In Search of Balance in Life’s Challenges

In Search of Balance in Life’s Challenges

In Search of Balance in Life’s Challenges

In times of Mercury Retrograde, it is perhaps the wisest to slow down, review what we’ve done in the past few months and fine-tune existing projects. For me it is the best excuse to ignore all the projects, hide in bed and mumble on a cloudy Monday morning, in the hopes that by the time I finish writing, I will feel better and clearer about the challenges that lie ahead of me (I am foreseeing them and shitting my pants) – an attempt to shorten Mercury Retrograde from 25 days to an hour. Try writing down the past if you are also seeking clarity.

1. A dream

Joined a team of three in an ultimate adventure to a deadly dangerous mountain in Patagonia. The moment we stepped out of the house, the journey started: there were flashes everywhere in the sky, shooting straight to the ground, as if Jackson Pollock was up there doing some mega autonomous drawings. Fatal drawings. We had to run with our heavy backpacks swiftly to avoid electric shock. That was our first test. We passed it. Later we were sheltered at a spacious museum, where I was given a second chance to decide whether I still want to join the adventure or not. I looked out of the window, there was a tall and ugly mountain sitting afar. I knew that was it, the deadly mountain. I saw myself climbing up from a volcano with black lava and blood all over my palms. A chill in the air. But I was determined, so determined to go though that challenge. The only thing that worried me was my father. I did not know how I could tell him so that he wouldn’t be worried about me. I decided not to tell him at all. This unsettling feeling woke me up, leaving me in doubt the whole day.

2. Overwhelmingness VS Emptiness

I had been overwhelmingly busy. From late January till April this year, as soon as I finished my December contract work, I dived into working on a series of projects for Mundane Matters. First for Woolworth’s Australian Open social media campaign, followed by an exhibition and a talk at Apple Sydney Store, a group exhibition in Paris, a solo exhibition in Sydney, a pop-up workshop at Kaleido Issue 3 Launch and a series of workshops at Superlocalstudio (you can see photos in previous posts). All happened in three months. Just by looking at the list, it already made me want to swear, as a way to exhale and relieve all the pain and stress and intensity along the way, not to even think about the amount of work I’ve put into these projects.

These projects were highly praised and said to be quite entertaining and inspiring by a lot of people. All the hard work paid off – the most important thing to me is that what I am doing inspire others. If I could go back to early January, I would still choose to do the same again. I thank all my friends, old and new, for their love and ongoing supports.

There are still workshops to run, clients’ projects to be finished, but there is no more series of events planned ahead. The sense of emptiness arises – a sudden adrenaline drop, leaving it empty in the heart. Soon Anett will be away for a few weeks, it is going be quiet, so quiet, just me, the cat and some sunflowers. Fear arises. Time to learn to be independent again.

3. Do what you truly enjoy doing

What I had been painfully missing in those hectic months was writing. I much prefer to write, in that way I can avoid talking too much. When I talk too much, I often get paranoid and wonder why people listen to me talking in my strange Chinese-British English (I grew up learning from British English cassettes)-Australian English, now very much Hungarian influenced (because of Anett) accent, at my talk and presentation, even on the radio? It is a complex feeling which I am still trying to acknowledge in myself.

‘But writing! Through writing you can articulate your thoughts much better and you can still share it with other people! I have to say I enjoy reading your words much more than looking at your pictures!’ Adile (a great friend of ours, I talked about the coffee cup reading with her last year) said to me passionately at our dinner last night.

Adile reminded me once again, ‘Focus on yourself. Do what you truly enjoy doing.’ Our conversation last night has inspired me to come back to writing – even just mumbling about work and life, I can feel it is giving me clarity, courage and the peace of mind that will surely support me travel to that deadly dangerous mountain in my dream.

What about talks, exhibitions, workshops and interviews? Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy them in a different way. But if I need to do 10 of them in three months again, I will need to find a spokeswoman. She only needs to be my height and disguises herself in a black short bowl cut. If less … every individual event was a great pleasure to be involved. To share the love, positive energy and creativity with others – it is something that I truly enjoy doing too, and something that I believe is my mission in this world.

Thanks to Mercury Retrograde for allowing us time to slow down and re-balance our life.

Note: sign up at the next section on this page to receive my monthly discovery in your inbox.

Posted on at 4:34 am by Danling Xiao.