i realized last night that i desperately need to write. i also succumbed to the very first glimmering flash of inspiration to grace my mind within the past several months. i thought my bulb had burnt out for good.
whenever i’ve gone for a good long while without allowing myself to write, or being too exhausted to even tap my little paws on keys, it always just sort of bubbles over into a badly written, stream-of-consciousness sort of protobabble. sound familiar? see current reading material for an example.
however, it is often the prelude to something else. last night for the most fleeting of moments, i had that flash of light. actually, that’s not right. for me, it’s not necessarily the lightbulb experience…if you will allow me to mix my metaphors up for a bit. for me, it tends to be a voice. before you call me a schizophrenic, try to remember that all artists are a wee bit on the loony side of things, and the voices in my head don’t really hurt anyone but each other. so fear not; they’re contained.
i have a pet story i have been working on for a year or so now. i love it–it’s fun, snarky, and occasionally campy. the best thing about it for me is that it has a truly distinct voice in my mind. sort of like a bulldozer might sound if it trundled happily over a field of broken dreams. that. that’s what it sounds like. rumbledy rumbledy, tra la la, crunch.
i like it.
and the kicker? it’s not the novel i finished. in fact, i’m barely two chapters into it. non sequitous chapters even. but it’s there, and it’s vibrant, and it is going to come out, whether i like it or not. which is quite a lovely feeling for a writer, especially a somewhat stunted one such as i.
we’ll see where it goes.
apart from that, i think my fingers and the thoughts they try to hammer out have been shackled by this mountain of stress. or not shackled; smashed. at the end of the day, all i want is to shed my skin, crawl into my soft, warm bed, cuddle up to my modal pillows, and snuggle with nothingness, toes wiggling outside the cocoon in the breeze of my fan. hardly a good vein of creative pursuit. i’ve found it exceedingly difficult to accomplish anything in that state of being, heavenly though it may be.
i’m trying to figure out what has breathed a little spark of life back into me. it’s certainly not my job–no, that is the wet blanket continuously determined to slosh and slop its way right over this little light of mine. so not that. i have a sneaking little suspicion that the responsible party is none other than my sewing class.
“whamph?” asks the sewing class through the pins in its teeth. “meh?”
yes, my friend. you.
you see, sewing is something i have always wanted to do. i used to make my grandma teach me little bits and pieces on those rare visits to florida in the summers of my youth. the only project i ever made was the tiniest little quilt with a lion in a jungle. i wonder whatever happened to that. so this year, i decided to fulfill that, along with my long-term desire to purchase a decent camera. check and check. as i drove home from my class last night pondering the intricacies of the olive green assless chaps i had managed to create with little to no guidance, i heard the familiar happy bulldozer in the distance. the moment i could open my catalog of ideas, i jotted down what it had mumbled in my ear and pondered what i had there. it was a missing piece in a story that already was pretty awesome. and i can’t wait to take it out for a spin.
to go back to a point i didn’t cover as well as i wanted, by doing something i genuinely enjoy (something no one–NO ONE!!!–is making me do) purely for the pleasure of doing it, it reminded me that there was more to me than i have been living. this little 6 week class is quite expensive…i can safely say this is the most pricey bag and pants combo i have ever before spent money on. however, in spite of the expense, i have learned a very valuable lesson: do what makes you happy.
for the love of pete–life is way too short to do anything else. i may have to work my ass off day in and day out at a thankless job that seems constantly poised with a microscope to point out my pitfalls. i may be in dubious health. i may be slightly schizophrenic. but by golly, i’m going to try and be happy while i’m here. i maybe have 60-70 years left on this rock, and i really don’t want to look back after 50 of them and wonder what i did with my youth, why i was killing myself for money.
so i may be broke for the next few years. i have a lot of bills, and hobbies, quite frankly, are incredibly expensive. the irish dance class i want to take next year? about $630. hello, good use of grad school loans (not kidding). that covers september through may, but still. that’s a lot. my sewing class ran about $300, all supplies included. at least for the next one, i will know to shop at joann for fabric (g-street, not so cheap), and i will already have the staples, like the $20 pair of shears i bought. (lessons, lessons, expensive little life lessons)
anyway, the bottom line is, i need to get back into the things i enjoy: writing, sewing, photography, dance, music. those are things that are near and dear to the ole ticker, and i think that if i am able to do them, i will have a better handle on this stressful commitment i signed up for. thankfully, most of these hobbies are “front end loaders,” which just goes to say that if you put money in on the front end, it will taper off later…unless i upgrade my camera to a flashy flashy bang bang sort of deal, which won’t happen for at least several years. writing, i’ve got my laptop, macasaurus rex. sewing has no machine yet, but this will come. photography, got me a nice camera that takes awesome pictures…as soon as i get a good low light lens with a solid aperture, i will be happy for a while. dance, i have my gillies, and when i get back into irish dance, i won’t have to get hardshoes for a while, though the class payments are a bit steep. music…i have my bodhran. so really, i am pretty much set for the time being.
i also realized that though it’s good to have some money put aside, i honestly don’t think it’s always the best thing to do. maybe it’s the fact that i’ve never had the sense that money would be there later, so i’ve always felt it’s good to spend on what makes you happy as long as your necessities are covered. i’m not sayin go buy ten thousand things you can’t afford, or even to go buy ten thousand things period. but if you have a hobby, i consider that somewhat as an investment. it may not have a monetary return, but peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment are worth more than money to me.