As in, where the fuck has my inspiration gone?
As in, I’ve worked for the last 6 years of my life studying towards a degree but what the fuck is happening now that I am about to graduate?
The; dun dun naaa, what the heck is next? And can I actually be bothered doing what I have been doing for the last however many years?
I call this the clarity after the ‘working haze.’ And it has nothing to do with clarity at all. In fact, it is quite literally the opposite. It is, rather, a haze of insecurity, a clouded sense of self; and a very misappropriated motivation.
It is everything BUT clarity. But, I just mean, it is that moment of; ‘oh my god what is happening’ after a long period of being immersed in whatever it is you were doing before.
And what a strange occurrence that a period characterised with such a lack of clarity could follow a period of such extreme focus. As if the degree you just worked towards wasn’t enough to satisfy your idle curiosity from asking, no DEMANDING, to know what the next move is.
It is like; Just a second please, I dropped my inspiration. Hold on, let me just find that amidst the chaos that has suddenly become my life.
But there is no respite for minds that wander too often and too far.
In reality this phenomenon is not new.
It is actually unbelievably natural.
After doing anything for a prolonged period of time you can lose inspiration. And I mean anything; university, your career, relationships, that back alley restaurant that you’ve been going to for the last 10 years… anything can become unsensational after a while.
But knowing that something isn’t novel or any the more unique doesn’t make it any easier to understand what the heck to do once it is gone, now does it?
Because how do we re find our inspiration after we reach a goal? How do we find our inspiration after we simply lose it? Where do we go after something comes to an end? How do we re find what brings us alive?
What the fuck do we do when we are suddenly stuck?
I suppose in the university context many people find jobs and the ‘real world’ starts.
Some people travel; some people suck it up and continue whatever the hell they were doing that was making them feel uninspired in the first place. Some people have midlife crises and buy porches that they then drive up and down Sunset far too fast.
And that is all good an dandy if that is what you chose. But what about when you desperately want to re find that inspiration and you have absolutely no idea what your next move is? How do we take the first step into reengaging with ourselves?
I am beginning to realise that the first critical step is remembering to be gentle with yourself.
It is so easy to get angry with ourselves when we do not feel fulfilled.
It is even easier to get angry with ourselves when we have been on a certain path for a long time; given all our energies to that path, and then suddenly we feel that that path isn’t for us anymore, even though we might not even really understand why that is.
That is flippin’ frustrating! Like, hello, time? Could you have told me sooner? Could we have saved some of those moments for whatever the heck it is that I AM supposed to be doing?
But beating ourselves up and causing more distress isn’t going to do a gosh darn thing. It isn’t, and what’s more, it is a further waste of your time. Remind yourself that you don’t need to waste any more of that, and that whatever it is you need to do, you will do it, but anger isn’t going to get that done. Be understanding with yourself, be gentle – for God’s sake, we have enough problems on our hands!
Humans innately need purpose.
But when we lose purpose, or are unsure in which direction our next purpose lies;
What do we do?
So much of it depends on who we are.
And I know that is not a direct help.
But unlike a self-help book that attempts to lay it out easily;
I don’t think the majority of things in life are easy – particularly when it comes to ourselves, our purpose, change, and who we are.
Personally, I don’t think they should be easy though – these are intricate questions; questions that can take a life time to really understand!
And I think, therefore, in terms of answering these questions; the only thing that really helps, or at least the only thing that really helps me; are helpful reminders of the things that, I think, a lot of people already kind of know in their hearts to be true.
Being uninspired is natural. It happens. Make sure you tell yourself that you aren’t alone, this isn’t the first time someone on this earth has been uninspired, and it certainly will not be the last. You might have failed, but you are not a failure. You will be okay, this might take a lot of work, you might be really frustrated, it might not be easy, but you are going to be okay.
And then you need to understand what the heck happened, and WHY you are feeling uninspired.
Have you just reached a goal and now you are moving on to a new chapter in your life?
Are you wondering what that next chapter is?
Are you unsure as to whether that next chapter is actually what you want?
Do you need a bloody break from the path you are on?
Did you just end a relationship?
Are you thinking you need to end a relationship?
Are you just bloody stuck in a place that you don’t friggin’ want to be anymore?
The first step in helping ourselves has to be to really understand and get to the bottom of what the heck has changed. And sometimes that involves introspection to a level that often we as humans are not really inclined to do. But we must! You are worth it! And as much as the decisions we reach might disappoint us at first, in the end, they often will bring us to outcomes that will be the best for us.
We must know the why to understand the how and where.
And while we are doing that, we MUST be gentle and kind with ourselves. Just try, okay? So much of our lives is spent trying to learn and be better, just give yourself a break sometimes. Be kind with your journey! This stuff is hard.
That being said, keep reminding yourself! Even when your angry with yourself, disappointed with yourself, whatever you feel, keep looking in the mirror and telling yourself that this is the journey you are on, and that you WILL get to the end result that is best for YOU.
And then persevere. I mean seriously persevere. Find each and every opportunity to figure yourself out.
Go into nature, find some solitude, go out and do something that scares the shit out of you. Go do the thing you said you’d never do; do the thing that everyone thinks is stupid.
Be absolutely fucking relentless with yourself.
Maybe you think you know what is best for you and what isn’t, but how the fuck can you REALLY know unless you try. Unless you go out there and actually find out?
Because that thing you think is stupid; that you shouldn’t be doing? That might get you nowhere? That thing could be the thing that saves you!
Life isn’t about doing what you think is hard fast and easy.
It is about exploring and finding out what makes you ALIVE. What you are GOOD at, what you are PASSIONATE about.
Stop listening to other people; stop looking at social media, stop letting anything or anyone else define your journey.
Inspiration doesn’t happen hoping that something will pass you by that inspires you. Inspiration happens when you are doing; even if that does happen to involve sitting completely blimmin’ still.
Inspiration is the thing that makes you feel alive again; that gives you the clarity to know; really know, what your next step is.
So be gentle with yourself, but also be relentless. Do what you need to do to re-discover your path and your passion – and then pick it back up and get to work building your dreams.
I believe in you! You should too gosh darn-it!
ps – sorry mum and dad about all the swear words.