musings

Switchfoot and Running Away

I have this dream.
If you know me well, I’ve probably talked to you about it, because – well.
It isn’t a bucket-list kind of dream, or a recurring nightmare, or even a far-away “I’d like to do this but I don’t think I ever will” kind of dream.
One day, I am going to do it. I am going to take some cash and essentials and pack them into a rucksack and run. You know what? It could be any time. It could be in ten years. It could be tomorrow.
Don’t say so-long, you’re not that far gone 
Don’t spend today away 
‘Cause today will soon be gone.

I don’t know when. But one day I am going to get onto a bus and go all the way to the end of the line, and then I’ll get on another bus and do the same, and just keep going and going until I don’t need to any more.
Because there it is. There is this need inside me to run away, to get out. I don’t know where it comes from and I don’t know if running will make it go away. But I am determined.
I’m breaking away from the world of money and fame and status and standing.
do we know what life is outside of our convenient Lexus cages? 
I might run away from a stable job and finances. I might run away from a life that seems ideal. I might run away from a situation that makes people think, how did she stay there so long? 
But whenever it is, I know it’s going to happen. One day, I’m going to run.
She said he said live like no tomorrow 
Every day we borrow brings us 
One step closer to the edge.

Have you ever felt that? A deep-seated certainty inside you that makes your heart shiver behind the bars of your ribcage?
There is a distinction between running away and running to. If I were running to, I would know where I was going, or at the very least what I was searching for. But I don’t. I only know that it is not here, and that if I want to find it I have to really, actually look.
And I guess what I’m trying to say is that the cage that I’m breaking out of might not seem like a cage. Not at first.
But we can’t have the urge to break free if we aren’t trapped. And yet we distract ourselves with these petty problems – I lost my mobile – he broke up with his girlfriend – that test went badly- and sure. They’re important, in their way. But listen:

She told him she’d rather fix her makeup
Than try to fix what’s going on.

We’re all there. Trying to fix the things we know we can fix instead of the things that are a little out of our comfort zone, a little beyond us. Maybe that’s what I want to break free from. Maybe I want to change the world.
Let’s change the world.

*this is simultaneously a post about running away and an excuse to use and analyse Switchfoot lyrics.

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Inspiration

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I had an idea today for a scene between two of my characters. Unfortunately this idea came to me in the middle of an exam.

Inspiration isn’t something that you wait for. Inspiration does not obey the whims of humanity, true – but if it isn’t calling and you need it, then get up and find it. It’s true that inspiration comes and goes as it please, and it’s true that I like to think of it as a subtle creature on a radar that not everyone easily tunes into. But it is also true that saying you are “waiting for inspiration to strike” is as dangerous as saying “I’ll write a book — one day” or “I’ll be an artist — one day”.

Point being, it won’t happen.

If you were to wait for inspiration, perhaps it would come and perhaps it would not. Perhaps just seeing something triggers a flash of an idea that blossoms into flower, so that you feel the overwhelming urge to sketch or scribble immediately. But if that happens? You were lucky. You were in the right place at the right time. Don’t rely on that. 

When you are having difficulty tuning in to inspiration, there are many things that sometimes help, like honey to attract insects. What does inspiration like? Music, and words, and the natural beauty that lies all around us. Go out, immerse yourself in inspiration up to the neck. Take a journal with you and write and sketch everything you see into oblivion, and see if you can call it inspiration.

Unfortunately for me, when I am struck randomly with inspiration I tend to be otherwise occupied, like I was today. That scene is now sitting on my phone, waiting for me to type it up and (although it’s out of chronology) put it into my document. 

That makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. Being inspired makes me happy. But I did that. I got here. I decided that I wanted to be a writer, that I wanted to write, that I wanted to be inspired.

You decide. Don’t let your happiness be dependent on something so fickle and flighty as inspiration.