I was catching up with an old friend, Melissa, on GChat today. I told her that I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. There are days when I just. can’t., when my brain doesn’t think creatively and I’m not firing on all cylinders. I hate those days. They mostly happen on Fridays when, at the end of an insanely long work week filled with grading essays and tutoring and teaching, I have to go to work at a restaurant so that I have enough money to pay my cable and electric bills.
Oh, what I life I lead.
The thing about inspiration is that it cannot simply be conjured out of nothing. I can’t just snap my fingers and suddenly feel the need to write 10 pages, or even a blog post. Inspiration comes at the worst time; when I’m busy grading papers that I have to distribute back to my students, or when I’m driving to-and-from work and don’t have a pen handy (and can’t write while driving…too well, anyway). It never comes when I have free time.
I want to write something witty, something hilarious, something sad and introspective. I want to make a commentary. I want to work on my next novel. But I can’t find the words. Any words.
Melissa was always great at inspiring me. We’d have mind-bending conversations at the foot of gorges in Ithaca, or bum around town blasting Wyclef and Britney Spears songs and laugh. Or we’d go to the movies and suck on gummy bears and fling them at the backs of strangers heads in the dark. She’d tell me about her dreams, I’d tell her about mine, and we’d support each other through words. The act alone was inspiring.
But it’s been awhile. And today, while talking to her and catching up (because she lives in the Middle East right now, budding journalist and all), I realized how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed, yet I’m exactly the same person. It’s weird and kinda sorta melts my mind.
That in-and-of itself was inspiring.
During the course of our conversation, she took up the challenge of inspiring me (while simultaneously making me laugh about having to STILL work in a restaurant in order to make ends meet):
Melissa: you MUST BLOG
Melissa: write about the simple joy of being able to laugh with a friend (hint hint) no matter where they are. the fact that no matter who we become, where we go, or what changes us, there are certain people who become part of our roots that we can go back and we know that we are home, every time we see them.
Me: aww, that’s sweet
Melissa: how roots aren’t necessarily where you come from, but who you make your home with. And how beautiful it can be when you are able to choose your own roots and mix them with the ones you got stuck with and not end up totally fucked up and a little bit happy
Me: but i’m not feeling “sweet” or sentimenal
Melissa: Okay, let’s come up with some haikus then about how much we hate serving dirtbags
Melissa: Condescending eyes
Your fancy clothes don’t fool me
You want a table
On the side, no ice, crispy
Sigh, is this my life?
Maybe one day I’ll write about how much I hate the food service industry.