the worse, it makes us nervous, restless and disoriented. And when topics like what causes serious illnesses, how to care for the seriously ill, and what it means to die become the prevalent topics for weeks on end, it leaves us with little inspiration or desire to do anything else.

But perhaps it is only when death becomes this very real thing we seriously think about, that we start to question what it means to live. And somewhere in that realm of thoughts I found the answers to all the struggles and little nagging thoughts I’ve had for months, but even more so of late. I am still sad and worried with the current state of affairs; I don’t think cancer can be any other way. But I realised too, that negative thoughts will never make a situation better. In lieu of that, I broke the inertia and made positive actions I’ll admit I ought to have done ages ago (but better late than never, right?) — reconnecting with my faith, simplifying my life, and rediscovering the things I wanted out of my own life. Those things I translated into my true goals for the year, and honestly it gave me just the hugest sense of direction ever when I sat down and wrote them all out.

I feel like I’ve never been a very strong person all my life, and 2015 really brought to light all my weaknesses, inside and out. I decided that more than anything, I need to start focusing on myself and my personal growth. Hence, my goals for this year are all about becoming a better version of myself. Yay!!!

I’ve also been trying out different proven-beneficial things to see if they might have a place in my “new” lifestyle. Minimalism is a definite yes. But there are two other things I never expected to find useful, but nonetheless despite all my hesitation and scepticism have quickly become little gems in my daily routine. Meditation + Journaling.

Wow! For the practical, task driven person that I am, these things were not intuitive to me, but actually just what I needed. Right now, I’m just absolutely delighting in the freedom I’ve rediscovered by writing in a real book made with stuff from trees. There are no Likes, no Followers, and no Readers but Myself. I find it incredibly refreshing. As for meditation, I found an app called Headspace that makes meditation such a breeze and a blast, I’m always looking forward to the next session. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I actually feel I’ve been gradually becoming a happier person since starting. I like to think it isn’t a coincidence.

So that’s my life of late. It’s been quite an adventure through the woods, with detours and standstills and going round in circles, but together all of them helped me get out on the brighter side.