Droopy Jowls uplifts a droopy spirit aka System shutdown – I’m back up now


I can try and use every excuse in the book. Heck, I’ll even borrow some of Eskom’s. Generator malfunction? (Does a woman’s monthly cycle count?) Staff shortage? Yes I know I am only one person but I’ve definitely come up short here. Wet weather? Yes there was plenty of it last week. Inferior coal resources? Er, no I don’t think I can use that one I suppose…
The thing is, there is no excuse. I can’t even blame it on writers’ block this time because it wasn’t. Emotional block would be a better term if you were looking for one. For more than a week I had not done a stitch of work. Not a line, not even a bit of research to fool myself into thinking I was working. I deliberately downed my tools to take a little holiday on the island of Pessimism. And no I did not enjoy myself.

Doubting every virtue I possess and questioning the choices I have made, I seemed to be plunging deeper and deeper into self-loathing and misery. I wanted to give up my dream. Then you know what comes next right? No, I didn’t kill myself (if I did you wouldn’t be reading this).
At times like these, your head starts to swirl around the most famous questions ever unanswered: Why are we here? What am I doing here? What is my life’s purpose? Why is Julius Malema such an idiot? Is there a higher power? And so on and so forth.
Well unfortunately I do not have the answers to the above questions, but my return date from the island back to reality did come quicker than I expected, for I had come across a certain quotation:

Never, never, never give up.

Now this seems like a simple saying, quite clichéd in fact; lacking that certain profundity that comes with great quotations. What made it special to me however, was the person who said it.
Anybody who knows me well knows that I have a soft spot in my heart for Sir Winston Churchill. Him with the droopy jowls and trademark victory sign, it is so hard to imagine what the world would have been like without him. It must be hard to stay motivated when you keep telling people that this Hitler bloke is trying to take over the world but nobody believes you. If the Nazis where nearly outside Britain’s doorstep, what would you do as the Prime Minister? I’ll tell you what I would have done. Being the complete coward that I am, I would have faked a panic attack and had myself temporarily committed to a psychiatric ward until the War was over.
Now I know it’s a far cry but compared with what Sir Droopy Jowls had to contend with, my little insecurities and problems seem quite pathetic. Mere trifles.
Now I have always told myself that it is wrong to compare but I’ve realized that sometimes comparisons can bring real perspective to your outlook on life as long as you don’t overdo it (comparing spouses and children is not cool!). In this case it has been very motivating. There was a point last week when I wanted to crawl into a hole in the ground and hope it would swallow me up. But Sir Winston didn’t give up did he? And yet the whole Nazi zeitgeist tried to swallow him up didn’t they?

Maybe in another life I will be able to deal with a fanatical, idealistic movement/empire attempting to kick my ass and take over my land. But for now I think I will resort to keeping my inner Gestapo at bay. I have also come to accept that, as long as I am doing what I do I will always have these ‘blue’ periods. It’s an occupational hazard. Therefore I have not chastised myself even though I have lost a week and a half. It’s fine. I’ve dealt with it and now its all systems go.

Look to people who inspire you when you are down. They are your heroes for a reason: to pull you out of the very quicksand that life threw you into. Even if they don’t know it.

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4 thoughts on “Droopy Jowls uplifts a droopy spirit aka System shutdown – I’m back up now

  1. skombie says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one having meltdowns! I have a quote from Asimov stuck on my wall. “If the doctor gave me 6 minutes to live, I’d write a little faster.” Seems to inspire me.

    • Nisha says:

      It just seems to be part of our genetic core to have these ‘meltdowns’. You can’t call yourself a writer until you have one of these!! Lol 🙂

  2. Hi Nisha and I hate to steal your thunder (actually, stealing thunder is way out of my competence paradigm) but it is a kind of welcome into the world of Writery – that special world where writers exist in isolation from other lesser mortals. Your travails are all too common for writers and (apparently) for all humans. However, what does set you out from so many others is your refreshing honesty about what has been going on, inside and outside, and I’m sure that honesty with yourself helped to expunge the blues (or blacks?) so quickly … though, at the time, I’m sure it didn’t feel very quick!

    So, you’re a very good writer and very honest human and I wish all the very best in your chosen (wacky?) career and in discovering why you’re here … if you find out, please let me know at philip@philipbradbury.info.

    Kia ora
    Philip Bradbury

    • Nisha says:

      Hearing these words from an actual successfully published author really does make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, thanks Philip!
      I think knowing that I’m not the only one and that it is actually a common state of being for writers in general also helps to expunge the blues, as you say.
      If I ever do find out what I’m suppose to be doing here, you and the rest of the world will definitely know about it.
      Thanks again for the feedback, really appreciate it! 🙂

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