I’m having one of those mornings. I feel like the day hasn’t actually started. First of all, it’s super gray outside. Maybe-you-should-just-go-hide-in-the-back-of-the-library-all-day type of gray. Also, I’m currently out of projects with deadlines, and man do I love a good deadline. The hardest thing about art-related careers is that no one forces you to work. When inspiration is low, doing that one thing to move your career ahead is difficult to find if you’re not running through the happy fields of creative abundance. And unless you want to bang your head against a wall a few times, it doesn’t feel like inspiration is going to magically drop in. It’s not like an office job where you have things waiting for you whether you like it or not. Without an artistic project to chip away at, you’re left sitting staring at the birds hop around in the front yard.
As you know, I am in limbo of these two worlds. I do have office work, but I also am trying to build my artistic career. When these two are out of balance, I get grouchy. I feel like every ounce of creativity stayed in bed while I somehow got myself in the car and to my desk chair.
Downstairs, in one of our hallways (I work in a school office), there is a poster of the ocean with the words “SUCCESS” written across the bottom. It’s a bit like the one above. Whenever I go past it I have a mini-existential crisis. Is laying on the beach considered success? Or is it the feeling you get when you’ve somehow gotten yourself to the beach? I snap out of it, realizing that there are confused fourth graders watching me glare at the beach poster with a twisted, bitter look on my face. Good ol’ Crazy Administrator McGee is lost in the 4th grade hallway again. Someone should shuffle her back to her office.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about what picture I would choose to replace that ocean with. My first thought, ironically, is a picture of the Atlantic ocean in Cape May, NJ. Having the freedom to lay on the beach and write in Cape May all summer is actually a huge form of success for me, but there are other options too. I’m also a big fan of the following:
- A rehearsal studio
- A piano
- An empty theatre before tech
- A hiking trail on a warm summer morning
- A table covered in food that I’ve cooked, surrounded by people I know (Stole this one from Under the Tuscan Sun. Because I have thing about wanting to be Diane Lane).
- And this long-standing daydream of me standing in the doorway of a log cabin with a cup of coffee and a dog sitting at my feet. I don’t where this one comes from–but it appeared to me when a mediation exercise once asked me to envision my idea of success. If this moment ever happens, I’ll post it here and freak out a bit. Just need a log cabin and a dog. Good on coffee.
As you can tell, my main way of bursting out of a creatively funky morning is writing down any darn thing that comes to mind. Like this post. In case you feel like keeping the conversation going: what would your success poster look like?
If you had a funky morning too, I hope it gets better, and that you find a way to break through the cloudiness of the weather.
Thanks as always for reading:)