Being Me

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I won't lie but it has taken me a while to wrap my head around Hive. It got me to a point where I just wanted to give up not once, not twice but multiple times and I am glad I persevered. I think it somehow becomes a measure of your commitment and seriousness which I don't know if at all is needed but there it is. I ended up creating multiple accounts in error, one through twitter on Leo and then again through hive, not knowing what was going on. Struggled through the process reading articles at different places to give me half baked information creating more questions than answers. As Aga Shahid Ali says, "I am being rowed through paradise on a river of hell", I felt exactly that. A portal which felt like paradise but the river I was on didn't feel like one leading to it. My drive led me to @ryzeonline's article and I am really glad it did. It gave me a sense of direction and pointed me in the right direction. So yes, thank you for that. I am sure you get a lot of it from other users for being the epicentre of help. No wonder you have done so well and achieved so much in such short span of time here. I will also try my best to fit into those shoes in some capacity.

How I wish we knew our own selves as good as we claim to know or judge others. We claim to see through all those veils and layers trying to unmask and uncover others and yet we know nothing about our own existence. If it wasn't so, our personalities won't be so deep rooted beyond the skin and easy to change. How I wish I knew myself any better. Here I stand at the crossroads trying to do an introductory post confused which way to steer and what to cover. After all, all those years lived can't be caged within the confines of a few hundred words. Can they now!

I have been a bit of a confused soul who ends up doing the opposite of what's needed in life. Like, for instance, rather than taking the straight shortest road, I end up taking the road less traveled, maybe not traveled at all, more time consuming, draining and difficult for sure. I wonder, where to begin. A story needs to start somewhere.

The beginning

To get anywhere I have to start somewhere. Let's start from the place I was born. I think origin defines us all, more strongly than anything else. That's where our roots lie. And my roots lie in one of the most beautiful places on this planet. It's called Kashmir. It's known differently to different people, some call it the most militarised zone in the world, some disputed, some scary but for me It's home.

As Aga Shahid Ali says, "If home is found on both sides of the globe, Home is of course here, and always a missed land".

I was born and raised in a city which ended up being my lamppost. From suffering to pain, love to compassion, caring to sharing, hope to despair, it taught me well. It gave me the life and the spirit to be resilient.

Aga Shahid Ali called it, "The city from where no news can come" and rightly so.

The sheer beauty of the vast majestic mountains, gardens with lakes in between, helped me understand beauty. While my soul appreciated all the beauty, it also saw the blood. Kashmir has a long political history with different narratives scattered all around. It is still disputed as per UN convention and that means extremely high military presence. A military personnel deployed every 50 metres. Anyone who grows through it cannot just press the reset button. It leaves deep scars and affects the mental well-being in one way or the other. There is so much to write about it and I could go on and on. I'll leave that for another day.

"Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast"

The Persian couplet describing Kashmir's beauty translates to,

"If there is a paradise on earth,It is this, it is this, it is this"

I was born in a family which stressed more on the fundamental values of humanity and spirituality. I was taught to love other human beings irrespective of the colour, race, religion or economic status. Sufism was deeply embedded and a major influence on my early years of growing. I studied in a convent school with people of different faiths appreciating and accepting diversity. I was taught to be fearless in voicing my thoughts and opinions and not care for being judged and also not judge others. They say, "You can tell a book from it's cover", but I was taught otherwise. I don't judge anyone for I am not perfect myself.

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Home - A Missed Land

'Alchemist' had a great influence on me in my early years. Like it says, "If you want something really bad, whole universe will conspire to make it happen". The meaning of my name translates to a Shepherd and that also happened to be a reason for me to resonate with it.

Writing has always found me even though I have tried to evade it. I think expressions need a way of showing and for someone like me, it comes through writing. To the far off realms of human mind, to the narrow confines of my own, I try to find reason, logic, purpose and value. The ideas come and go way too often and way too fast, it's really hard to catch and make something useful out of it. My imagination keeps drifting and most of the times, it's hard to construct something meaningful given those thoughts don't stay with me for too long and procrastination does't help.

Maybe I question too much, ponder a lot, and get lost. Life is simple and overly complicated too. I am a seeker looking out for new paths to walk and new goals to achieve. I don't know if that's the right approach but then again who do I need to impress. Life is full of diversity and I take it as a journey where I am both the driver and the passenger. We all have our stories and it's great to share it with others and likewise hear other stories. It makes you a part of their lives and helps you understand life and things from different vantage points. I believe in goodness of humanity but I also know survival can get the beast out of humans. What is life if you stop believing in the goodness.

The last couple of years have been hard affecting almost everyone. Besides, appreciating things that we had taken for granted, it also taught the importance of freedom. It gave time for everyone to heal. People sought out new hobbies, experiences and tried to explore spaces they had never done before. Doing social media challenges like hand stand and making Dalgona coffee was fun but most importantly, I tried connecting with my inner self deeply and spiritually. I think at human level, we need more of that, more so through such times.

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Tree pose - Vrikshasana atop 14000 feet

(I was finally able to take that 7 day lake trek last year that I had been longing)

I don't have any defined long term goals and I live one day at a time. I do have some dreams. I want to travel and keep exploring new places, people and culture. I want to learn and keep adding skills so that I can be of value and help others along. If you create value, you create an opportunity and the rest falls in place. I want to add value and be a source in some capacity to help and contribute.

Through this platform, I look forward to an association which gives me an opportunity to help myself, and the community.

I plan to start writing about blockchain technology and then find my way to philosophy and spirituality too.

Stepping into the crypto metaverse

I was introduced to cryptocurrency before I had any understanding of blockchain like almost every other person. It was back in 2016 when I was traveling for work. I met an old colleague of mine who introduced it to me. I had no idea what it was, neither the crypto or the blockchain. I had faintly heard of bitcoin and remembered it to be some sort of gaming reward token.

I had never invested in anything prior, no stocks or bonds. Without knowing anything about the underlying technology, I ended up investing a good amount of dollars on his recommendation. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink”. I was lead to the lake but I didn't know how to drink the water.

Over the course of next 18 months, my investment on BTC and ETH had more than tripled. Like they say, "good things don't last forever". Mine didn't either and came the crash of 2017.

The world was in awe of BTC. Everyone was talking about it, calling it the future of investment, and others were rooting for the bubble to burst. I should have seen it coming but I did not. So, as it had to happen, BTC bubble did break and my investment ended up being less than one-fourth of what I had invested.

I could have sold or taken out my initial investment and gotten lucky like some of my friends had advised. I was left with lost dollars but more importantly a whole lot of questions. Why did it happen? What could I have done?

I had zero trading experience and no knowledge of the technology. A perfect recipe for the impending disaster. And that is exactly what happened. When the market was booming, I ended up converting my valuable ETH and BTC to some really bad projects(lack of knowledge and no research) because ICOs were booming and everyone was talking about it. When the market crashed, my investment ended up crashing worse than the market.

So, I understood the need for research and knowledge especially when it comes to this world. You need to be clear about the projects and the technology. It's not a GET RICH QUICK formula as is mostly portrayed. There are more failures than success stories. The only ones who end up making money are the ones who are extremely lucky or mostly who know their projects well. It's nothing like shooting in the darkness.

I was thrown on a quest to understand the blockchain technology. The more l have learnt, the more I have started valuing it and believing in it. I truly believe in its potential to influence our lives in most innovative ways.

Towards the end, I would like to offer a big thank you to the OCD community for being a ray of light in the darkness. It's easy for someone like me to lose their way but you guys were helpful and supportive with the ice break post. The introductory post that I was to make didn't make much sense then because I was struggling understanding the ecosystem. Now that it is an appropriate time, I look forward to the same help and support so that I can add value to the community and the ecosystem.

How did you get into the crypto world? What got you here? I will be thrilled to read your comments and know your story. After all, conversations are two way and stories are best when shared.

May be a cup of coffee to go along. I almost forgot, I love sunrises and sunsets.

(Lead image source)

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