When I was a young girl, I was full of creativity and enthusiasm. I had a “study room” of my own, and I would be there all the time, writing stories, writing poetry, drawing cartoons, drawing portraits (or so I believed), colouring, painting, and sometimes just day dreaming. Homework and studies would be thrown into this mix. It didn’t matter that no one read my poems, or no one saw my drawings or if they were good at all. I just did them, and threw them into the dustbin when I needed to declutter. Remember, this was before the age of computers and Internet, which allow storage and display of every wheeze, fart and cough of every Tom, Dick and Harry.
Somewhere along the way, an audience became necessary. External recognition was the driving force for actions. Aim for a state rank in 12th, you’ll bring home the prestigious rolling shield (check). Get into a good college and do well, you’ll get into a prestigious post grad college (check). Sing in the college band, win cultural competitions (check). Paint something, send it to a contest, and hopefully win it (check). The external driving force meant, there was no longer doing something for the heck of it. This disease spread and grew and kept me in its hold for the next two decades of my life. Frustrations and heartburns later, I release what I have missed all through – doing stuff I like for the sake of doing it. And being in it completely for itself, rather than for returns. My ancestors have been crying hoarse about “doing duty without expectations of returns” for millennia, and I am just about wondering if they had a point after all.
I can see a lot of me in my kid. Not the present me, but the child me. She is full of creativity and does a lot of things, just because. She loves writing, and has a blog, but what she puts out there is a fraction of what she is constantly writing all the time. Most of what she writes does not see the light of day and since she does not feel the need to declutter like I do, they just lie around.
Her other passion is drawing. She cannot sleep at night until she has doodled for some time. Some of her doodles are meh, some great. Like this one:
Pretty impressive, huh?
I hope she does not develop the need for external approval and does things for her own joy, all her life.
PS: I doodled her, as she doodled the above: