January 31, 2012 § 1 Comment
It’s no secret that one of my biggest fears in life is to be uninspired, to live uninspired-ly. I’m not exactly sure what that means, or what that looks like in the big picture, but I can tell you what it feels like in the smallness and tangibleness of day to day life. Feeling uninspired feels a whole lot like apathy, and really, there’s no better way to define it than by a lack of desire, a lack of striving, a lack of passion, and a general lacking of wanting to do anything.
When I’m having a particularly inspiring day, I see it from all fragments and pieces of my life. A good conversation with a friend can spark thoughts and emotions. Watching a great film or reading a great book can excite me about the idea of writing and perhaps drumming up the next “Desendants” (best film I’ve seen recently). Coming across a good article on the web can invoke a desire to blog and share thoughts with the world. Having a good work out session makes me want to make all sorts of resolutions to never eat sweets or drink alcohol again. Spending a worthwhile hour on Pinterest can make me craft my visions of my perfect home and add pages and pages into my mental recipe book. When I’m having an uninspired day, I do all of the above, and it just ends there – there is no added wanting or striving to do anything more. The reading ends at reading, the watching ends at watching, the time spent talking with friends leads me to wonder why I’m spending so much time talking with friends.
I think I’m beginning to understand why I fear living an uninspired life so much. Who wouldn’t fear living a life that is lacking in the motivation that each of us draws on to make it through the day, the months, and ultimately, the years. Truly, that is what inspiration is. Inspiration is motivation. Inspiration is the fire that lights our dreams that actually makes us want to accomplish things, do things, be things. Maybe I’m finally starting to feel a little more inspired now.
Yes, I realize that uninspired days are not impossible. I will still treasure certain days when spending an afternoon on the couch snacking on Nut Thin Crackers (my new favorite munchie) watching NFL Football (my new favorite sport) will be a heaven of an afternoon for me. But when I’m not happy feeling so uninspired and lack of feeling and will, I think what I need is a healthy kick of forced inspiration. What is that forced inspiration? Well, right now, at my desk, the only thing I can do is peruse around the web and read things and see things – and do my best to take inspiration out of what I read and see. It’s okay sometimes, to force yourself to dream a little.
My pieces of inspiration around the web:
2. A conversation with Courtney Clevenger over gchat.
3. Reading reviews for Richard III. Tickets still available I think!
4. These photos from Pinterest:
5. Knowing that tomorrow is a new day full of new things that could inspire.
January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
Yes, I know. A post dedicated to the Oxford Comma – the singularly most commical, necessary, and distinguished part of the practice of correct grammar. I find it particularly amusing that I am so intrigued by this punctuation, but I think the following pictures will explain why.
I mean… what’s not to love about a piece of punctuation that you can have so much fun with.
And my friend Kelly really enjoys it too…
“I just had a lawyer walk in :
“look at this hard working industrious group. and then Kelly on facebook”
“I’m not on facebook. I’m researching the oxford comma”
“oh ya, is that part of a very important research assignment?”
“…….no….. I just like them””
January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
While I’ve only been a resident of fabulous New York City since May of 2011 when I moved here with after graduation from law school, it feels like I’ve been here much longer. I think I’ve had the experience of most New Yorkers. I’ve lived on the upper west side; I’ve lived in the lower east. I’ve lived (albeit temporarily) in my own cute little studio apartment; I’ve lived in a rodent infested shack with five people, in space too small for even one. I’ve worked for a major fashion magazine; I’ve worked as a nanny to one of the few wealthy Jewish couples in Harlem. I’ve gone on dates with bankers, lawyers, and hell, even had lunches with men old enough to be my father. I’ve been spit on, cussed at, and shoved while trying to go get around this damn town, but I’ve also built a loving relationship with the sweet Korean couple that do my laundry on 2nd and B. This December they gave me an awesome lint roller as a Christmas present. It was the only time I felt genuinely remorseful I hadn’t thought of someone on my holiday shopping list.
I love New York because of how diverse it is; because of the sense that anything can happen here. Yet, the truth is, when I was at home in Austin, TX this past Christmas break, I didn’t love New York and it’s possibilities so much. In fact, all I could think about was why I hadn’t move back to Austin yet. Now, my relationship with Austin is complex and has evolved a lot over the past 14 years. At first I begrudged Austin because it wasn’t Tulsa, Oklahoma where my parents had viciously uprooted me from in middle school. (My moving experience was both that evil and that painful, that in my eyes, it distorted Tulsa to be a little bit like heaven). Not only did my twelve-year-old self begrudge my new home, I loathed it and frequently made solemn vows late at night that I would run away whenever I could. Running away soon equated to going to college, and in high school, I only applied to out of state universities. Still, despite my solemn vow to “get the hell out” – I somehow wound up at the University of Texas, and it was there that my bitterness towards Austin as a town, as a home, changed dramatically. The city worked on me slowly. From its small town charm, to its collegiate air of self-importance, to its daring attitude towards music and art, Austin and it’s unique vibe changed my attitude. I started liking it, loving it, and frankly, becoming at home there.
So of course being in Austin over the holidays made me question a lot as to why I’m still in New York. Yes, I love New York City, but it’s clear to me that the reasons I love New York are different and somewhat incomparable to the reasons I love Austin. You can’t really compare loving a place because it’s diverse to loving a place because it’s home. Is it pride? Is part of me afraid to call it quits so soon? Am I just holding out for that five-year mark when it is more okay to move? I have a good friend Julie who moved to D.C. soon after college graduation, and before a year was out, she was packing her things and heading back to good ‘ol ATX. She wrote all of us girlfriends an email sharing with us her decision on moving back so quickly, and she simply said, “I realized the only thing holding me back was pride, and that is a stupid reason.” Turning the tables around, if pride is my reason, then that is an equally stupid reason.
But tonight, as I climbed my five flights of stairs to my apartment that isn’t in the East Village, isn’t in Alphabet City, and not exactly in the Lower East Side – I realized that the reason I’m still in New York, the reason that I’m not moving back to Austin (or anywhere else for that matter) is because New York is difficult, and right now, I need some difficult in my life. It’s clear that the comforts of home don’t shape you into the person you want to become, New York does. New York forces you to make decisions, it forces you to figure out who you are, what you want, and what kind of person you are pushing yourself to be. The abundance of opportunity, possibility, potentiality in New York is what makes it both exciting and difficult. In this place, you either find yourself, or you lose yourself. Every day, every moment, you are faced with a multitude of options. Do you take off your ugly mono-chromatic sweat pants, brave the cold and meet up with some friends at a bar or do you sit at home and pin your night away on Pinterest? (I often choose Pinterest if anyone is concerned.) But seriously, it forces you to decide on what and who is populating your life. Which friends do you make effort for? What functions and meetings do you attend? What do you spend your hard earned money on? New York forces you to decide because it is a city where everything is possible, yet it only offers you limited amounts of time and means to conqueror it. It’s not easy for me to be here, but it’s just so right because I know I will look back and see that I became more myself because I was here.