I’m just trying to find
A decent melody
A song that I can sing
In my own company…
U2, “Stuck In A Moment”
For the past two months I’ve been pleasantly overwhelmed by waves of inspiration and a newfound sense of creative motivation. I’ve been writing stories, blog posts, and working on freelance projects; I’ve had ideas brewing for the new website, community involvement, and personal art and writing projects. Every day I would wake up with a renewed sense of determination and ambition, eager for ways to express myself creatively, curious to see what I could produce and where it might lead.
For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I had a passion and a purpose: I had found my place.
But the weeks have slowly slipped away as I’ve settled back into my 9-5 routine, and the inspiration and empowerment I felt since my return seems to be fading. I’ve spent the past week and a half struggling to write an article, only the words just aren’t coming; I have two blog posts that I’ve written and rewritten, only to relegate them back into the drafts folder; I have a new site getting ready to launch that I’m now questioning. What bothers me the most, however, is that I have stories to tell, but my characters are no longer talking.
Or maybe I’m just not finding the time to listen. Either way, I’m having a great deal of difficulty tapping back into that mindset and staying there.
Creativity and writing is such a huge part of me that its indulgence is the only time when I feel truly myself, when I feel alive and not like I’m merely going through the motions of the day. Creativity allows me a sense of freedom and focus, to imagine that anything is possible, to believe in beauty and good and all those horrible clichés. Writing allows me to ask the questions and purge the feelings I’m not willing to speak out loud; for me, it’s what breeds my compassion and understanding, allows me to grow as an individual.
Through these creative outlets, I become something more; through writing, I’m everything I could ever dare to be: I am a painter, a poet, a memory-keeper. I am a philosopher, a scientist, and a fortune-teller. I am an architect, an engineer, a craftsman. I am a student and a teacher, an artist and the art. I am a writer.
It’s my passion, my pride, and my purpose. And while I love to work, while I enjoy helping people and finding solutions to problems, while I excel at the administrative tasks and find pleasure in an office environment, I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t make me happy in the same way that writing and being among writers does.
I’m going to indulge in overdramatics because it’s the only way I know how to express just how much this is affecting me: When I feel suffocated and stifled, creativity is what allows me to breathe. And right now, I feel desperate, frustrated, because that outlet has been replaced with the mandatory job. And I’ve never, ever wanted to settle.
I’m stuck with a strong sense of obligation, trapped between responsibility and expectation. Point blank: I need the paycheck that comes with the job. And I don’t know if anyone around me would understand my desire to give that up for a passion, a dream.
I only know that I’m not in any position to take that risk on my own.
Every single part of me knows that this is not the life I want to lead. That’s hard to admit to, if only because it means that something now has to change, and that change will mean relying on courage and chance, and I never quite know if I have enough of one to believe in the other.
I want to dream; I want to believe in possibility and I want to take chances.. But most of all, I want it to matter.