Sometime towards the end of last year, I was scrolling through my pinterest, my all-time favourite app and I came across this beautiful paper turtle and as always when I come across beautiful things, I was possessed by this very deep longing. It’s like when you’re watching a romantic movie and you just wish you were in the heroine’s place. It’s like suddenly being aware of a gaping hole in my life, the hole that’s supposed to fill whenever we express our creativity. At those points, all the creativity that I’ve stiffled under the routine of med school comes to the surface and threatens to spill over. Often, it does spillover, as tears. Silly, I know.
Most times, I quickly dash them away and scroll away from that page, ignoring the longing to try to create something equally beautiful. Usually, I tell myself there’s no time or money for the supplies or time to look for the supplies. But this time, as I looked at this cute little turtle, my heart just refused to listen. It went like ‘You know what, f*** it. Who cares if I have exams in 2 days. It’s just paper. I will make this,’
So lying on my bed, I cut a sheet from my jotter there and then. Which was weird because normally, my perfectionist brain would insist I not even attempt it until I’d gotten the same gren, blue and black patterned paper and sticky googly eyes and even the same kind of ruler that was used. But for some reason, she let me work without yelling over and over in my ears how horrible it looked. I mean I was using rough sheet and I didn’t even have a scissors. I didn’t even have the right kind of pen (usually a big deal- the reason, well, one of the reasons l’m still a struggling writer). I think it might be because I convinced myself and my overbearing brain that I was just practicing, that I would do a perfect one later when I’d gotten the hang of it.
Anyways on that day, close to midnight when I should have been studying for my anatomic pathology exam, I tried to turn a rough sheet into a paper turtle.
Half an hour, several ruined sheets and failed attempts later, I had a turtle. That somewhat looked like a turtle.
I was ecstatic. I know it’s no big deal to most of you guys. I mean, origami is kindergarten stuff but all I ever produced in kindergarten was a very ugly hand Turkey so this was an awesome achievement for me.
I couldn’t believe it. See, if you’re me, more often than not, life dissappoints. It doesn’t work out the way you want to. But that night, I had a goal, I followed instructions and I made it. Life isn’t always so clear-cut. I was high on success. So high, I couldn’t let the feeling pass.
I looked for something else to make and another and another. By morning, I had a turtle, a Fox, a bird, a giraffe, a butterfly and several bad attempts at a peacock. (I would post pictures but my camera is absolute shit so just take my word for it).
And thus was born my obsession with origami.
So why have I bored you with this story. Well, because it gives me my 2nd resolution for the year (read about the first here).
Whenever I feel that deep longing to create something. I should just do it within whatever time and with whatever supplies I have at hand and the perfectionist in my head can go to ….
And not just art. Anything. Whenever I feel deeply about something, I should just do it. No procrastinating. In the words of a woman in my church who I once told there was no time when she asked why I won’t join the choir even though I love to sing, ‘there’s never time. You have to make time to do what’s important to you’ (paraphrased, considering this was more than a year ago).
So in this year, do all those things you’ve always wanted to do. Start that novel, begin collaging, try photography and hand made cards, caligraphy, spray painting (all in my to-do list). And of course, I’m still gonna be folding paper.
Life’s too short to wait until later to do anything. Trust me, I know how it goes. ‘Why don’t I wait till I finish Uni to start painting or writing my book?’
No. Just no.
Now is the time. 2017 is the year.