Sunday, August 28, 2011

Desperately Seeking Inspiration...

I was in Target with my kids today fetching various items.  The place was crawling with college students picking up supplies for their tiny, bland dorm rooms, or tiny sh*thole apartments.  (Remember how excited we were back in those days to buy our first dish rack or hamper?  Oy, now I want to dump all that stuff on the curb and live in a hotel and have people clean up after me all day.)

We are standing there and a very prissy, snooty girl and an obviously flaming gay kid (not that there's anything wrong with that, but he made Kurt from Glee look butch) are discussing the need to cut back on Starbucks this semester.  I mimicked the girl's faux Valley Girl accent, and my son made some other desparaging remark, then proclaimed, "I love being a cynical a-hole".  I said, "You get it from your Mother" and gave him a high five. 

But honestly, in the past 2 years I've come to love my cynical asshole side less.  Don't get me wrong, I still love me some good derision, but I also seek joyfulness in my heart.  Sound cheesy?  Well, F-you, I want some God damn joyfulness!!!!

Here's what I mean by joyfulness, or just joy for short.  It's that feeling when you encounter something that just sends your senses soaring.  I guess you could call it a rush.  Inspiration.  I'm seeking that right now.  I feel really uninspired.  Well, it's really only in my work life.  I mean, I love my boyfriend and I feel joy when I go to my kids' school and feel all of their success and friendships there.  There are just good people at those schools, and I can feel my kids happiness.  That is like freakin' crack to me.  But work... meh.

With work... I've been searching.  I have had various jobs over the past few years.  And that's all they were, jobs.  I have been trying to find that thing that I love to do.  Writing does that, but any writing jobs I've had haven't neccessarily put me on Easy Street, if you know what I mean.  I did have an interview at a an ad agency for a copywriting job several months ago that gave me a mental "schwing!".  I'm serious.  I walked into the place and felt the energy instantly, I was in Heaven.  The interview was with a friend of mine, but unfortunately I found out about it a little too late, they were already in negotiations with some kid that already had agency experience.  I was actually sad that I didn't get the job.

I started a job this week doing internet advertising analysis.  Basically SEO and Adwords campaign stuff.  It's interesting, I'm just getting started, we'll see.  But what I am hopeful about is, after a two year hiatus, I'm headed back to school in a couple of weeks.  I will be taking a feature writing course, and a graphic design course.  Just thinking about the subject matter gets me all tingly.  Maybe I'll have more direction and experience after I take those courses.

I ran into a guy this past week bartending at a place I don't frequent often, but stopped in to see my friend's artwork that was being exhibited.  I hadn't seen the guy since about 1987.  I knew him back in my punk days, first met round about 1983, he was known as Mohawk Mike, just an acquaintance.  He was uber punk, had like a foot high mohawk, always wore combat boots, leather jacket, studded collar, flannel shirt tied around his waist.  Anyway, I see him at this bar... looks exactly the same except with no hair at all.  He's in his late 40s and hasn't changed.  I talked to him a bit, he says he's been doing the same stuff for the past 25+ years.  He is the alternative, nightlife scene.  Never married, no kids.

His exact words to me were, "I never grew up".  He's happy.  I don't know, he hangs around what inspires him, music, creative punk fashion, art, nightlife... is that grown up or not grown up?  Does it matter?  It just made me think.  I didn't think I was any better or worse than him, nor he any better or worse than me.  A little part of me was jealous, to be able to come and go in that scene whenever you want... cool!  But for me, I also knew I needed to be a Mom, to create something larger than myself.

So, inspiration comes in many forms.  I have it in parts of my life, but I want that thing that makes me really happy to get up every morning.  There is just something missing.  I mean, I'm happy, generally, but well going to work shouldn't be something you dread.  But I also want to feel good about being able to provide everything my children need with room to spare.  It's a fine line to walk, do what you love or provide for all four of us.  Why couldn't I figure out that I loved being a lawyer 25 years ago.  Unfortunately, I was born creative and not intellectual. Well, you know what I mean.  Hopefully, I'll find joyfulness soon.


  1. When all else fails, in terms of finding a way to like work, I used to just tell myself, "You don't have to LIKE this, you're here for the check, and the check pays for all the shit you DO like." It's not ideal, but it worked. I'm glad you're getting back to school, I think that'll help, and I hope you find that job that makes you happy AND comfortable:) -McGoo

  2. I read the title, and then started to read about the blog, I guess the whole point of the first two paragraphs were to emphasize the fact you work to pay the bills and for your kids. For most of us, if we are not doing what we love, and it is too late to go after what you truly would like to do. I recently won an award at Allstate, along with the reward I had to answer profile questions. Name your dream job; I know what my dream job would be. Here is the Inspiration you seek - Know your dream job if asked. Inspiration is different than motivation, once you are inspired do you have the motivation to Just do it? I believe you have a fire in you just waiting to explode. But you might have to wait till kids are all in college or married. but the inspiration you seek is simple, IF someone asked you; NAME your Dream Job? could you answer it without thinking or hesitation?

  3. I thought this was my dream job but then I got it and actually started doing it year in and year out.


    And I have it on some authority that the best lawyers are the most creative. I wish I'd gone to law school.

    But then if I actually were a lawyer I'm sure I'd be dreaming of some other job...

  4. Ahh college days,when I used to let the girls me and my roommates dated to all the cleaning. Maybe thats why I'm still single

  5. I'm trying to find something uninspiring about your life but I can't really find anything. Look at what you have and be inspired.

  6. Way, way, way back in High School I was talking about what I hoped to do as a career with a Cooperative Extension Agent who was driving a group of us back from a week long camping/canoeing trip. I wanted to teach outdoor living skills. He told me that was a vocation and I needed to think about a job that would let me do that in my free time. I listened and found out too late how wrong he was. I could have had my cake and eaten it too if I had better guidance and initiative.

    Dream big, Madge. And don't ever let anyone tell you you can't.