Tag Archives: inspiration

Dr. Seuss and Me

1 Nov

In 2005, when I graduated from high school, I, like millions of other kids, got the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”  It was given to me by my favorite teacher, and she left me an inscription.

Sarah,

Can’t wait to see all of “the places you’ll go!”  You’ll change the world, you’ve already changed mine…Have a great life!

Love,

Mrs. Clary xxoo

Upon receipt of this gift, I enthused how much I loved it and gave my teacher a big hug.  Then I, like millions of other kids, packed the book in some random drawer, and forgot about it for the next five years.

Sometime in March, I was digging around in my memory chest (what, you don’t have one?) for an old photo album, and I saw the book.  I had totally forgotten I owned it, and couldn’t remember the story at all.  So I read it, and it made me cry.  I guess I was particularly discouraged that day, and a candy colored book filled with nonsensical words and an A-B-A-B rhyming scheme was the pick-me-up I needed.  The inscription from Mrs. Clary was so nice to see–maybe I’d forgotten my potential, but she didn’t.

I keep “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” on my desk, and I reread it every so often.  I’ve had Hang-ups and Bang-ups.  I’ve been caught in a prickle-ly perch, I’ve lingered at the Waiting Place, and I’ve heard the Hakken-Kraks howl.  But when I hear that 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed that I’ll move mountains, and what’s more, that my own mountain is waiting patiently for me, a high flying Mind-Maker-Upper, how can I stay in a Lurch or a Slump?

I’m sure the rest of us have our little, random pick-me-ups too.  Some of you may like that new Katy Perry song about lighting the fireworks you have in your chest that are brighter than the moon, moon, moon and will make all your adversaries go “Oh! Oh! Oh!” as these fireballs shoot from your heart.  Whatever, I can’t judge.  When it comes to feeling good, you need what you need.  I would be embarrassed that a children’s book is my source of inspiration and motivation, but since it’s written by Dr. “My books are filled with allegories for war and Hitler” Seuss, I feel slightly better about my maturity level.

In case some of you haven’t read it, here’s a little video of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” narrated by John Lithgow for you to watch.  (All the brainsy and footsy people are doing it.)

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Best if used by…

24 Jun

Sarah says I have to prove I am not a robot by writing a “feelings” post on this blog. F that. Robots can’t appear convincingly in multiple video blog posts like I did. So there, Sarah. Eat my shorts.

I’m not a robot, but I do have feelings and part of this blog is sharing. So, Sarah will get part of her wish at least anyway. To be honest, I am not stuck in a rut. I am not riddled by the What-if Gremlin. I don’t think I’m even on the feelings cosine roller-coaster. That’s because I have a job, and it’s one that I actually kinda like.

My issue is that even though I have a job, I am so far from having my life figured out. A job does not equal stability or even mild satisfaction. Even worse, I worry that having a job is timing-out my inspiration. To put it as the book Rework does, “Inspiration is perishable.”

One of the great things about being a liberal artist is that I have no shortage of inspiration, but the ability and opportunity to act upon inspiration is limited. I fear my job and a devotion to doing my job well barricades me from thinking beyond the job. What’s going to fulfill me beyond a paycheck and an office? What question or problem should I spend my life devoted to addressing? What defines a career? These questions aren’t in focus.

It’s a privileged fear, I know. Most people would say, “you should be thankful to have work” and “put your head down and just work.” But that’s not who I am. I can’t let inspiration go to waste because it’s probably the only thing I have going for me.