I sat out today to feel the feels and write from the complexity they delivered. I’d write something soulfully beautiful and slightly haunting. And then the shoe to sock dilemma, the standstill traffic while almost peeing my pants, the drop offs, the music that kept cutting out and my favorite area of the coffee shop was full of girls gabbing and one dude spreading his stuff across three seats at the bar. I finally set down to write and this equation just kept taunting and belittling me:
Motivation - inspiration = frustration
All the special magic of my writing morning has been sucked dry and replaced with the realization that every white girl in here has the same pair of beige booties that I do and I’m hungry and tired and running out of minutes every minute.
And then some part of me remembered gumption. JUST DO THE WORK. Suck it up little girl and work with what you’ve got. Life has limits and disappointment and-- whatever the opposite of inspiration is, and you have to roll with it. Creativity isn’t beauty until it’s met with hard work.
That’s life though, isn’t it? The good things don’t just appear out of thin air or fate or what writers romanticize into magic. It takes work. Dirt under your nails, sweat down your neck, work. No short cuts.
Recently, a much younger friend asked how it was that me and my husband “did that.” How did we ebb and flow together so well? We always seem to be on the same page, how do we do that?
A question that could only be answered with one response: laughter. If you could have seen us in year one, we nearly killed each other. We certainly killed many a social gathering with our constant bickering. We were NEVER in the same book, much less the same page.
This friend, he sees magic, and inspiration, and fate. We know the work, the grit, and the countless apologies.
He sees #relationshipgoals and we know where the conflict and sacrifices are buried.
He sees the light in our eyes when we talk about each other, we see the reflection of memories, pain, illness and victory.
He sees the nights out with glittery clutches and heels and dinner reservations, we know rushed weekday and grungy weekend mornings.
We aren’t more in love than anyone else (well...I mean I do kind of like the idea that we are, but that’s just the writer in me), we aren’t meant to be, or perfectly compatible.
We chose each other and we chose each other every day with the work (and the play, the play is also very good and necessary). Work is under rated. We all want to believe that all you have to do is chose a dream, find the love, and take a step in the right direction and then all will mystical and magical until the very happily ever end.
It doesn’t matter if your talking marriage or writing or future chasing of any variety-- it’s the work: the knees to the ground, pulling the weeds, day in and day out, putting your head down and doing the thing-- that’s the magic formula. There’s no shortcuts, just do the work.