Inspiration is elusive, but she’s also right there all around us. Like love, she’s spontaneous, popping up when we least expect it. She can be found in the pages of literature or in that last bit of sunlight that transitions us from day to night. Also like love, she is best measured in the work she produces and the experiences she creates. Inspiration must be seized the instant she appears before the moment passes and she goes in search of somebody else that will appreciate her.
If inspiration is true love, then work obligations and recreation are her two easy friends you choose to fraternize with because she’s playing hard to get. That’s not to say that this fraternization is wrong, having obligations is a part of life and you need to take a load off and enjoy some recreational activities; all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right?
This isn’t to say that there’s an ultimatum to be made. Inspiration isn’t a jealous lover. She understands that there is a need to fulfill obligations and to have fun, she just wants to be included in these activities. Inspiration isn’t dumb, she knows that if you don’t include her with your daily activities, you’ll end up sucked down the rabbit hole of self-loathing despair from which there is no escape. The more we fraternize with our obligations and recreational activities with out her, the further away from our grasp she becomes.
Our career is usually the number one obligation we fall into this trap with. It fulfills our financial obligations such as keeping a roof over our heads or feeding and clothing our children.
Inspiration can strike no matter where you are and she has a friend that she love to introduce you to, her name is Passion. If you’re working a thankless job as a cashier, it may be difficult to become inspired. I clocked many hours as a cashier in my youth and I know firsthand that the only thing I became inspired to do was clock out so I could go home and relax, but that’s not the right mindset to have. A job may just be a tedious means to an end, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be passionate about what you do. If you’re a cashier working at your local gas station, don’t be afraid to be passionate about what you’re doing. You’re fulfilling a much needed service that many of us take for granted. Strive to be the best cashier out there. The more passionate about your job, the more in-tune you will be to inspiration.
If you allow yourself to become trapped in the mundane, you will find that the things you used to enjoy have become a choir. Writing was something I loved doing from a very young age, but one day, I’m not entirely sure when, it became a tedious job with zero income. I’d write a few paragraphs and then stop. The ideas were there and sometimes I had the inspiration, but the passion in the relationship died. This went on for years. Only recently have I re-sparked the dwindling flame in my relationship with inspiration. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t struggle with my writing. Sometimes all I want to do is give up and watch a bad horror movie that I think I could write better if only I weren’t so lazy.
I have my good days and I have my bad. The struggle to maintain a balance between fulfilling my obligations, relaxing, and being inspired is an ongoing battle. I know that inspiration will elude me from time to time, but I am comforted in knowing that she’ll return with her friend passion.