05 Apr / At the halfway mark
Here is the note I wrote six months ago when I was at my lowest and the idea for a Calendar Project had just popped into my head. I shared it with only my closest friends then, but I think I am ready to share it openly now. Half a year on, I am in a better place. I am laughing more, learning more, singing more. Life has by no means let up on me. But I think we are equals now.
Dearest Friends & Family,
(Yes, I am using the Facebook Note. Please forgive its quaintness.) I just wanted to share with y’all something I’ve been working really hard on over the past few weeks. I’ve called it the “Calendar Project”, and it has been my labor of love. If you haven’t yet seen my post on Facebook (another mechanism that is quickly antiquating), here’s what it is: I am designing a set of desktop wallpapers, on the month, every month, for the next year, and I am sharing them with everyone via www.fromthisdesk.com/
I say on the website that this is an exercise in discipline for me, because I am challenging myself to create something worth sharing every month. Actually, it’s a little more than that. I know I’ve told you just how rough of a time I’ve been having since I’ve come home to Singapore. I have been adjusting badly, and struggling through many of my days. I wrestled a lot with feeling trapped and being lost. (I am saying this having lived in central Florida. If you’ve lived in central Florida, you will understand Trapped and you will most definitely understand Lost.) Just before this idea popped into my head, I was at the lowest I’d been my entire life.
People (you) told me I needed to work towards something I felt was worthwhile – something I could pour my energy into, so that work wouldn’t be the only thing I had. For a long time, I was stumped. And then, a couple of weeks ago on a Friday night, I stayed home and listened to music until I drifted off to sleep. In the morning, the most curious thing happened – I woke up with my heart full. Looking back, I think I just hadn’t realized how silent my days had become. I held on to that sense of possibility and it gradually took shape and became the Calendar Project. I’m using the Calendar Project as reason for me to take time out of my day to just create, even as life insists on steamrolling the crap out of me. It’s taken me years to realize that design is what I am happiest doing. And I am excited at the prospect of doing this every month for the next 12, while I slowly climb myself out of whatever it is I’d got myself into.
But: I owe so much of my sanity to you, my dearest friends and family. Thank you for listening to me when I felt I could no longer listen to myself. Thank you for your good advice, actual/proverbial shoulders to lean on, and for you unluckier folks (sorry, really sorry) for letting me cry until my face shriveled up and my nose popped off. It is mostly because of your support and love at my worst that I can look towards becoming me at my best. The Calendar Project is for you. You mean more to me than you know.