This has not been a red-letter day. It all started this morning when, against my better judgment, the need for sustenance drove me out of my home on one of the most chaotic days of the year: Black Friday. (Dun, dun, dunnn!)
Normally, I do my shopping at 3AM, but thanks to the holiday, my local grocery store didn’t open until seven. Here’s a view of the parking lot when I got there:
It took me almost ten minutes to find a parking space. Longer to find my car after I left the store.
When I finally extricated myself from the crowded parking lot and returned home triumphantly bearing my groceries for the week, here is what I found:
One of the lights in the elevator was out and, if you’ve ever ridden in a creaky, dimly lit elevator, then you know that it’s pretty much the creepiest experience ever. (Next to getting lost in a cornfield, only to run into a chainsaw wielding zombie clown. But seriously, how often does that happen?) This left me with a difficult choice: either lug my increasingly heavy groceries up three flights of stairs or use an elevator pulled from just about every horror movie ever made.
I took the stairs.
Then, because the laundry center on my floor was out-of-order, I spent the next three hours trudging up and down the stairs to use the second floor one.
Overall, it was a shitty day.
Then it got better the moment I sat down to my computer to write. The stress of the day vanished, to be replaced by another, more pleasant, kind. The stress that comes with creating new worlds and populating them with interesting characters. Knowing that, no matter how fast you type, you’ll never get all the ideas out of your head and on to the screen. Something will slip through the cracks, or get lost in translation or – if you’re anything like me – deep down you’ll realize that life is too short. You won’t live long enough to write every story, sing every song, or paint every picture you have inside you.
Is it the same for you? Do you wake up at night, heart racing, fingertips itching to get at a keyboard? Do you spend your days lost in a world of your own imagining, arguing with yourself or holding conversations with your characters? (Or is that just me?)
It can be exhilarating and exhausting, that feeling of racing, hurtling, through the cosmos, driven by the engine of your own imagination. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. It’s what makes all the work, the fear and frustration, the rejections, worthwhile.
Just not creepy elevators.
P.S. Most of you have probably heard of it already, but I just discovered a fantastic blog called Hyperbole and a Half.
You can check it out here: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/
Somehow, this woman manages to make even depression funny.