I look for inspiration every day. Inspiration to write, inspiration to choose what pair of jeans I will wear and well, inspiration to just get out of bed every morning. I’m not joking. I literally lie in my bed for a half hour thinking of any reason – any reason! – that is rational that would allow me to not get out of bed. Recently, I’ve had several good reasons to stay in bed, but they had nothing to do with just getting out of bed and facing this wreck I call my life! I was hella sick! (and it scared the bajeebers out of me!) At any rate, sickness is a rational and acceptable reason to stay in bed, but why isn’t it ok to just want to stay in bed for a day? or two? Why do people automatically think you are depressed and start bothering you – while you are in bed trying to enjoy being in bed? I find it annoying. The whole mess – now, if I want to stay in bed for the day I shut myself off and close the blinds and lock the doors. Shut up society! I’m fucking tired.
ok…back to inspiration. I fell upon this “quote” today and thought it was the most appropriate thing in the world because I’m constantly re-posting other people’s quotes:
“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Profound right? And by one of my favorite authors. What is funny is that he said this like a million years ago and it’s more relevant now than ever! Crazy isn’t it? I seriously love it. Emerson was such a cool cat anyway, don’t you agree?
I won’t lie and say that there aren’t several things on social media, on my phone or even in the mail that inspire me. Even calm my heart and soothe my soul. Not everything written or quoted is an inspiration. There are many that point out the ludicrous minutia that people get so bogged down with that they forget they have their own thoughts and feelings. I have my own little gems ~ which secretly I hope to make a series of T-shirts and coffee mugs with my own quotes! (Also, it’s kind of a promise I made to someone very dear to me that recently died. – soon to be written about because I have to!)
Anyway, I think the Emerson quote means quit repeating what everyone else is saying – what are YOU saying? What do YOU know? What’s rattling around in that skull? Tell me! We have forgotten to learn from each other. We all have our own “gems” to pass along. Don’t be a sheep. Tell me what you know.
Over the past few months, I’ve been asked several times what inspires me? What is my passion? Each time I say “life”. Life inspires me and it’s my passion! One, I’m very passionate about living my life the way I want to live it. I want to bask in the sunshine and sing in the rain. I want to drink a beer with my dad or dance by myself in the kitchen. I want to read a cheezy romance novel then read some crazy ass book by Tina Fey! There are days when I want to stay in bed and I do…because I’m living my life – the way I want to. (and as I’ve mentioned before: I’m fucking tired.)
Life inspires me because I see the beauty in it. I see nature, architecture, art, song, dance, people – I see beauty in life. Who wouldn’t be passionate about that? Life is hard, it’s lonely and hateful too, but there is beauty in the darkness because in those moments is where I find my strength and my resolve. I see how I can heal – and grow – and LEARN!
So, maybe inspiration (and passion) is just living. I am fine with that. I live each day the best I can, some better than others, but I’m living each day. I see the small things – the flowers, the sunbeam, the rainbow. I hear the laughter, the music and the church bells. I taste the fruit, the salt on the steak and the pepper in the wine. I pay attention to what is going on in my head – which, let’s not mess around – that place is a war zone! I’m aware of my thoughts and my feelings. That is part of being present in my life.
I wasn’t always present in my life. I was present in everyone’s lives, but not my own. I was terrified to be alone and just kept busy being a part of whatever and wherever I could insert myself. One time, I remember telling my brother after he asked what I was up to that I had been left to my own devices. He shuddered and said, “That’s no good. Your devices are no good.” At the time, he was right. I didn’t know how to be alone. I didn’t know how to find inspiration or comfort. I wanted it to come from somewhere or someone. I kept trying to make it happen. I’d manipulate, lie, laugh, cry, drink myself into a frenzy – just so that I didn’t have to face what was “me”.
After my second divorce, I sought out the reasons why I couldn’t be alone with myself – my thoughts. I sat with a therapist, I went to 12 step meetings, I spent time with my family and my friends. Surely I would find the answers in one of these places! Eventually, I did, but it wasn’t until I left it all behind, started a new job, moved to a new town and let go of everything and everyone that was mirroring what I couldn’t see.
I learned how to be alone. Terrifyingly – alone. I was so sad at first, but then I started to spend time thinking about everything I changed in a year. I changed how I saw my life. I began to be grateful for what I could enjoy and appreciate. I found inspiration in my life…something I never knew I could love. I became happy. Not because someone or something made me happy, but because I was happy – with me.
Funny thing happened during these past few months – I failed. I failed so incredibly, crazy bad! I was so ashamed – then bitter. However, being ashamed and bitter wasn’t going to solve my problem. I had to find a way back to what was making me happy. Being grateful, being present in my own life I started a new blog and began to write again. Not just my pencil writing in my many journals – like, honest to goodness – really write. Then, putting it out there for people to read. Yes, I failed, but I’m not a failure – not exactly my words, but inspiration that I need to believe to keep going.
During this last year my journey has brought people in and out of my life. People that made me laugh and people that made me cry. People that I worried about and people that left me when I least expected it. In this next chapter there will be more people, but the ones that stay are the ones that have never left. Those people are where I find comfort and inspiration to keep moving forward. My life is full of possibilities.
I’ve taken a hard look at what I need to improve in myself to be more comfortable in my own skin. Each day will be a new day and I’m grateful for each day and each chance. There will be days I don’t leave the comfort of my bed and there will be days I just get in my car and drive. Each will be exactly where I should be – for me.
I know what love is and how it feels to be loved. Not the kind that a partner can give you – if they are the right person to join your journey. I know the love I feel for my kids, my family and my friends. I know their love for me – it makes me feel warm and peaceful. Right now that is the love I have and it’s what I need. That love, that grace, that peace is going to inspire me.
In my next blog I want to write about the love I felt last fall. How we laughed, cooked, watched documentaries – looked at the stars and how we would dream up crazy schemes and laugh about them. He and I have a story that I want to tell. You see, I made him mad (I know? surprise, right?) and he went “off grid” then much later I found out he died. Next time though – he inspired me to write and I would write like a fiend when we were together! However, he isn’t here to tell me to write it down. I think it’s why I stopped writing – to punish him. I can’t do it anymore. So, next time I will tell the story of my love for a season.
Inspiration comes in many forms, but use your own stories – your own words. Don’t always use other people’s quotations – tell me what you think.