Ordinary life moved in, did inspiration move out?
There is a specific word in Finnish that describes all the things in ordinary life. It’s called arki. It’s all the balls of dust that formed in the corners of your home since your last weekly cleaning, all the everyday meals made in a rush and the dog walks that get on your nerves, because the dog refuses to move. It’s dragging yourself to the gym in pouring rain and customer service in tricky situations at your job. Being busy, organizing things and running behind on schedules. I jumped into all that after an epic five-week adventure abroad. Ordinary life slapped me hard in the face, but did it take away all the inspiration I had attained during my trip? Not quite.
Even though there is a general norm about how everyday life should be, the truth really is that our ordinary life is exactly how we build it. We can complain about our jobs, relationships, hobbies and life in general as much as we want, but we also have the choice to look the truth in the eyes, admit that something doesn’t work and change that towards a direction that’s better for our well-being. So, we can accept that our everyday life isn’t what we want it to be, stop complaining and live it. Or, we can do something about things so there is less things to complain about. By acting like a martyr and complaining we are wasting precious time that we could be spending much happier.
Everyone has limits and restrictions, but there is always something, even the smallest little thing, we can do to shift life more toward the direction we want it to go to. This inspiration of a new ordinary life has stuck with me very strongly after my trip: only I am responsible for my happiness and my life being the way I want it to be. I can create it just the way I want to, without being stuck in roles and expectations other people put on my back. People can understand my decisions, or they may not – either way, it doesn’t really matter what other people say, if my choice feels right for me. The same goes for you, too! No one else can define what the best everyday life is for you.
What I just wrote sounds very selfish in a way, but is it, though? Is it wrong to want a life that looks and feels like yourself and work hard to achieve our dreams, despite of what others think about them? If we wander through life only pleasing everyone else, we are sure to lose ourselves. We can live for other people until we die, but the most important person in our life should always be yourself. We can’t control other people’s emotions, actions or what results from them, but we have to live with ourselves forever. As long as you don’t try to intentionally hurt anyone, I don’t think it’s selfish to aspire to live a life that represents you: chase after your dreams and make ordinary life how you want it to be.
Even though the inspiration about life has stayed strong after my trip, the inspiration for writing took a downfall while fighting jetlag. I felt like my whole brain was one big mush and couldn’t get anything creative done. Now that I’ve had some rest, I feel like I have more inspiration than I can handle. I just want to write, write and write some more. I feel like New York reminded me why I love writing so much and gave me encouragement that I could truly succeed in it. And why couldn’t I? I’m the biggest obstacle in my own way! I sincerely recommend taking some time off from your everyday life. It gives you so many new angles and lots of new things to think about. It makes those dreams that were pushed away in the hurry of everyday life start to feel possible again.
So, to answer the question in the title: ordinary life moved in, but inspiration stayed. In that way my trip was a definite success! It will be interesting to see what my everyday life looks like in a year or five years. There has been so much change in the air in the past year that I have a gut feeling things will be quite different compared to now. Do you have some type of changes you would like to make in your everyday life? What is holding you back from making them happen?
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