I’m sorry I’ve been away. It’s been a crazy month. I’ve been on a few adventures, spent time with the loveliest people, and read quite a few books. Granted, I’ve also watched a whole passel of television/movies/youtube videos, and I won’t even pretend like I haven’t been excellent at wasting time.
I just haven’t written.
I’ve been looking for a good term for this terrible mood that comes over me every few months. Some call it a funk, others writer’s block, others plain stubbornness. I’m leaning toward calling the mood —
A bit too twee, but there’s a story, which has nothing to do with the friendliest flower.
There’s this show that came out in the late 90s called Spaced. Centered around young people who aren’t sure what to do with their lives, the show is strange and short-lived and super nerdy (before nerdy was hott). I found it terribly amusing and highly recommend it if–and only if–you’re a fan of the Pegg-Wright sensibility (see: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). Of course, I flew through its two seasons in no time at all (thanks again, Netflix).
The central characters are Simon Pegg’s Tim and his flatmate Daisy, played by Jessica Stevenson. Daisy is a writer, because she has a proper typewriter that she lugs onto the kitchen table to do her work. The problem is that she doesn’t really do any writing work. She sort of tries (i.e. sits down), and then something always comes up. Maybe her landlady stops by; maybe Daisy just finds something else that is more pressing–maybe that’s wearing comfy pants and watching television.
I know nothing about that.
Okay, okay. Sometimes my Daisy days are just borne out of plain ole laziness. I’d rather turn off my brain and watch How I Met Your Mother reruns on WGN. But sometimes Daisy days are born out of chores getting in the way, the fear of trying, the inability to breathe. Sometimes they are marked by scary questions: Why do I feel the need to do this? What if nothing comes of this? What good does this do?
And the worst Daisy days are when all of the above are combined into one giant soul-stirring pot, with a healthy dollop of the pain of the world. It can be too much to handle.
Then my Daisy days spiral into a habit. A habit of not writing, not trying, ignoring the little WordPress icon in my browser bookmarks. Then it’s hard to get back into anything. To feel like I have anything to say. Or even worse: that I have too much to say, and I somehow am preventing myself from saying it.
But then I read books like The Alchemist, that confirm following your Personal Legend is difficult but the only worthwhile pursuit. And I listen to authors speak on podcasts, and hear them say, “Write. You must write.” And I watch musicians and comedians and nerds that I admire do things that shouldn’t be possible, follow dreams that shouldn’t amount to anything, and I realize:
I need to change my days. And there is hope for the reluctant dream follower.
I’m pretty sure that Daisy days are always going to be part of my life. But there is hope in community, in inspiration, in just sitting down and doing the hard work, even if no one reads it, even if no one’s there, even if you missed your one shot – once or twice.
So here’s to April 25, to fresh starts, to discipline, to stopping eating enormous amounts of chocolate. Here’s to sunshine, to typing, to finishing the things we said we’d finish a long time ago. Here’s to being behind the times, nerdy, obsessive, and reconciling yourself to yourself.
Here’s to new beginnings, simply because the last new beginning didn’t work out as well as we’d hoped. Because we can and we should and we must.