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My quarterly life crisis

I have been missing from here for awhile now. Like many others who fall off the writing wagon, I will also claim that 'life' got in the way. To start writing again is a daunting task. One feels like a child, filled with doubt, as if my being has forgotten what it means to write. And yet, after spending many an hour deeply considering the act of writing, I realize that I did indeed, forget what it means to write. I have said before that writing is a way for me to collect my thoughts. To write, is to know. I don't even know what my stance is, until I have written it. It is this truth I hold onto, as I sit down to write today. Here I am, once again, on this pursuit of knowing.

If writing is meant to clarify my thoughts, then let me pass through this Pensieve, my biggest looming question at the moment. As someone in their mid-twenties, it was about time that my quarterly life crisis hit. It hit a few years back (cue break from writing), but there is one question, that amongst others, continues to haunt me: Who am I ?

This terrifying question hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sure of myself up until then. I enjoyed my education. I truly loved everything I was learning about (and because of) architecture. I thought it was meant to be. So when the sneaky panic hit me, it forced me to reckon with calling myself an architect. I sensed two themes primarily: incomplete and tired. As I was halfway through my graduate program, I realized that the word architect didn't fully explain all my interests. I didn't just like to design buildings. I love storytelling, writing, curating, learning, amongst other things. And these interests of mine didn't neatly fit into any single label. And so, few months into this identity quest, I changed my email signature to read "Architect. Writer. Thinker. Creator. Learner." Reasonably accurate, I thought. At the time, this seemingly trivial exercise was liberating. Somehow, the role of an architect wasn't fulfilling to me and I was naturally pulled to expand how I viewed myself.

I was also tired. Very, very tired. To the point of burnout and a whole load of other mental health issues. And the exhaustion was all directed at my field of interest- architecture. I would mentally groan at the sight of anything architectural. My body had forced a shut down as my system was overheating. The whole experience taught me how much our bodies (and guts, specifically) know exactly what we should be doing at each given moment. It was at the advice of a friend that I began to pursue other interests. Looking back, the inadequacy of how I viewed myself was a timely realization. I simply began to pursue any/every interest, a pursuit I had never entertained in the past.

Till date, I take myself down every path I am interested in. Not many of these are design specific. With a lot of work over the past two years, I am now also a tennis, stitching, film and fitness enthusiast. Some of these passions are new. As I was following a Peloton routine yesterday, one of the instructors spoke of the high of being a beginner. This high, like alcohol for many, can be an acquired taste. Once you come to terms with the discomfort of being a beginner (and sometimes, the only one), the high of periodic breakthroughs is pretty lucrative.

It is in this spirit of making peace with discomfort, I embark on this writing journey once again. Starting trouble, indeed. This space is my tentative steps back into writing. Writing about what, I can't really tell. I myself do not know. I'm looking to the universe to show me things I am interested in and I will follow the lead.

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