January: a fresh start, a new beginning, a blank sheet of paper!
How fucking horrifying.
As an always impossibly upbeat and optimistic person, I find myself being pessimistic during this time of the year whether it be because it is the closing of a year-long chapter or the start of a new, unknown one.
During winter, my creativity becomes a stagnant pool clogged inside of my arteries and sometimes I fear if I do not somehow flush it out, I will have a heart attack.
So, in an attempt to foster a new flow of energy and eradicate my own redundant thoughts, I have decided to step away from my current projects and focus on building this blog which will be far different than anything I have undertaken as a writer.
Now, do not mistake me, this does not make me brave or some saucy maverick. I am still very much afraid I will never return to my projects if I walk away from them for a few weeks. Which brings me to my first point: It is scary walking away from the familiar and comfortable. It is hard to walk away from something you know you’re good at. It is difficult to stop tight-roping on the line of “comfortable” and “uncomfortable,” and finally leaning towards one or the other.
With that being said, in my mind, I can think of no better maiden-voyage-post than one discussing the idea of walking away, moving on, or starting something new. As a writer, I have found the way I write is often very closely linked to the way I live my life: If I spend too much time on one aspect or project, I will, in fact, die.
Metaphorically, of course.
As humans, we are innately curious creatures, and sometimes when we exhaust ourselves on one piece of our life for too long, it spills into other parts of our life. Think back – Have you ever had a toxic relationship which required so much energy, it drained you? Did you ever focus so much on school it seemed like parts of your soul were drifting away? During all of this chaos, did you find your inspiration becoming misplaced? Well, of course, you did.
Whenever I feel this exhaustion bubbling inside of me, I know it is time to switch gears. This exhaustion for me is a lot like staring at an object for too long. Imagine your eyes have been stapled open and beady, red dots have started to flood in front of them. Now, a harsh, black haze hovers over your vision and everything becomes less clear. Finally, you are now one-hundred-percent blind, desensitized, and the only way you will be able to see again is if you blink or look at something else. And what I am trying to say is: it is okay to look at something else. It does not make you a failure to forego your manuscript for a few days or skip the gym for a week or even decide to date other people after a bad breakup. Sometimes, we become so attached to a project or a relationship or a hobby we feel like if we take a break or start something new, we are cheating on it. But, as they say, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”, and perhaps the best thing you can do for your passion whether it be a person or a thing is to give yourself a moment to blink. Starting something new breeds new inspiration you would have never seen before. Maybe, finally learning French will inspire the language for the indigenous people in your Sci-Fi novel you’ve been struggling with. If you go to that barre class you’ve been thinking about, it might help improve your strength in yoga class and you can finally overcome headstand.
I have been finding everything in life somehow compliments and builds on previous experiences you have had and this new journey could be that one effing building block you’ve been missing.
So, without further ado, get off of the couch, wash your hair, and pause Netflix. Now, take a deep breath, and have the grace to walk away from whatever project, relationship or responsibility that has been zapping your energy. It could be for an hour, a day, a week, or even for forever, but please, do yourself a favor and move on to something new before it is too late. You cannot keep yourself locked inside of the same box with no holes and expect yourself to still be able to breathe.
Image by: Morfes