A childhood memory. I hastily rush home only to wait for the gifts to arrive. I search for the packages but they aren’t here yet. I am getting impatient as I remember I have a class to attend. I just don’t want to delay opening the gifts until later. All my attention and excitement is pinned on that point – the surprise that awaits gifts, and the joy it brings.
Finally, the gifts have arrived. My grandpa brings them to me. He, as always, supportive of my interests, allows me to open and play with them right away even though I have class to attend to in a while. I swiftly tear open the giftwraps and I am totally blown away to see what’s inside. It’s a complex toy with cars and tracks and a spinning parking like mechanism from which cars exit. I rather quickly get a hang of it and start to play with it. That is such a powerful moment for me, and everything else just blurs out when I am playing with those fancy toys.
I am thoughtless and speechless, I am simply engaged fully in the experience of that rare moment. Such moments are ones which I was always taught to look out for as they would promise something special and this excitement remains with me even now. In fact I remember being used in such a manner. Because this mechanism was like a perfect motivational tool used in those days by the parents to get their kids to do something. And it worked for many, it didn’t so always for me, yet it was tried persistently.
I always struggled. And as I climbed up the school years, my performance continued to drop. My parents tried various tactics to improve my performance. The most common was raising the size of the reward. But irrespective of how big the reward got, it wasn’t enough to get me to put all I had. Come to think of it, I always put all I had or I at least felt I did what all I knew I had to, but something was lacking.
I was struggling, it was always difficult for me to keep up with stuff. And as a major part of my life got filled with problems, difficulties and struggles put forth before me, the only few exciting things that remained in life were these rare gift receiving moments, which thankfully continued to come each year. They came again and again, and over time I saw their effect reducing.
Things got mechanical, the ones giving the gifts didn’t do so with much heart as they did years ago, and I received them critically. As time progressed, the whole gifting thing, be it birthdays or Christmas, began losing it’s effect faster and faster.
In fact, the other parts of my life got less exciting as I grew up, and the gifts and the fun and excitement filled events too were not so fun and exciting any more.
P.S. This post is a part of the weekly blogging event, Write Your Heart Out #WYHO hosted by Corinne @ everydaygyaan.com I followed her recommendation and read up on Free Writing on The Book Designer Website.
P.S.S. This is my first experience with Free Writing. I set a timer for 10 minutes and stopped writing as soon as it went off. I did do some editing after completing the 10 min free write. I couldn’t stop myself from doing that before publishing this post. But the next time I am going to hold back from moving onto that step and hit publish without touching the main content. So here is my brief review of this free writing practice:
- At first, it seemed tricky, but I slowly got the flow. My editing and proofreading habit was getting in my way until I reached the middle of the post where I began overlooking the tiny details and started focussing on the flow of writing by simply letting my memory and thoughts guide me.
- I am thinking of giving Free Writing a serious try. I will dedicate a weekly post to free writing, where I will adhere to all the principles. It is important to note here that, the foundation of Free Writing lies in non-adherence to any principles thus preventing yourself from getting in your own way and allowing your deeper self to unravel on the page in front of you.
- So therein lies the magic of Free Writing, which I strongly feel I should explore further. Though initially it makes for really crude and crappy pieces, I think, with practice the spontaneity of Free Writing can be worked on and refined further.
- It is challenging on a personal level and not just as a writing skill because it requires building trust and confidence on ones’ insight, which is pure and unfiltered. Since we have been voluntarily squashing our authenticity over the years by submerging it beneath forged layers of safety and security, coming out there (which free writing demands) makes for a tricky & discomforting task.