The liberty of being weird
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
'Nobody in my family has done this before' is a thought that pops into my head often. I come from a family of engineers and bankers so when I was looking for career options, I had no idea about the creative field. This was right after the 12th standard board exams and I had cleared a few entrance exams to engineering colleges. I had no interest in going to any of the colleges so I decided that I would simply not go to college at all. When my parents asked me what I planned to do instead, I told them 'I want to travel the world'. Yes, I was ridiculous and naïve. In retrospect I was also a fool. I had no money or luxury with which I could do actually travel anywhere. So that year I settled for a Bsc. Maths degree at a local (good) college.
See I was clueless at 18. I still am in many ways. But back then, I was clueless about myself, what I wanted, what I was interested in. I lacked self-awareness and more importantly, common sense (although a lot of people lack that). I was miserable at that college for the entire year I was there. My peers were smart genuine people who wondered why I was such a moody loner. They were studying the same course as me but they were happy with it. A shoe that fits one foot might not fit another, I was just judging my world too fast. In spite of the difficult year, it was in that college that I found something I was not even looking for. Have you had a voilà moment? I have had a version of it. Sitting on the steps of that college, I realized that I was never going to be happy settling for 'stable'. My calling was simply not in (or even near) numbers. I knew I wanted to do something creative, anything. So I enrolled in an art class and things went forward.
The reason why I am sharing this story is because I faced a lot doubt from my family when I told them I was going to do something creative. They are not to blame (at least not entirely) because I had never committed to anything up till that point. After that I spent five years in architecture school, worked for a few years and now I am studying furniture design. I have not achieved anything yet, not won any prizes, not even appreciated. In fact, this blog post is my first step into another unknown, standing alone in the world with my work. During my journey, people have questioned my decisions, warned me when I had taken some shady risks. I understand now that perspectives are different and important.
Every time I changed course or dared to show my work into the world, I heard that thought popped into my head again. 'Nobody in my family has done this before'. It reminds me of the risk I take, big and small. Even when I wanted to start this blog, the voice said many things 'do people even reads blogs anymore?' 'you're too weird' 'this is too long'. Over the years, I have learnt to follow my weird voice than restrict it. So here I am, high heels clad with dark purple wings, armed with my colors and paint stained clothes. Btw, did I mention the stomach butterflies?
What I don't get is how I have survived (and daringly enjoyed) all this. It's been a great ride.
P.S. Embrace your weirdness. It works (mostly) :)