I Mean No One Really NEEDS Two Ears, Right?

by Mel

“Am I perpetually unhappy, or am I perpetually inspired?”

So, I read that on this blog the other day, and it kind of stopped me in my tracks. Those words pretty much summed up a question I have been asking myself for as long as I can remember. I certainly don’t feel like I live a life devoid of happiness….but I know I am in a perpetual state of discontent. It has taken me a long time to realize that that can be an okay thing. I mean, if I were all happy and satisfied all of the time, would I have any drive to explore new options, create new things, reinvent myself, or pursue a new dream? Would I even have any big dreams?  Over the course of my adult life, I have started more projects than I can count…including making jewelry, trying my hand at writing, and, of course, photography. In a lot of cases, I have fallen flat on my face, but something keeps me coming up with new big ideas that I just have to try. And I have managed to pick up quite a few things that I enjoy doing along the way, which is a cause for happiness, not unhappiness, right? But I would be lying if I said that my bouts of creativity and inspiration do not coincide with periods that I feel…well…bad. Any time that I am stressed, or anxious, or depressed, or overwhelmed….those are the times I feel most compelled to create something. The work I create during those times is also usually the work I am most pleased with. I am not sure that emotional turmoil is a requirement for creativity, but I imagine it is no coincidence that art and madness are so often linked. Van Gogh, anyone? And while I don’t plan on chopping off my ear, or any other body part, for that matter…..I know that with all that I have been struggling with lately, my hands have been itching to pick up my camera. (Do they make an ointment for that?) (and while we are on the subject, how gross of a word is “ointment”? I hate that word. Oint. Ment. Bleh.) So, while I spend my fair share of time in the shadows, I am not sure I would trade away the desire to create, for a life of living in the sun. Oh man, how pretentious does that sound? But, for right now at least, it is true for me. And my camera is calling.