(Esto lo escribí hace aproximadamente tres semanas, es muy personal y está en inglés porque así fue como salió, la gente que lo ha leído ha hecho buenos comentarios y decidí, finalmente, compartirlo con ustedes. Tal vez mostrar un lado más personal, algo que pasaba por mi mente en ese momento y cómo todos tenemos esas preguntas existenciales de vez en cuando. Saludos)
I’ve been feeling strange lately, although what I’m going through is not a completely strange situation. Around my 30th birthday I’ve been acting in unusual ways and reacting to some things, following my impulses if you like. But a couple of days ago I started thinking about some recent behaviors of mine. Today I met a friend in THE CAVE, a man who dedicated his life to some of the work I’m doing these days, you know, kind of an older version of my clinical self. Throughout the conversation some pieces began falling into place.
I realized something about the way I’m behaving and the meaning of that behavior in my mind. Turns out I recently became aware of the existence of three cousins of mine with whom I happen to have more than just a few things in common. Three of us happen to be visual artists or have some kind of drawing/painting skill. I noticed I was seeing some kind of past self in my younger cousin, «E», who’s actually going through an age I don’t even remember going through. Seriously, all I can think about when I try to recall that time are books and patients and more books and classes and a professional life dedicated to others, trying to become some kind of hero for the community… and for myself. But that armour started to crack years ago.
So I have this feeling of having spent so much time becoming the best psychologist I could ever be, giving such importance to my career as a mindreading empath before I turned 30 that now, when I finally am 30 I don’t know what’s next. And I start wondering if this is really what I wanted.
For instance, last week a female friend (and colleague) of mine asked me why I didn’t pursue a career in art being that I’m obviously so into it. I just said «you know, I think I had so many issues back then that I decided to take the scientific way and now I’m sort of trapped here». My friend smiled and we changed the subject to… politics. My God! it’s like that song «feels I’m getting old before my time».
Then I remembered what my mother said when I told here I became a Doctor (cum laude, no less). Her reaction made me think this wasn’t only my accomplishment but also an accomplishment for generations past.
So the question remains… is THIS what I want to do for the rest of my life? Is this what I really want? is it the ONLY thing I want?
«E» and one of my other cousins have been talking about an opening in a local gallery; a group exhibit for the three of us, sharing the same event as three different artists who happen to be friends and family. At first I couldn’t resist my excitement, and then I thought about my other career and how it could be affected by such an event. Is my official profession absorbing so much of me that other parts of my self just don’t get that much room in my life?
I know deep in my heart that whatever it is a person wants is NOT necessarily what that person needs, and I know I needED to go through the whole Super Psychologist path years ago. But the next logical question in the list is: even if this is what I choose to do from now on, is it what I need in order to keep growing as a person? as an artist? as a man?
Did I fulfill my duty as a recipient of the expectations from generations past? Am I free already or am I still trapped? was I ever trapped?
We will see.

Álvaro Gómez Prado

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6 comentarios en “Tales from the Cave: Identities

  1. Es normal hacer un alto en esta edad que cumpliste, y te detienes a evaluar los esfuerzos para llegar donde estás y hacia donde quieres ir, con el tema del arte y tu profesión no lo veas como blanco y negro, puedes disfrutar de ambas, si te gusta el arte desarrolla esta cualidad y trabaja en perfeccionarla, asi como lo haces con tu profesión, ambas cosas pienso son importantes…disfruta tus 30’s es donde cosechas lo que siembraste…Slds,

  2. My friend, whatever you decide remember that you are Alvaro above all. Alvaro has the right to jugle with what he does as a worker and how to do it as a human being. Nevertheless, you are stuck with being a shrink… just as a priest with being a priest, even if he renounces his vows. A.d.o.

  3. … a veces nos esforzamos tanto en construir la mejor armardura que se pueda, aquella que brilla y es admirada… todo un paladin de la justicia… paladin de algun grupo o causa… la cosa es ser aceptado, admirado, querido, incluido y quizas desde adentro de la armadura ejercer un poder para cambiar el mundo…desde adentro de la armadura brillante, cientifica, sobria, arropada con el manto del «establishment» psicologico se pueden luchar las batallas internas a traves del «trabajo social»… si, a veces uno se queda atrapado y cansado.. como si trataramos de alejarnos de un objeto internno persecutor… es persecutor aun?… no lo se.. al final.. todos tenemos que ir a terapia… 🙂 y trabjar el miedo a SER..lo que sea que se es…luego se pasa…

  4. jajajaja… me he reído mucho con sus comentarios. Los agradezco y me ha gustado mucho recibirlos, no lo tomen a mal.Solo quice publicar ese escrito para mostrar, tal vez, algunas cosas que corren por mi mente y que son de naturaleza más personal. Nuevamente, agradezco su lectura y su retroalimentación. Jajajaja… hasta me han enviado a terapia. Hombre, gracias!The thing is, being a shrink is part of who I am, a very important part, I must say, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop seeing life through the eyes of the therapist. I believe I used to do that even when I was not a therapist so yes; I’m pretty much stuck with this part of my «self».On the other hand, being an artist is also a big thing for me, I cannot deny my nature and the fact that my art is coming back reminds me of many things I’ve put on hold for years. Priorities have changed for me and I must embrace every aspect of my being. Coming from a long line of artists and healers I think I’m the heir to one hell of a conflict. But then again, who isn’t?A good conflict is always a chance for creativity. I will not choose between art and psychology… I’ll find another way. I always do.

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