How do you get it back, I wonder?
Life is hard. No matter your dreams and direction, life is a thing that happens to you. It takes you places and does things to you, and you survive it. You roll with the punches and you get hit; and sometimes you dodge and bounce back and sometimes it’s too much, and you just ball up and wait it out.
After years of just coping, dealing with ‘real things in the real world’, the unavoidable slog of existence; trying to come back to who you are is difficult.
Where is my endless inspiration, my motivation to enjoy creativity? I have the wherewithal now that I had abandoned for years, too busy with work, with responsibility, with illness that actually impaired my thinking. I’m coming back, slowly, and relearning who I am. Learning my new boundaries. Trying to bring back the me who used to push them; the me who challenged myself, who persevered, who did not give up at first failure.
But I sit and stare and nothing comes to me. I put pen to paper and then stop. Fingers poised above the keyboard, unspoken prayers to every deity caught on my breath. Other people’s stories, other people’s art, swirling nebulous in my brain, getting in the way. But I just don’t seem to have it in me. Anything of my own. And so, I go searching for inspiration, and sometimes there are moments – brief moments of aha! – but then it’s snatched from me. Or I let it fall away; I’m not entirely sure.
I feel sure it’s there, in my brain, locked away, if only I could access it. My creativity. My enthusiasm for life. It’s been left to stagnate for so long, buried in a bog. Fossil fiction, stalled somewhere in my naive early twenties, so far behind, and so far away from who I am now. There’s a quiet sort of desperation gnawing at the base of my skull, pricking behind my eyes, welling hot and heavy in my heart. I know I need to write my pain like I used to; write it down, write through it, come out the other side and reclaim my ability to be whimsical or serious in my art. I’m not quite there and it’s killing me.
It’s just out of reach.
When will I be me, again? I was always making myself, but I had to stop to protect myself and those I loved, for years. I was barely done with the foundations when the ground moved beneath my feet and starting over now feels like such a huge undertaking. I look around me and see skyscrapers and it overwhelms me, barely a shack on a small, barren lot.
Deep within myself, here on this empty plot, I’m nurturing the smallest of seedlings, shading them, saying kind words, and praying for rain.
[This has been posted without editing.]