The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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An Unlikely Rebel

Essaouira

Talking to a friend about Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz, I remembered that I had taken the quiz myself, a long time ago. Turns out that I am a Rebel who, as per the definition, “resists internal and external expectations.”

Now, let me be very clear. I am no Rebel, or perhaps I should say, no regular Rebel.

I see myself as a fairly conformist personality, chugging along gently, playing her own tunes, drinking and vastly savoring her daily chai, dreaming and meandering and sauntering along… occasionally going off into a reverie.

I have hardly rebelled against anything. My parents are the sweetest people in this world, and they didn’t deny me anything I wanted. I realized quick that it was far easier to ask for what I wanted (and get it too!) than put up a fight OR sneak off behind their back OR lie about it. All I needed to do was ASK, and they would say YES. It was that simple. Why rebel, in that case?

It was the same response when I presented a guy to them, explaining that he was The One. They were perfectly happy about it. Now, career. I picked a perfectly traditional line of study (Civil Engineering), and went on to find a job in Software Development. Nothing remotely unorthodox or daring about any of this so far. Of course, I quit all of it and went to study Mass Communication when I was 29. Began a new career with a reduced pay, and all that. And now, children. Neither my parents nor my husband’s have ever asked me — No kids? Why not?

So you see, my life has been pretty vanilla.

So where does the Rebel come in?

I suppose my method of rebellion has been fairly blah. I broke zero norms because I saw none. I didn’t overcome any kind of societal/familial pressure because I hardly ever felt that I was subject to any.

I have been lucky that I got the time and space to follow my own ideas (as fanciful and quixotic as they seem), so I wasn’t always aware of the ideas set forward by others.

There you go, I didn’t break a single shackle… I merely floated out them, even if they were the ones I clasped on my own wrists. I think the prime factor here is that I have always been an Air-Space personality (I only realized it a few years ago), and these elements are not the easiest to shackle down. That is, in fact, the real issue (if there is one) to overcome… To learn grounding, to develop rootedness and stability, to be steady.

So here I am, an unlikely Rebel of sorts.

On Writerly Ambition (Or Lack Thereof)

I often get suggestions from many friends and well-wishers who ask me why I don’t submit writing pieces to magazines, websites, blogs, etc.

I think of a good response, then another… and because I am a good writer, I can give a nice-sounding explanation. I think they walk away convinced, believing that that I have a solid reason why I don’t submit my writing to other outlets.

Actually, here is how I think about this.

I am a lazy writer. I believe in inspiration. I believe in writing hard and fast, as rapidly as I can…. before the genius sprite flits away. I will do all that I can, give it my top best shot, write and edit, write and edit, be a willing servant to the creative spirit, put my fingers and words and typing to good use.

But something within me rebels at the idea of getting feedback. No, I am not terribly enthusiastic about placing my writing before an audience and getting their comments, and “improving my writing,” so to speak.

Does that make me an arrogant writer? Perhaps.

It’s just that I write for myself; I have always written for myself. I am positive that there are fabulous mentors out there who can help me, and who can guide my writing to a truer, clearer, more beautiful place.

But I have to find that one mentor. Or rather they have to find me. Because I am not looking, really.

For me, writing is life. In life, I have pretended to take guidance from others. Actually, I have taken guidance from others. But now, it has all come back to me. The inner voice is often timid and shaky, sometimes unclear… But it is there. She is there.

Similarly, I have always looked within to gain insights about my writing. Perhaps this makes it seem like I write in a vacuum of sorts, my own little cocoon or bubble.

Are all writers like me? (I am sure the answer is No.) Am I the only arrogant, so-called writer with an attitude problem?

I don’t know.

Do I need to “grow up,” mature as a writer… seriously think about improving my craft?

It is so darned difficult!

As I said, I am such a lazy writer. I answer to no one’s call except my own. I heed no other’s suggestion except mine. Does that make me arrogant? Or utterly and totally self-validated?

I don’t know!

Last year I attended a writers workshop, thinking that I could (or should) learn from fellow writers who, like me, traverse the path of part-time writing and a full-time job/other responsibilities, etc.

I came back uninspired.

(Really, what IS wrong with me?)

It feels like I am a solo player when it comes to writing. I will happily cheer for others but I am not particularly interested in playing with them.

I think it is simple. Writing is immensely soulful for me. I am not the least bit interested in anyone else’s critical feedback. For me, what comes naturally is referring back to my own voice, my unique creative process. This process is still a great mystery to me. So my endeavor has always been to seek and find my own voice, write it, then again, and again.

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That Kind of Love

You fall in love with a place, a person, an animal
A painting, a piece of music, an actor, a movie.

You fall in love with a moment, a point in time
A place of quiet, a space of meaning and significance

A recipe, a piece of clothing, a book, a flavor of ice cream

And so it goes.

And then it so happens that one day a flower blooms within,
A ray of light seems to emerge straight out of you
A fountain bursts forth into radiant, shimmering jewel tones
Spraying music and light and fun all around.

And then it dawns: You have fallen in love

With life.

And now it is all covered, nothing left out, no one remains untouched
This is the loveliest love of all.

It is never alone, it spares not a soul
It starts pouring out generously, dissolving the worlds and stars and skies and oceans and you.

And that’s the awesomest love of all.