There are the big things. Like the conscious choices we make. Places we go to. Journeys we take. Moods we drown ourselves in. Each marking the changes they bring with them. Choosing a new path, visiting a fresh destination, feeling something intensely like you never have before. Every change, each new developments, and every different path chosen brings with it shifting perspectives, like puppets in a shadow play.
And then there are the smaller things that take you by surprise.
A couple of days ago, I was sorting out the data on my laptop, when I realised I still had about 10 GB of work stuff, hogging space for no apparent reason. I have no use for it anymore, and I could do with that real estate. I’ve been moping about how I left work not tempted to take back any of my work to add to my portfolio. Its been a nagging thought at the back of my head, and every now and then when people contact me for work and ask for samples, I realise I have very little to show from the last job, that I am proud to call my work. The bitter truth is that none of the work I did in the last 2 years makes the cut in my own eyes, so why would I show it off to prospective clients?
It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realised just how easy it was for me to select the folder and immediately hit shift+delete. Two years of work. Two years of ideas. Two years of blood, sweat and a lot of tears. Just gone like that, without a thought.
Yes, I’ve moved on. But as always, it is not until something seemingly insignificant makes me note the little details, do I realign myself with a fresh perspective. And understand the extent to which something has changed. So yes, I sulked. To think that none of it even warranted a second glance made me really sad. So I spent the next day working at breakneck speed to finish up the work I have on hand (as if to make up for the wasted years, gah).
Since I am an over-thinker of the highest order, I had to think and rethink this until I realised that yes, maybe strictly work-wise I have nothing to take back from that last stint. But that is if I think of it as merely a job. But as an experience, as a decision to do something, to put myself in a situation that seemed right at the time, was so crucial to lead me to where I actually belong. Where I am today.
Perspective is a funny thing. I have lost count of the number of times when I have wished for some perspective, struggled to find it and taken decisions like a shooting in the dark, crossing my fingers and toes and hoping it was the right thing to do. Perspective has a way of evading me when I need it the most. It is not a button waiting to be switched on or a flash of enlightenment that I can choose to expose myself to. Perspective is hard to come by. When we need it, it eludes us. And when its around, we don’t see it.
But for all the times I have lost my grip on perspective and agonized over things, I have to say, the forces that command perspective and dole it out in measured amounts, always make up for it, by passing me by when I’m least expecting it. When I’m doing something most irrelevant, routine. Making me see something I hadn’t really paid attention to or realised earlier.
Sometimes, when you’re least expecting it, perspective strikes like a stamp in a freshly franked envelope.
Hard and in your face, forever leaving a mark, so you will never forget that something you had failed to notice before.
Deleting that folder was like getting rid of excess baggage, that constant reminder of how utterly pointless things can seem if I give them more importance than is due. I’ve been treating work as a destination I failed to reach, as a mission I embarked on and gave up half way, when really it was but a point in my larger journey. One of the many crucial stops I am going to make before I reach my destination.