Life. It is its own person, interacting with you in a diverse spectrum of emotional ways. It comforts, it replenishes, it annoys, it devastates. It beats you down and lifts you up.
This has never been more true for me than the past couple of weeks.
Since my last post, I accomplished one of my life-long dreams. I’m an avid learner, but have had an uphill battle finishing my degree. It’s not because I’ve had difficulty with the material. It was a lack of vision as to what degree to get. Because of horrible advice early on, I stumbled around avoiding the arts, and dually missing my passion. I’m ashamed of how long it’s taken to gain clarity. Don’t get me wrong; all those wrong turns have sculpted me and taught me. But how I wish that could have happened while I was also doing what I love.
On October 17th, though, I turned in my final assignment, and became the first person in my family to ever finish a degree. In that moment, Life threw me up into the air like a father with his child, and I was giddy, weightless, slightly terrified but in awe.
A few days later, Life smacked me into the ground. Not just knocked me out of the air; Life threw me onto the pavement like The Hulk with Loki, then ground its heel into my temple. Migraines raged and made movement challenging, let alone functioning within my little world. All the while, members of my family and co-workers were bogged down with colds and fevers, and I was desperately fighting from getting caught up in the germy fun.
In the midst of all this, I’ve been contemplating what I write. It is a common expression for aspiring authors to hear “write what you know.” Virginia Woolf takes it even further, saying, “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” So, I’ve been asking myself, what have these weeks of roller coaster Life deposited into my soul, crafted into my experience?
Everything is fodder for creativity. Every experience is offered up upon the alter of creativity by Life, and awaits our interpretation and transformation.
The moment of hitting “submit” on that final paper and the weight of stress, strapped onto my shoulders like a two-ton backpack, rolling off. The intense pressure pounding into my brow with pinpoint accuracy and unrelenting fervor. The moment after the elation wears off, and the mundane returns, leaving the postpartum melancholy. Or the sweet release of pain when I open my eyes and the brilliance of day no longer burns but cheers. All these Life moments are the building blocks of great stories. They are fodder for my fiction.
What fodder has Life given you lately?