2016 has been a very intense year for me. This is likely my first New Year eve post to welcome the 37th year of my ‘alien’ life in this human vessel. There’s been many learnings that I’d like to share with you as I don’t have much human interactions and relationships to begin with on a daily basis (which I am happy about in being the recluse that I am)
So here’s my list that I am grateful for:
1. 3 rejected grants for funding The Red Door™ but 3 other YES’s that offered no money & only investment from my own pocket. I couldn’t say yes to these as I had no funds, but I understood who were the ones who truly believed and understood the work done.
I learnt: Stay true to my inner belief and first plans on being self-sustainable. Money comes in for good work and causes and will come in as just ‘enough’ in order to remind us about humility. In doing so, those on the same purpose will stay. Don’t chase. There will be talkers, doers, movers & walkers. Each are necessary.
I also got a lot of practice in filling up forms and I can now say I know how to do it well!
2. 2 personal artist rejection program but my first ever art exhibition that I managed to let the world into another level of schizophrenia and spirituality. Some of the most important conferences in the world such as INTAR (alternatives & holistic approaches in Mental Health), AWID Forum (the largest feminist forum with 1800 participants), DADAFEST UK-India with The Red Door as a handshake, other talks and workshops I was at embraced the same concepts…creativity=spirituality=I’m on the right track!
I learnt: I might want something else but the universe has other plans where all my skills are utilized together and not as separate avatars.
3. Sequel of my memoir postponed to 2017 but one published paper. My parents have not read my book entirely, and it’s okay. Readers and visitors to my book launch or art exhibition have asked ‘Where are your parents? How are they? How did you write such horrible things about them? At first I felt the unfairness in my life presenting itself as I had written in my memoir ‘Fallen, Standing…’ about my parents not being there for me at many levels & about society’s lies and hypocrisy.
Here it was my first book launch or my first exhibition and they weren’t there. But when I took the mic at many occasions I did wish my parents were there, however the show had to go on without them.
I learnt: To pause & to let go of projected expectations suddenly thrown at me & to trust my knowing that I always had their blessings & presence through other ‘mothers & fathers’. Some people don’t have parents! My father messaged once when I ranted about the feedback I got: SHE will always take care of you. We’re only your earthly parents. Don’t bother about what others say of you or your book. We know what it is. Dealing with such comments is not something new for you or us.
4. Multiple broken relationships and strained ‘friends’ but there’s nothing to be heartbroken about. I had written and spoken in my interviews about schizophrenia being ‘not being loved’ ‘being disrespected at many levels’ and ‘having one’s heart broken a million times over and over again’. My healing was just the same this year. I learnt that even that was an expectation and no one has the power to necessarily break anyone’s heart. It is the shit we believe in.
I learnt: There is no hate, no need for revenge, bitterness, guilt or forgiveness. Those who hurt have allowed me to grow and evolve further. They owe me no apology and I owe them no forgiveness. There is no ‘owing’ but only letting go in order to move towards one’s higher purpose.
5. The fragility of life and relationships; to never wait for adversity to show us how important and valuable relationships are. We can choose our friends & lovers but they’ll all evaporate, however true relationships have no choosing and we can’t choose our parents or siblings either.
Mom got burnt in a gas explosion on the morning of her birthday in June. After having recovered from breast cancer this accident purged all of her confidence and positivity in life. None of us have ever seen mom so low in life and given up. Her body image has been her biggest source of confidence. The very reason dad fell in love with her. Her accident was followed by my father developing another heart blockage as a response to his trauma of seeing my mom in flames. Dad already had an angina in 2001 and a bypass in 2008 with diabetes and high BP.
I had to think hard about my own health decisions after a new skull bone growth I developed around my birthday earlier in the year. I’ve sworn to never go down the old road of health care even if I lose myself in the process of finding my way out.
My brother had a similar burnt accident in 2010, followed by my brain tumour 6 months later. We received a lot of unnecessary comments in 2016 as a family from individuals who’ve not experienced any of this, but it brought us closer as a family despite us living in 4 different countries. Distance did bring us closer.
I learnt: When we can truly accept that death is the only certainty it is when we truly begin our healing & life changes incredibly for the best.
Not to forget: I can now tie a perfect tie and button myself up without taking too much time as before. 😀
HAPPY 2017 to everyone & thank you all for reading this.
Lots of lov, peace and colour to you – Resh