I got to thinking about letting go. When do we know that it’s time to let go? How can we know? And will we do it? Letting go of things or people is absurdly difficult. Generally, our hearts tell us to hold on and our heads tell us to let go. Thank you, Grease
, for explaining that to me many moons ago. But in all seriousness: letting go can be healthy, even if it’s terrifying. Sometimes there is something better for us around the corner. Sometimes we must let go of our past to enter our future. And sometimes, that will change everything. But we mustn’t be afraid of that, for it could be the biggest reward of all.
I got to thinking about inspiration. Where do these creative people get their inspiration? Does that inspiration automatically translate to paper or lyrics or art? I’d like to think of myself as a creative person. My answer to this is simple: inspiration can come from anywhere. My Duke Creative Writers’ Workshop instructor, Adam, a wise playwright, once told me to write what I notice. He said to observe everything, everyone. You never know where inspiration will come from. Just the other day, I was eavesdropping in on a conversation like a good writer would, and heard some interesting things that could easily go into my novel. And it’s that kind of every day observation that makes me ponder the world, and that gives me utter inspiration to write my heart out. I’m inspired most days; that’s real creativity in action.
I got to thinking about keeping in touch. There are those who will fight for friendship; there are those who will not. What separates them? Keeping in touch. Keeping in touch may seem so menial, but it’s the root of friendship. We cannot sustain friendship by putting those we love on the backburner. And you know what? Keeping in touch is a simple act that has been lost. And it’s a shame. Call that friend you haven’t in awhile, even if they don’t keep in touch either. Friendship is a two-way street, but sometimes just one person has to make the first move. Be that person.
I got to thinking about fathers, just in the spirit of Father’s Day. There are those fathers who work too much; there are those fathers who neglect their daughters, leaving them to become promiscuous or violent or depressed; there are those fathers who hold their daughter’s hand in times of crisis… the kind of father who would do anything for his little girl. Fortunately, my father was type number three. I’ve come to realize how lucky I am. Not every girl has a father so devoted, so caring, so kind. Even girls I grew up with, whether they were my friends or not, didn’t have as loving fathers as I have. So, in the spirit of Father’s Day, I give a shout out to my father, and all the fathers like him. These are the fathers who should be emulated and celebrated. Thanks to them, little girls turn out well. At least, I’d like to think so.
I got to thinking about romance. What constitutes a romantic gesture? Buying your significant other roses? Chocolate? Flying across the country to see them? Personally, I’m partial to all. But I’m not really the type to be romantic. I would call myself a realist, certainly not a hopeless romantic. But you wouldn’t ever get that from my writing. I’m currently writing a love triangle and it’s simply divine. The romance is clear-cut and full of fireworks. Writing just makes all of that easier to say, more contained and special. Since I consider myself a realist, romance can be an awkward thing. But what I’ve discovered in the past four years: romance can be brought out in anyone with the right person. And romance doesn’t have to be a public display of affection. Romance can be eloquent, unequivocal love letters. Remember that.
I got to thinking about plans. There are those of us who plan everything in advance, from our meal on Thursday night to our vacation in Bora Bora for Christmas. Then, there are those of us who don’t plan past 5 o’clock. I will attest to being the former. I love plans. I like to know what I’m doing the next day or the next week. This isn’t because I need total control; well, maybe a little bit. But I enjoy having plans because then I have something to look forward to.
One of my new favorite things is to sit outside at my local Starbucks and simply read and read until my heart is content. I make a plan for this two or three times per week. And I look forward to it. There’s nothing wrong with setting a plan occasionally. When we do, we’ll realize the finer things in life. That’s really what life is about, right?
I got to thinking about pride. We all have it. But the question is: what’s the fine line between pride and stubbornness? In my experience, the line is so fine that we can’t always tell the difference. Pride can get in the way of things. Pride allows us to forgo apologies; pride helps us stick to our guns, even if we aren’t always right. All in all, pride is merely a tactic for those who won’t admit when they’re wrong. And let’s face it: we can’t always be right. But we can step away from our pride for just a moment each day. If we do this, we can unlock the door to owning up to our mistakes. And if we do that, there’s nothing we can’t do.
I got to thinking about missed opportunity. If we’re lucky, we’re presented with options. Sometimes our dreams come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes we have to choose. This missed opportunity is based on our choices. We could’ve done that, we should’ve done this, why didn’t we choose that? And sometimes this missed opportunity makes us full of regret, leaving us to feel bitter and angry. But we shouldn’t feel angry. We chose based on what we felt, or needed to do, in the moment. We cannot regret that. Also, we should remember that getting a choice is the luckiest thing we’ll ever get. There’s no missed opportunity in that.
I got to thinking about love. Love makes us better, loves makes us stronger, and love lets us forgive. There is nothing grander than love. Love is so much more than love. Love is unconditional friendship. You know you’re in love with someone when their face won’t leave your thoughts, when everything you see reminds you of them, when there’s not a day that goes by in which you are incredibly grateful to have found them, but terrified that it’ll all go away in an instant. We must always remember to love those we hold dear to our hearts with a sense of friendship. There is no love without friendship. Friendship and love go hand in hand, because, what is love without a little laughter?
I got to thinking about goodbyes. Sometimes it’s not a ‘see you later.’ Sometimes we must say goodbye, and that’s that. I used to not watch new TV shows just because I knew that one day they would come to an end and I would have to say goodbye. Then I realized that was how I lived my whole life; not having experiences and being afraid to say goodbye. I struggled in relationships, friendships, and everything else because of this. But then I learned that it is okay to say goodbye. It may be awful at the time, but time heals all goodbyes.