It has been two and a half months of questioning my sanity since I left everything familiar to crash headlong into the chaos of Mumbai. My nomadic history means I’ve accrued a staggering number of past lives but this particular shift has been the most blatantly daring of them all. Toronto was perfect for me in many ways: I had a kick ass job, an amazing friend circle, my highly prized independence and the freedom to be me in all my weirdness. Toronto was a bold move in 2009. This move to Mumbai, on the other hand, can more aptly be referred to as curiosity on steroids.
Since the question is buzzing in everybody’s mind, let me be frank. I moved here for two reasons: love and love. First, love. Yes, seven long years of the most epic romantic saga of Hindi movie proportions that you never heard of because the world wasn’t ready for us. I’m not even being sarcastic. But we’re officially tired of doing the long distance thing and we’re ready to take the next step. Second, love. I was born in this city and fell in love with it as a 12 year old and then again as a 24 year old, and have wanted to come back ever since. I’m only sorry I couldn’t make it happen sooner.
The other question most people are more comfortable asking is some version of “What are you doing now?” To which I shrug and unconvincingly respond: “Nothing?” My success rate on killing viable conversation material is 100%. Clearly, I need a better response, but it’s hard to figure out what to call this thing, this in between, this neither here nor there. Because it isn’t “nothing”, and it has taken a while to figure out the something that it is. But I finally have a name for it. I’m calling this space my Creative Sabbath.
A Sabbath is essentially a period of rest. My reasons for wanting to take some time off are complex and personal, but I will say that it often feels like I’ve lived an entire lifetime in my thirty years. Sabbath means adopting a lifestyle of rhythm and respite, contentment and calm. In making space for rest, I find myself naturally drawn to creative pursuits, reverting to the passions and curiosities of my childhood and picking up a few new ones along the way. I’m rediscovering the creativity that was sidelined in a mind that has become all too pragmatic and technical over the years (see A Letter to Creativity). And it has been wonderful.
Creative Sabbath means that I’m reading, writing, walking, thinking, picture-taking, podcast-listening, daydreaming, adventuring, praying, contemplating, meditating, rediscovering Jesus, finding a better pair of interpretive lenses for reading the Bible, learning Hindi, and dabbling in randomness, among other things. I’m learning to trust love. I’m learning to trust my instincts. And I’m learning to just be. Most importantly, I’m learning to sit with the tension long enough to find that, at its core, is peace that passes all understanding.
Mumbai is the kind of city that makes you want to punch somebody and write poetry all at the same time. Strangely enough, that place of feeling slightly unhinged is where creativity often begins. The vibes are intense. The feels are all there. And this is how I know that when things get hard, escaping isn’t the solution. Fear can make you do all kinds of “safe” things. But fear will never take you where you need to be. Because in the middle of this chaos, when I close my eyes and find my center, there is a distinct sense of peace in knowing that I am walking my path as authentically as I know how. And that slightly unhinged feeling doesn’t scare me, because it is where I feel inspired, creative, more alive, and more open to life and the possibilities.
So here’s to officially inaugurating my Creative Sabbath. I’m excited to finally have an answer for when people ask the question. More than that though, I’m excited to see where this path leads.
Grace and peace, dear ones.
P.S. Letter to Creativity