I started origami sometime last year. It calms me down like nothing else does. The colorful paper, the precise folds, the wonderful shapes, the mathematical patterns and the inherent charm in this “no-glue-no-cuts-just-folds” art mesmerizes me. Not to mention that it is a great exercise in patience building for someone as impatient as I am. I have tried folding a variety of things so far. Basic models, flowers, animals, christmas decorations and tessellations. I have to say that tessellations are my favorite. One gets to see everything from symmetry, reflection, translation, rotation and induction to sheer simplicity, beauty and elegance. Anyway, that is enough of an introduction.
So, I was at my play practice last Saturday ( I am acting in a Marathi play which is super fun!) and I was trying to fold an origami rabbit. The play practice usually lasts for at least three hours and since I have a very small part to play, I usually bring my origami along to make the the most of the free time I have. This book I was using wasn’t the most interesting. It didn’t have colorful diagrams or clear-cut instructions. I was distracted, struggled really hard with this model and finally kept it aside. I came home that night and got straight to it, only to fail once again. I realized that it was probably time to give up. Yes. Give up. We’ve all made a big deal about giving up. It is not so bad, you know. As long as it is not long term. Giving up in the short term, is equivalent to taking a break. Allowing yourself to think of other things, to clear your head, to restore your peace of mind and then get back to the task at hand. So yes, I gave up. I tore the paper, complained about the book and went to bed.
Next day was busy and I had no time to think about my rabbit until late evening.It was such a beautiful evening though. It made me think of all the good things in life and reminded me of how happy I was about having a four-day weekend. Now I had to get back to my rabbit. Couldn’t have left it all alone on an Easter weekend, could I ? So I tackled it once again. With renewed enthusiasm and revived determination. Very wisely, I had torn all the wrong folds, thrown away all the wrong decisions and buried all the negativity. Now, I was beginning anew, with a plain paper and a clean slate. There was no anger, frustration or struggle. Only beautiful folds that seemed to fall in place. Like they were always meant to be there. And then there was a bunny. A friendly, adventurous and happy Easter bunny.
So I guess what I am saying is don’t be afraid to give up. Don’t think of yourself as immature if you want to take a day off from work just because you feel frustrated. Go out, breathe the fresh air and then return. You might do a better job at work that way. Don’t feel bad if you can’t run that marathon this year. Remember that a “lambi race ka ghoda” (Hindi phrase that means, a horse meant for long distances) knows when to rest and when to race. Don’t curse yourself because you gave up on a musical quest. Because the next one you take on, is going to be awesome. Or if you give up on a tough project and decide to chase butterflies (or bunnies) don’t think of it as giving up. In a world that seems to value people based on their success, it takes guts to go after happiness. In short, don’t think any less of yourself because you decided to retreat for the time being. It might turn out that it is the most courageous thing you have ever done.