Been thinking about how to deal with my existential crisis. Career-wise and personal-life-wise, I’m doing ok. There’s a never-ending search for meaning and the feeling of fulfillment and I lead a pretty privileged life but there’s this sense of “I don’t know what I’m doing” that can lead me down some pretty dark thought-holes. And I haven’t figured out how to stop myself from going there.
Photography, as a practice helps immensely. I’m grateful that I’ve found that one thing that makes me forget that I’m thirsty and hungry. I can use it to launch me out of bed each morning. The prospect of making another photo. I’m not sure what I’ll photograph but there’s something that needs capturing.
Case in point, today, I was posting a video on my Instagram stories, of a coffee table book that the Hyatt had snail-mailed to me weeks ago. The book came in a red cardboard box. I hate throwing away boxes that are even half-decent and have survived the courier process. This one had. I was wondering what to do with it, how to put it to use and then I spotted the roses that have been drying under my work desk, also for weeks now. Pretty dry I’d say. They were gathering dust now, more than drying.
So. I thought I could use the box to store the roses! The box came with a lid, so the roses wouldn’t gather any more dust once I stored them. I already have a few shoe boxes I’ve stacked, without lids, in which I’m storing some dried flowers that I might use for photos I want to make.
Of course, once I started putting in the roses in the box, I stopped and stared because they looked beautiful. I took out a few to make a slightly more balanced, non-busy composition and this is my photo of the day for today. It’s a small thing but I feel chuffed.
And then it brought me to gratitude. I believe that physically writing down what I am grateful for tends to get me out of the “Dark hole” funk but I’ve not been able to stick to it as a daily practice. I don’t personally know of anyone who does this, so I’m a bit of a skeptic. I’d prefer to write in my Moleskine but I’m going to kick off by listing some of the things I’m grateful for today, in this blog post :
- I have a new photo, which is fresh, which I can post on my Instagram feed! Trust me, the struggle to post something new, not a #ThrowBack, is real if some of your business depends on Instagram. Lately, I’ve been trying to keep Instagram away from forcefully defining the kind of work I do and who and why I do it. So this random image fits right in and I think it’s decent enough quality to go onto the Instagram feed too.
- There is water to drink and food in the refrigerator. Despite how much I’ve taken this for granted over the years, I know this is a very big deal for most of the people who live in India. And many parts of the world. So many people do not have access to water and food and hell even toilets. I can sit on my pot for as long as I want. It’s a luxury and I am grateful for it.
- That I get to earn a decent living, getting to do what I love – which is photography and then sharing that photography on my blog and social media channels. It sounds bizarre that I actually make money doing this stuff. It’s the perfect intersection of art and business for me. I need the peace of art and the stimulation and Adrenalin and ambition of running a business as an entrepreneur. Very few people get to do this.
- I’m grateful that both my parents are still alive. I’m working on trying to spend more time with them, but at the very least, they are still around. ( Honestly, I hate writing this down and saying it because I don’t want to jinx it – but it IS going to get jinxed at some point regardless of what I feel or think about about. )
- Gratitude that I get to write blog posts like these.
- Gratitude that I can do 24 to 30 client assignments each year and run a two-person household in Gur-fucking-gaon if I want to.
- Gratitude that people send me books and flowers and clothes and shoes, just like that. JUST. LIKE. THAT. It’s insane and I will always be grateful.
- I’m grateful that I feel like my personal and professional lives are sorted for the most part. Considering I spent most of my life – till my later-20s – believing strongly that I’d never find love, this is a VERY big deal. I’ve always believed that if my love-life is sorted, I can take up any bloody challenge in my life and I will be OK.
- Gratitude for all y’all who read and view all the stuff I post! It’s incredible how many of you there are and that so many of you are STILL around after all these years of me spewing my heart out online. And so many of you keep tabs on my work on multiple platforms. This too, is insanity! Thank you!
There is SO much more. But it’s hard to think of right away. I hope this starts me off, again, on the path of looking at my life with gratitude. Meanwhile, there’s roses. Thank you for reading and putting up with my nonsense. To the person who recently commented that my blog was like a “mini-Google” for them, THANK YOU! Much love, N.