We all have ways of thinking about our lives. Most seem to measure it in milestones: births, marriages, graduations, big moves and the deaths of loved ones. Others outline it with accomplishments, the academic, professional, and personal strives made to satisfy our desire to develop and to change.
Mine, instead, is a measure or energy, dips of idleness punctuated by periods of manic creation, energy unsustainable so that it reaches back into what seems inaction. Almost a deadness to the world. This absolute inertia seems endless and inescapable as if I will never write or conceive of an original thought again. It’s then that I indulge in self-pity, seeing creation only as the tracking of my own apathy and dejection.
But what’s interesting, is that usually, I’m aware of such a halt, knowing that I’m caught in a period of stasis. I haven’t realized though, that in the month or so since leaving school, I was in denial, believing that my soul-crushing internship sparked creative growth. That writing copy about mid-century household products somehow supported my writing beyond it. Yes, I’m writing nine hours each day, but I understand now that artistic license isn’t consistent with a consideration towards marketability. And so, what I’m doing serves a single function: nourishment for practicality, as opposed to sustenance for imaginative growth.
Combine this with the endless task of cover letter writing and you’ll begin to see a pattern develop. Not only am I writing solely from a prompt, but relying upon this guidance has made me wait for a prompt. For an assignment. For inspiration. I’m only waiting, stretching this out to larger considerations of where I’ll build my life and how. With what focus, and with what intent.
It feels that, in this waiting, I’ve been preparing only for the conditional, only for something dependent upon happenstance and possibility. And in doing so, I’ve existed in this bizarre limbo, caught between a nostalgia for times of greater energy, production and connection, and the future unknown.
I was talking on the phone the other day to a friend I hadn’t heard from (or, admittedly, reached out to) in over a year. He knew me at a climax of creativity when I was living in Paris and had found the context needed for constant stimulation and incentive for creative thought. He’d asked what I’d been up to, what was new, what had changed for me in a year. And though much seemed to have happened, I’m not sure anything impacted me, making me somehow different from who I was.
A jump forward to the following epiphany and I understood then that I shouldn’t be so reliant upon context, instead looking to myself for perception, a perspective previously unknown. Inspiration builds from the inner framework, reliant not upon an outward source as a discrete object, but instead my relation to it.
I’ve returned to a state of energy, confronting again my want to create. But what’s different, is that this feels viable, continual, and prepared for growth. What I love best about a creative mind, is the ability to see beauty in everything. You’re not blinded by it, caught in an ignorant, rose-colored optimism. Instead, you’ve created it, documenting such beauty so that others may see it as well.
I’ve kept this blog at somewhat of a standstill, waiting for the moment when I was in the right place, with the right job, with the right schedule to write again.
I’m not sure any of that is true at the moment, but I know I need to start now.