Not My Toolbox

I missed writing. I missed this place so much. I just want to lay my head on a large soft weave bright colored hammock by the beach and unleash the sleep deprived thoughts running around in circles for days. Hush them, calm them, sooth them, let them fall peacefully in deep sleep. Lull my babies because I am finally back home.


So as a product of my impulsiveness, wanting so bad to be productive on weekends, since not every one is privileged to get a 2 day off here in Dubai), I decided to take my creative endeavors to the next level.


I took Graphic Design classesI’ve impulsively enrolled myself in a course which I thought would help me advance my career in Advertising, which now I realized is a long punch in the moon. There is no way I’m going to be a graphic designer with this level of enthusiasm and momentum.

So I have three major sub-courses: Photoshop, Illustrator and In-Design. After a month of no progress in Photoshop and my instructor feels like I have been easily left out by other students, he moved me to Illustrator. I kinda like it better, maybe because I can easily re-discover new things by myself but I was still far from the word progress. My level of improvement was turtle pace and my instructor is going nuts. I’m sorry but I grew up in the era of protractors and drawing compasses.


He said I panic in front of the software. He said I have to explore and understand how it behaves.  If I get scared, it will be aloof and reluctant to show off its brilliance.  I have to be free and childlike so it plays with me. Art by all means, I guess is intuitive. It has a heart of its own. It feels you. But despite the lectures, I always end up terrified. I wind up creating awkward shapes and ugly figures and mismatched angles. At the back of my mind, I’m like – why can’t I just write a decent short story? At least if it sound so bad in the end, I have enjoyed it and not be tormented in the process.

I have this unfinished story lying around the corner and I can’t get it out of my head. I always get distracted in class. I daydream on working on it everyday but since I already paid for this course I have to devote my extra hours on it. I had to set aside the small amount of time left for writing, hoping to assemble it soon after I complete this course.

When you start something that feels so right and true, it’s almost impossible to stop. I have the tendency to simply abandon my graphic design classes completely. And I don’t want to do that considering I paid huge money – (not to mention our money) because I am no longer single now. And any big decision and purchase I make, involves another human being who grew up in a world where wasting is a major crime – regardless of size, ounce, pound, degree or whatever unit of measurement there is.  Sam will go ballistic if I don’t take this course seriously.

But the ideas kept swinging like a pendulum clock that creeps me out sometimes. It alarms me that time is running out for me to make it come to life. I remember what Elizabeth Gilbert has to say about inspiration:

“I believe that inspiration will always try it’s best to work with you – but if you are not ready or available, it may indeed choose to leave you and to search for a different human collaborator.” – Elizabeth Gilbert shared her story on how she started writing this astounding story about a woman who wound up in the Amazon jungle. It was a huge intense idea that she was so excited about. But because she had to focus on some important personal matters that time, she left her unfinished novel on her desk hoping to get back to it once she’s done fixing her private mess. But when she came back for it, the idea was gone. It went away just like that. It found a new partner in the name of Anne Patchett, who paid more attention and affection to it. It was insane when they discovered they had the same plot.  The only difference is that, Anne Patchett was able to publish it because she paid attention and devoted a huge amount of time to it.

I’m not saying I have this huge Amazon Jungle story waiting to be written or that I’m afraid it will go and land into the lap of some huge best selling fiction author. Jeez. I’m just saying, I don’t want to waste the thrill, the fusion, the elation, the spark, the stimulus, all the dancing and booze in my head when I get to think of putting all the words together on paper.

“I found an unattended idea lying around, and I ran away with it.” – Liz Gilbert on Eat Pray Love- when she finally ran away with an idea and made it happen.

And yes, I want to ran away with this idea! I want to recklessly pack my suitcase and get on the next plane and fly with this brimming novel. Wherever it takes me.

My teacher waived a hand on me as I spaced out in class. “You’re the only student who’s not taking this course seriously.  I don’t understand why you panic.” He said in front of the class – like I have not been embarrassed enough to expose my heinous design with everyone.

In my mind I’m like, “I’m sorry sir. I panic because this is not my toolbox. And I’m afraid I’ve exchanged my suitcase with somebody else’s. We were supposed to elope. Me – and my ravishing idea….”



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