Our lives are defined not by our triumphs, but by our tragedies. We can live our entire lives and never really know exactly what paths we are going to stumble down. When we can clearly see the road ahead of us, we turn away from it, frightened and angry. We resist the known and embrace the unknown.
And that has made all the difference.
It is more than just a poem. It is more than just a saying. We strive for the unknown, we embrace it full-heartedly. We reject the status quo and we work to achieve something new, something greater.
It’s human nature, and one I am proud of. We cannot simply continue to allow ourselves to live a life of ease and luxury. We scoff and deny that as our ideal even as we tell ourselves we are working towards it.
When life is easy,it is boring. When life is easy, it makes us lazy. When we allow ourselves to get lazy, some deep, hidden part of our psyche screams, "THERE IS MORE THAN THIS."
I know, I’ve spent too long in ease and a malaise. In the months that I was not working, I was not living. I spent all of my time in a depression that I didn’t understand. Life was easy, why did I hate it so much?
The answer is a simple one.
A life without struggle is not a life at all.
Now, I am embracing a change, and though life is pretty easy for me here, under the protective wings of my parents, I understand what it was that drove me to desperation for so long. I was heartsick for struggle. I needed some drama to unfold and show me that there was more to life than just sitting on the couch, eating pizza rolls and watching Big Bang Theory.
I told my father tonight that I have a hard time writing when I’m not depressed. There is a razor’s edge I have to walk to create. If I am too contented, too happy, then I have no reason to escape from my own life into the fantasy world of my mind. If I let myself sink into too deep a depression, I shut down and can’t do anything until the funk shatters.
I think I was wrong.
I don’t need to be sad to create. I don’t need sorrow and shame. I don’t need guilt and regret.
I need life, and life has to be messy to have meaning.
When I was sitting in the dark and waiting for something wonderful to come to me, I was envisioning myself as a desperate artist. I was pretending that I was worse than I was. I was squandering my life, not living it.
Now, I’m out here in the wild west, a land with so much sky and so much beauty that I should be filled with a creative spark. I’m not filled with creativity, though. I’m hiding and reveling in the comfort. That’s why I’m not creating.
It isn’t that my life is easy again. It isn’t that I don’t have any motivation to create.
The problem is, I let myself forget that productivity breeds productivity. I had to go searching for a new career before I could tap into the endless bounds of imagination again.
There is something beautiful in the monotony of life. Those minor burdens of getting up, showering, dressing and going into a job for 40 hours a week give more meaning to the things we do when we get to choose them for ourselves.
I have heard of several writers that can’t work when they have nothing else to distract them. They can’t write their novels if writing is their full time profession.
I think I can understand that now.
You have to have something that you’re escaping from in order to escape.
It doesn’t have to be an endless see of darkness lurking inside the human soul. It can simply be filing or spreadsheets.
Now, as I’m getting ready to go back into the workplace, I can see that part of me that creates circling back around.
I won’t squander it this time.