It can happen. I sincerely hope it happens to you. You might finally get a chance to live the artistic life you always dreamed about, even if only temporarily. You will have reached Nirvana. When you get there, you might feel a little lost, though. After all, the whole of your conscious and unconscious focus was devoted to getting there. Now that you’ve arrived, how do you find your way around the place? What traps await the unwary?
Here are a few hints and tips for the newly arrived to Nirvana:
1) Even though this is the place you always wanted to go and you’re doing the things you always dreamt of doing, you’ll still get tired. When you get tired, you feel bored and grumpy, often. That doesn’t mean the place sucks. It means you’ve over done your enthusiasm for being in the place and have worn yourself out. Pace yourself and remember to rest.
2) Being in Nirvana, artistically, doesn’t mean you can rest. In fact, you’ll be putting in more effort and stretching yourself more, as an artist, than ever before. It took a lot of time, energy and effort to get here. Now that you’re here, you’ll want to make the most of it, so you’ll be way outside your comfort zone, developing your art in ways you never thought possible or even imaginable, before. This will require a lot of stamina, courage and confidence. You’ll need to work really hard and put in the hours. Nirvana is not for slackers.
3) Having reached Nirvana, you’ll realise that to stay here or to progress to the next level in Nirvana is about as difficult as getting here was. All rungs of the ladder are equally far apart. You will have to work and plan and sweat just to remain where you are. How, exactly, do you follow the astonishing feat it took to get here in the first place? Go on. You try it. How do you improve upon that minor miracle? It’s not easy to follow that.
4) You will become painfully aware of how insane your life outside of Nirvana truly was, how it was doing your health no good, how it made you ridiculously unhappy and how tragic it was that you couldn’t have gotten here any earlier in your life. You will also realise that those people around you, who have not reached Nirvana, are more insane and deranged than you thought, in that they seem to like their non-Nirvana lives and will trample each other to keep everything just the same. That can be a frightening realisation. You’ll know the route to get here, but find that people don’t want to hear about it.
5) There are no maps in Nirvana. You’ll feel just as lost and confused as you used to be, when you were still trying to get here.
6) The view is spectacular and worth every part of the struggle. You will feel new levels of contentment and well being that were completely unimaginable, before you got here.
7) Some of your dearest friends and family might not have arrived yet. They might not be coming.
8) Nobody outside of Nirvana misses you at all, but there is also no welcoming party either, when you finally arrive here. You’ll just find yourself in this place and there is no fanfare or ceremony about it. You won’t immediately feel much different to how you felt before. That takes a while, as you acclimatise.
9) In quieter moments of reflection, you’ll feel enormously fortunate to be here, but terribly scared of taking a wrong turning and finding yourself accidentally outside the city walls of Nirvana. That fear can make it difficult for you to explore and enjoy your surroundings fully. You have to maintain perspective about the risks of losing your way and continue sightseeing anyway.
10) People who wanted to join you in Nirvana, but couldn’t make the trip, might not be glad that you’re here, while they’re not and may not wish to hear your reports from your present locale. “Wish you were here” pains them, as a sentiment.
So there you have it: my top ten tips for the newly arrived in Nirvana. I hope they help you plan your journey and enable you to enjoy the stay, for as long as it’s possible for you to stay.
Travel well, but don’t forget to fully enjoy the destination.