The hassle of everyday life has sunk so deeply into our lives, that it has made us forget our natural limitations. We have constantly used our resources to exhaustion. But most of us are far from realizing this fact. 
Until recently I was also functioning in the same robotic fashion as everyone else. But the summer of 2019 gave me a fresher and much better perspective to look at life. 

Picture me as your go-to architect who loves to create and erect new spaces. Seems easily doable right? But just like any other creative job, it requires me to use the best of my visionary characteristics. Managing multiple clients and meeting their demands has forced me to pull all-nighters.
Week in and out I set foot into new projects and worked round the clock. It seemed like a routine of sorts. Moreover, I was happy with it. 

Architect at work

In March 2019, I distinctly remember my boss coming up to me with an international project. 
"Joe, I have just the right thing for you! You are required in Greece next week". 
It seemed unbelievable at first and I was beyond myself when I realized that I had the chance to work at the most scenic place in the world. 
This was nothing short of a treat. Little did I know the twist of fate I was about to encounter.

For a week until my departure, I was highly motivated to work and in between breaks I virtually escaped to Greece online. I was about to live my dream and I was ecstatic. What made it even more luxurious was the fact that I could take my girlfriend Alice along. My bucket list couldn't be much happier!

Landing in Greece, we went to our hotel. But the one thing on my mind was its beautiful beaches. 
Keeping everything aside, we headed straight for the beach. 

It was MESMERIZING. The beaches we witnessed were incomparable. We hadn't seen anything like it. As we sat down to count our blessings, I said, "All those tough projects and late-night client calls finally paid off. I wish I could stop to take a breather and photograph all this".
I don't remember Alice's exact words because she was too consumed with the view. But all I wanted was to pick up my camera and click.  

Santorini, Greece

The next day I head out to work. It was a project for an upcoming commercial space. Not anything that I hadn't done before. I sat down to brainstorm but all I could think of was the beach. Even if I tried hard, not one noteworthy idea struck my mind. It was an overwhelming feeling. 

I left for home early that day and didn't tell Alice about it either. 
The next couple of days were no different. I even tried to train my mind with a heavy pep talk.
"You are here to work. Don't let the beauty of these places get to your head". 
But all my efforts were in vain. 

I sat frustrated with myself in my cubicle, struggling to finish my grilled salmon at lunch. I didn't notice Alice watching me from a distance. It was strange because she never paid me office visits. 
She approached me saying, "We have a problem and I know what needs to be done".

She hurried me from the office. I wasn't sure of what had happened so I applied for an instant leave. 
We went back to our place and changed. Alice refused to say a thing all this while. We left our apartment and she drove us straight to the beach.

woman driving
I was confused. "Is this your big emergency?" I looked at Alice, perplexed. 
Her reply was even more bizarre. "You are it. You are the emergency". 
She couldn't be more obscure.  
But then we sat down on the sand and she continued, "Who wouldn't like working in such an appealing setting. It is as picturesque as it can get. But I see you struggling. You struggle with waking up every morning. You struggle with basic things these days. Even your easy commercial building project is pending for 6 days now. You have accumulated stress Joe". 

By the time she ended, my eyes were already welling up with tears. She couldn't be more correct. I was too cowardly to realize this fact. Stress had slowly crept into my life, adversely affecting my appetite, my work schedule, my energy levels, and my overall personality.  

Thankfully I had Alice to my rescue. She helped me through it. I took a break from all my work-related commitments to relax and pursue my passion - photography. 

She introduced me to this very interesting social learning platform Kool Stories that allowed me to learn from the best photographers worldwide. I even met a few of them in Greece. 
The entire learning and socializing process were extremely therapeutic. It couldn't have come up at a better time. 

photographer on beach
I bounced back with a much fresher perspective and my creative energies had never been more free-flowing. 
The most important take-away from this incident is to monitor yourself closely and have a vent to pursue your passions and keep the learning process alive.