I've been home from the Hyphen Roadtrip for about 2 months now. I've unpacked, decluttered, caught up with friends and family and tried to settle back into my routine. But my mind and my heart are still wandering. Most of you who have seen me since my return know I haven't been myself, and our conversations have been heavier; because I feel heavier.
I've been struggling with readjusting to how life was before I left, but most of all, I'm struggling with the work I have to do to continue producing Hyphen. Saying that the Hyphen Roadtrip was life-changing feels like an understatement. Most of you have asked me if I got what I needed from the trip and the interviews, and I can definitely say that I did; and then some. I am so grateful for the people who entrusted me with their stories. I hold your truths of trauma, of questioning, of hurt and discrimination in my heart. I am inspired by all of you and can't wait to share our stories. I'm still collecting stories and despite still feeling exhausted from the trip, my drive and love for this project has not diminished at all. I have learnt so much from our conversations and I'm thrilled to be able to keep in touch through the wonders of the Internet, because I miss you all!
The rawness I am feeling comes from all the unearthing I did on this trip, discovering truths about this country and myself that I had kept at arm's-length until now. I know the importance of the work I am doing and that this is so much bigger than me. But in order to do this, I need to take a break and make sure I am strong enough for this fight. The general overwhelmingness I've been feeling has been difficult to manage. I've been taking some time to be alone, to stay grounded and be mindful. I started counselling which has helped me voice my emotions, find ways to cope with my anxiety and direct my energy in a more positive way. I'm very thankful for my friends who have been available throughout this whole journey with energy healing so I can feel more centred and not so all over the map.
I think it is important for me to acknowledge this part of the process and talk about self-care. I want to be open about what goes into making impactful art and driving change. I want to support those who have not had a voice, but also recognize that I need support in this too. Thank you to those who have let me lean on them and helped me process.
So. I'm taking a break. But I am also planning the very exciting next step for the film: I'm going to India, for the very first time. This January, my mother and I will be taking a trip back to the motherland. We will be visiting the Warrior home and the place where my mother spent her childhood. I am very thankful that I get to experience this with my mum and have a chance to learn more about her history and her life. I will be gathering more content while traveling, so I'm also gearing up for another intense adventure. My mother and I will be spending time with family and friends in the UK before setting off for India, and I will be traveling to Beijing after for a long overdue visit with this lovely lady.
Until then, I'll be taking it easy and remember that I get to escape the winter for a few months. Stay warm, friends!