“What would you not have accomplished if you had been free?" "Possibly nothing at all; the overflow of my brain would probably, in a state of freedom, have evaporated in a thousand follies; misfortune is needed to bring to light the treasures of the human intellect. Compression is needed to explode gunpowder. Captivity has brought my mental faculties to a focus; and you are well aware that from the collision of clouds electricity is produced — from electricity, lightning, from lightning, illumination.” --Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

We have reached half of the year today. No, it is not anything significant besides acting as a checkpoint, well, to check or see how much that has been accomplished this past half of the year. It does not have to be so but it is what I have been doing monthly either way. That is not to say I do not do daily reflections too. You might say I spend a lot of time looking back at the things I did, the thoughts that ran through my mind, the people I have met, the stories that I have heard. All these things or occurrences that has transpired in my life mattered at one point in time, in those points in time in my life that they mattered.

They have influenced me in subtle ways that shaped me into this person that I am today. At the same time, I believe that people, you and I, as individuals (that's an oxymoron-ic idea in the same sentence) exist infinitely in a finite spectrum of being. Who is to say this person that you are in the past, now and would be in the future is you or is not you? What is the "core" version of you? Is anything really that is set in stone? To think you know something or someone, is the surest way to blind yourself from learning about them, or yourself.

But I digress. As always.

Things are falling into place like jigsaw (yes, Radiohead reference). Almost every aspect of my life is progressing. You can say (so far) things are taking a turn for me. In retrospection, should I talk to "me" from 6 months ago or even 10 months ago, I would be glad to say that a lot has changed, for the better (subjective). Of course, there would always be lapses. But they are few and far in between now, and when they do happen, they are not as intense as they used to be.

Post-hoc rationalisation working its charm. It takes time, certainly. We tend to think we are rational people, that after a certain age, we are adults. See. Being an adult is a state of mind. Not about your age, not about what you do, the people you associate with or the social status that you are born with and any other superficial or material factors.

It is about the thought process, the principles you hold fast, the way you relate to other people, to societal cues and norms. Simply put, to really be able to think for yourself without getting too affected by the environment. Sure, we will get affected either way. But as adults (I would say) you choose what you take in or not. Like the semi-permeable membrane of the cell. Unless you're a plant, then you have the cell wall, nothing gets in. I think. (correct me if I'm wrong, biologists)

The portrait series is trudging along nicely. A whole slew of individuals are lined up to get shot hah. Someone asked to buy some prints of my work, which I have not gotten to yet because the funds are non-existent. But that might change this coming week (I guess not, maybe next week). Exciting stuff is going to happen, exciting because I make it so. When you water the plant regularly, tend to the salinity and alkaline/acidity levels of the soil, the nutrients and the sunlight it requires. When it blooms, it is hard work paid off right? The final flourish. The great pay off.

It all boils down (me and my soup analogies) to discipline. Which is will, consistency and the presence of mind to do what needs to be done, regardless of the environmental, physical and psychological ailments that might be affecting you.“'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'”