We are all in the journey of finding ourselves and helping others find themselves.
Wind back to three-and-a-half years ago. I resigned from the company where I started as a junior graphic designer. I felt sad to leave the people I was working with, but I was ambitious to create something of my own. I had always been ambitious and in fact, highly stressed since I started design school. People thought I was talented, but they didn’t know how much I feared to lose the title of being talented. I wasn’t a born talent. I just worked hard to ‘become’ one. I wanted to prove to my dad, that I could have a happier life since I withdrew from my accounting/finance double degree course to study graphic design. So now I had become a ‘talented’ designer. My dad approved it too.
But I needed one more approval! Just one more, for him to approve that I could also have a successful life with a same-sex partner. I could have my own business like he did. So I started building an online shop with my ex-partner, whom I had a long distance relationship with for six years. I quit my job to focus on the shop after it went live. I knew nothing about eCommerce, but I was determined to learn everything like I had done with other things. I was already anticipating success. But what was success like to me? I could not define. It was more like a feeling of euphoria than a goal or a number. When would I achieve that feeling? Probably never, because I was never satisfied with the present, neither was my dad.
A determination driven by the feeling of success was vulnerable to the gravity of life. When it was hit, it exploded and never came back. Six months later, I found myself in love with another woman. Ironic. But that was it. The bubble where the dream and the determination and the ego and everything dwelt in, burst as I blinked. So did the love bubble. Everything was changing so much faster than any changes that had happened in my life. Everything – work, emotion, value, belief, was smashed into a mess.
From there I entered a phase of almost three years of solitariness or probably, depression. I didn’t know what to do with my life. I signed a contract for a design job, which helped to keep me breathing and free from financial worrying. I swept everything on the surface but carried the wreckage from the bubbles within me. I talked about it with a couple of very close friends, but could never utter the deepest feelings inside me. I wasn’t seeking any professional help either as I thought I was fine. It was natural to feel melancholic after loss. Time will heal.
I immersed myself in reading and writing. Words lead one to a non-existing space where one could escape from his pain. Words amplify pain so one’s pain is no longer that painful. Everyday I dropped a few words that reflect my emotions and thoughts symbolically on Instagram. I was hoping my inner voice could be heard. The more it was heard, the less pain I felt, I hoped.
When life’s priorities are reduced to only feeling the vast loneliness, everything you see and touch, becomes so close and so real that you start to wonder what is lying underneath. To see it you have to feel it. It may recall the imagery you have seen in your life. It may be an illusion. I still couldn’t figure out how I came up with the early creations. They were so raw and not understandable that I still think they are the most beautiful and original things I have ever made in my life. I found pure pleasure in the creating process as it allowed me to escape from the real world and interpret what I thought was inside every truth.
So by now, if you have been reading my posts on Instagram, you probably understand why I call it ‘Mundane Matters’. Every time I am asked about the concepts of the naming and the imagery I make, I often feel difficult to explain, because pain cannot be articulated in language and what I am doing for Mundane Matters, is simply an act from my instinct, a journal of thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t have a rationale. Neither it is art.
But pain certainly doesn’t go away with time, nor would any creative expression help to reduce any. The more is being heard but not talked about, not resolved, the heavier it feels. When Mundane Matters was exposed in many online publications and TV globally, the sense of euphoria I was chasing for came back to me. Excitement instantly overshadowed every negative feeling at the time, but soon brought the heaviest emptiness. It hit me in my chest, my ribs. All the emotions I had been hiding inside me for years flooded into physical pain and tears.
I finally opened up myself to Anett, my partner. From then it has been a spiritual journey of recovery and growth. I learn to be more aware of my emotion and surroundings. I seek inspiration from dreams and unconsciousness. I slowly let go the past and try to view life from an outsider perspective. Together Anett and I went on a mindfulness retreat in Bali. Within a short period we travelled to Austria and Hungary. We fill our life with love, adventures and challenges to our inner self.
For long I had hesitated to share Mundane Matters and my personal journey with many people. I was scared of losing my magic. What inspired me to open up myself to you now, is the love and words from people who I’ve met through Instagram – how much Mundane Matters has helped to give them courage and inspiration. My feeling of happiness, is no longer from the pursue of success, but rather, making small things to inspire others, even just by a little.
Through my journey I’ve realised how much I was attached to negative thinking. I guess the whole human race is the same. Most of us live in the fear of loss which stops us from wholeheartedly living a life. Only when we let go what we are holding onto, can we have the opportunity to evolve. Anett’s grandfather, started his businesses again and again, despite that every time when they flourished, the wars destroyed them; millions travel across the world to start a new life in another continent; every living thing dies and starts a new life somewhere else.
But we don’t look at others. We look within. And we are thankful to those who help us travel this far in our journey.
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