I have lots of ideas. I sweep floors at work and daydream, I roll silverware and daydream, I fill up ice machines with scoop after scoop of ice and I daydream and I come up with lots of ideas.
Paint your kitchen! Rip out all the carpet in your basement since you hate it so much! Declutter your house a bag at a time! Scroll Pinterest for backyard landscaping ideas! Go on a retreat, go to Nashville, carve out an office space in your house where you can really get some good work done! Invite people over for dinner for no reason! Turn all those apples and pears into crisps and pies and sauces! Get the word out about your shows and ask your friends to come! Lose the weight why don'tcha?
So many ideas. So many things that I keep up there twirling around while I clean up and vacuum. So many things I wish I could do if I just had the time, the money, the motivation. There are books to read, albums to listen to, shows to go to, blogs to write, pictures to order, thank you notes to write and closets to clean. You'd think I'd be a machine.
But I'm not. Because after rolling all that silverware and sweeping all those floors. After getting first verses written on runs down dirt roads, I walk back through my front door and the neon sign in my head starts flashing, "That's stupid. You're stupid. That's stupid."
The ideas are getting beat up like street punks and I'm the one kicking their asses.
Why is that? Why can't my ideas just be cool and why can't I be cool with them instead of turn traitor and it comes to blows?
On my more rational days I say, "OK, Hopie. Not all of this can happen, but some of it can. Let's order your dreams from one to ten and have at it."
But I've been trained pretty good in the "That's stupid/ you're stupid" method (Side note: That'll either be my next band name or the title of my autobiography) and for so long that even when I want to try a new approach, my brain is trained to respond to dreams accordingly.
In the sage words of Emily White, "Your brain is your body's worst enemy." And, in my case, it's totally true.
How do I save the ideas? How do I let them live or at least loiter in the corner without smothering them with a pillow? I'm like a CIA operative. I'm like the Jason Bourne of thinking. I just go after the enemy (in this case ideas of new things) with stealth precision and snuff out the threat somewhere along the Thames or under the Eiffel Tower while talking into an earpiece I didn't even know I was wearing until a British voice tells me to karate chop the hell out the suspect code name: Build window boxes to plant flowers in.
Sometimes I turn to others. I ask for help or encouragement. But most of the time my brain says, "Everyone is dealing with this crap and no one has time for you to unload or ask for a pep talk." Keeping it to myself is a really important part of the "That's stupid/you're stupid" life plan.
And here's the thing. I'm currently doing a group project where I've been chosen as a "Change Maker." A change maker is someone in the community who is trying new things and doing stuff. The struggle is real. The flip side to beating up my ideas is that I have stuff that actually needs to get done and so the production line can't stop altogether. I know this. You know this. I think we understand one another.
So the best I can do is reach out to my enemy, help the ideas get back on their feet and use whatever strength I have left to get something done. One box of clutter, one song just to say I wrote something, one crappy workout and a piece of fruit and hpe tomorrow goes better.
Some might say I need to really grow outmy horribleness. Some might say I just have to figure out how to survive alongside all my bad habits. Some might say this CIA operative should hang up her ways, go to her high school reunion and discover her own humanity by rekindling a romance she left broken with the local indie radio DJ (no, wait, that's Grosse Pointe Blank).
I don't know, you guys. Seriously. I don't know. The message of hope I have learned through all of it is to not wait around for my brain to right itself before getting work. That's the good news. On the days when the "That's stupid/you're stupid" impulse isn't as strong then I'm gonna do what I can. And every time I drop a few coins into the ideas bucket or wave the white flag of surrender instead of ambushing them with fisticuffs, then it'll get easier the next time we meet in a dark alley.
So your broken self still has some fight in it. Just stop kicking your own ass so much and turn your attention to stuff you wanna get done. That's what I'm over here praying to do. I love you guys. Peace.