About Me (written 2018)
If you had to choose between security and aliveness, which would you go for? This and other questions come to mind, and when I answer, I try to listen to myself very carefully. I want to understand where my answers come from and the motivations that lie beneath them. Is it trust? Fear? Inspiration? Laziness? But I was not always able to do so. There was once a time when I held onto the illusion that I knew it all.
My life began in 1979. I was raised in the “Life is not a bed of roses” mind-set plus a healthy dose of patriotism (which I later learned to be a marriage of racism and nationalism). Until the age of 29, I lived in Lithuania, which was in constant motion. When I was born, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union, and from 1987 to 1990, I witnessed the fight for so-called independence, characterised by complete chaos and the collapse of the economy. A few years later, a new beginning came for some, and we called it democracy.
In this context, I graduated from school and university, and eventually, I earned my master’s degree in architecture. I worked to establish my own architectural firm in 2005, bought real estate, and played at being a responsible adult. What else could I do? Was there ever even a choice? Nearly every one I knew followed the same path: gain financial security and surround oneself with others for recognition, self-esteem, and the illusion of not being alone. So I went with the flow, and I must say, I was pretty good at it.
By early 2007, I had achieved everything I had reached for. I was an architect with a growing company and was recognised in prestigious professional circles; I had a fresh romantic relationship, lots of friends, followers, and leeches. Strangely enough, none of this brought me the expected fulfilment or happiness. Instead, I felt like I was repeating myself day after day. Achievement through financial success and social recognition simply couldn’t quiet the urge for something I couldn’t quite name yet. I found myself contemplating the choices I had made in my life and doubting the ideas of happiness and the end goals that I was pursuing.
I knew that the artificial life was over. I had to try it on to know that it wasn’t for me. As I see it now, I was hungry for something real—to feel alive, to be free. I was longing for experiences, for real emotions, and for opportunities to connect and share myself with the world.
So, in late 2007, I took my first step in search of all this. I was entering unknown and unexplored territory. I was scared and unsure about the absence of the security that I was leaving behind: my habits, my ideas about life, my comfort zone, and my cultural, social, and professional identities. And although I was taking a step, I knew it was going to be (and still is) quite a hike. But each step brings me closer to becoming real. One of my steps was Exhibition in Kaunas castle 2008 called "Sensitivity", other steps brought me in places and spaces I was not aware of it's existence.
I have learned through all this that security doesn’t exist. The notion of it that I was holding onto was a fiction. It is impossible to control and live life. Something always comes up and nothing turns out exactly as expected. Realising this, I was happy to discover that I had found the answer to that first question: What would I choose: aliveness or security? It had become very clear to me: There is no choice.