But how strange the change
From major to minor.
~ Cole Porter, “Ev’ry Time We SayGoodbye”
Have not been back for a few days, and the urge to return remains, how wonderful this new compulsion! A familiar of indeed. A place where I can relate, repose, dream, and be unfettered.
I am thinking of my research work and how I have felt quite alone and my ideas seem strange to most and many, my desire to enmesh and synthesize, or bring coherence to my faith/spirituality into thinking about architecture/built environment. It cannot be so. Even if it were, it would be a niche where indeed it could feel lonely, a worthy ascent in my endeavours to fulfilling what has always felt a deep yawning call to pursue.
If God has called, then He shall accompany and provide. Of this I am growing certain.
I have also realised my own overall wellbeing improving over the short course of beginning this blog, running, thinking about each day as a fresh beginning – and truly living as it is. Not just some trite aphorism.
“The Happiness Project” by Rubin has really transformed my perspective as I picked it up again (intending to hurry up finishing it to return to Becca). What initially felt very forced and “pep talk-ish”, helped me now to see that “act the way I want to feel” is a very sensible and intelligent way to get through life, especially in the moments when I am want to behave childishly, or believe regressively. This in turn has improved my relating to JJ and the way I begin to feel and think positively about our relationship. Never realised how “damaged” I am from my childhood and upbringing and the parents’ marriage; but more so, I was extremely hindered by believing that I was irreparably “damaged” by all of that. What really did it for me was to realise recently how thoroughly I resented my parents, both mum and dad, for how I was, how I grew up, even I NOW feel! I know it sounds so un-Christian. But I simply could not help it. I realised that this kind of honesty is best for me.
I must grow up. And I must mature. It was what I desire deeply. Both emotionally and spiritually.
Aside from the emotional upturn-
… I have been feeling immensely grateful for where I am now – back in school, doing my PhD – versus just a few weeks (or months) back when every thing felt wrong, and I was so lost. More than this gratefulness, I have realised one thing:
I FEEL AWESOME FEELING AND BEING GRATEFUL!!
It seems like people don’t talk about this much – how it feels like to feel grateful. I never realised that feeling grateful, and being grateful is one thing; but that gratefulness feels AWESOME and SOUL-EXPANDING! It seems so obvious, but yet it’s not obvious enough.
A lot of smart books and clever quotes tell you how important it is to BE grateful. But they don’t mention enough (or at all) how joyful and invincible gratefulness makes you feel! It is a child-like YIPPEE-YAY feeling! 🙂
And so, this is how I feel now – GRATEFUL, AWESOME, JOYFUL & INVINCIBLE (in a “Ma-Father’s-got-ma-back-yo!” way.)
I would like to say, and declare (because declarations make things more real), that this means I am emerging from my weeks/almost months of depression – that probably started back since pre-National Day or even Cooling-Off Day (when the Sh. museum exhibition opened). I remember waking up the next morning after the opening and feeling completely lost (acknowledging in part it was perhaps due to the dip in adrenalin after the opening night) and abject from any feelings of satisfaction of having created something so close to my heart. I even took too personally and irrationally, that the messages from L on the two postcards bearing too much details of location, meant that my work was ‘problematic’ and ‘imperfect’. Thoughts of: Why can’t it be that my piece has no problems? I bet none of the others have any issues. Why does it have to be my piece that isn’t done-done-and-good?
It didn’t make sense then, but now I look back and realise how hopelessly futile every thing I did seemed to feel – including doubting my entire raison d’etre being back in graduate school, even doing the exhibition. It was quite a long-drawn season of self-doubt and self-rejection and self-loathing. It is honesty that humbles, and I think it is necessary that I call all of that out; whatever that was. Give it a name.
I am so glad that season is behind me. And it is important that I declare this too (because declarations make things concrete): The last five days since I started this new space has been an incredible upturn for me. And I take joy in how private this upturn has been. 🙂 This is my ‘Little Way’ project. My effort to emulate my Little Flower and love God better in the small things.
So happy that I now have this little nook to hang a mirror for my growth and efforts at beginning again, every day. I really have a very strong sensing of the Holy Spirit at work within me to bring about this U-turn in perspective and sensibility. I attribute even my ability to begin this, and create the two lists “Spiritual notes of myself for a life-giving journey” and “Twelve commandments” to the inner-balancing work of the Holy Spirit.
and so, how strange the change
from minor to major… ev’ry time, I say “Fiat”.
I merely had to respond with humility; and my sensitivity and humility itself has been a gift of Grace. Thank you Jesus, thank you St Therese.
(& off to bed I go…)