19102018: Return, Lost & Found

It has been awhile. For many things.

  1. For this blog.
  2. And my return from a semi-sabbatical.

I’ve to admit. Last year when I created TCH — and up till a couple months ago –, I was in a spiritual-mental rut. In fact, the creation of this blog coincided with the first day of that journey into the underworld.

I hardly ever talk about what I call my ‘quarter life crisis’. Maybe because I haven’t had real opportunity to do so, or maybe I didn’t have the wisdom then to reflect on it. I think I do now.

It’s a strange feeling to come out of the other side. What is sunlight? What is the sky? But I missed the sun and the sky though, and I enjoy feeling the sun kiss my skin. Previously it had burned.

The middle of 2018 was a blessing. The semi-sabbatical began as a necessary business trip (I wanted to go to America for my first Eisner Award nomination, plus other meetups etc), and grew into a journey of reassurance.

I wrote last year in The Road Well Travelled about my realisation that the path I was walking on was already broken. That it didn’t make sense to me anymore, that it was never my own in the first place. The alternative option presented to me thus was towards the unknown. I was afraid of the consequences of committing to that option — I don’t live in a vacuum. I live in a collective of other people’s expectations. Things like financial stability and ideas of success kinda held me down. After all, the conventional path(s) of financial stability/ideas of success had predictable milestones and obvious measurements. The unknown I chose had none of those.

But I took it anyway. Not because I think those conventional paths are inherently wrong. Like I said in The Road Well Travelled, many people find themselves and their purposes on those paths. That’s totally fine. It’s just that I knew I had to get out, for the sake of my mental health. Still, it frightened me. It didn’t give me any reassurance that it was the right decision. Until the semi-sabbatical.

Things are clearer now. I’m going back on last year’s Camino with fresh eyes. It was so funny, back then, when I arrived at the city of Santiago, I thought I felt the wrong thing. People have jumped and whooped and experienced a big spiritual transformation at the end of their pilgrimages. Me? I only felt a sense of completion. The kind where you feel satisfied knowing you completed a calling. Nothing more. No celebratory whoops. No dance parties. (I had a boss-ass dinner at Casa Marcelo though, still one of my favourite moments in life) That basic feeling made me inadequate? Like I was doing the Camino wrong. Now I know better.

In New York August 2018 was the real end of my Camino.

With this baggage sloughed off, I’m glad I’ll be able to approach TCH with a newer, better mindset.

Until next time!

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