When I was in seventh grade, my middle school’s vice principal Tad Gestrin used to get on the intercom each morning, and give these incredibly cheesy “motivational” speeches before classes began. Since I was an angsty preteen trying to be the most popular gurl (spelled like that) known to Waluga Junior High, I rarely listened to them. Instead, I picked my split ends and chewed my gum like a diva doused in Abercrombie perfume. Oh, middle school…
While I never truly listened to those speeches in depth, every single one would end with him dramatically reading, “make it a great day… OR NOT! The choice is yours…”
Lately, I’ve been in a funk. (In other words, it’s week 8 of the term).
I’m not my normal optimistic-self. The weather is unbearably cold and miserably monsooning to the point where I only step outside if it is absolutely necessary. The past week, I’ve woken up each morning feeling sick to my stomach. I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like doing anything. I lack energy; I lack inspiration.
So, instead of cueing up the sad violins and wallowing in self-pity like I usually do (I’m such a tortured artist) I decided to write a list of things that inspire me. Obviously, this list cannot possibly incorporate all of the things that make my right brain tick — sometimes inspiration comes when you least expect it.
But for now, here goes (in no particular order):
Art. Friends. Family. Childhood. The Internet. Technology. Facebook. Twitter. Nature. Culture. The World. Countries. News. People. Strangers. Driving with the windows down. Driving with the windows up. So really, just driving in general. Riding in trains. Sitting in silence. Memories. Listening. Shopping. Exploring. Reading. Laughter. TV shows. Movies. Funny pictures of animals. Funny pictures of humans. So really, just funny pictures in general. Singing (out of tune). Running (slowly). Going to a farm. Breathing. Listening to music. StumbleUpon. Pintrest. Design. Thrift shops. Mason jars. Acting like a child. Pretending. Drawing (badly). Hanging upside down. Running around in circles. Showers. Those moments before you fall asleep. Playing an instrument. Martin Luther King. Gandhi. Oprah. Maya Angelou. Anyone who stands up to adversity. Anyone who beats cancer (my mom!). Athletes. Thinking. Conversations. Lectures. Colors. Magazines. My number one girl, Shakira. Staring out windows. Observing. Animals that become best friends with other animals. Apple. Coffee. Beautiful creations. Other creative work. Pictures. Photography. Google. Cycling. Humor. Pep talks. Geniuses. Philanthropists. Acts of kindness. Generosity. Doing. Life, in general.
Even from writing it down, I instantly felt better and recharged.
I’m always going to have days where I am in a creative funk. I’m going to have bad days when I feel like I’m not good enough. I’m going to have days where I wonder if copywriting is right for me.
That’s how life is — it’s full of ups and downs. Although this is cliche, life really is what you make of it. You can choose to lie in bed, and cry to that Dashboard Confessional song about how finding strands of your ex-lover’s hair is like putting your heart into a blender. Or, you can get up and do something about it.
I may have rarely paid attention to those morning speeches in middle school, but that dear man Tad Gestrin was right.
Make it a great day…Or not. The choice is yours.
“We’re all going to drop the pen at some point, and want to give up. But it’s the time span from when you drop the pen and pick it up that shows maturity. We resent failure and see it as an insult, but failure is a form of the creative process. Forget it all, and get back to work.” —Kathy Hepinstall