Where does inspiration come from? I don’t think anybody knows for sure. But there are some theories. The ancient Greeks were the forerunners of the arts. The believed that humans were inspired by the nine daughters of Zeus. They spurred mortal to do great, or terrible thing by influencing the course of their lives. These goddesses could use several thing as an impetus for change. I visited with Melpomne, the muse of tragedy, or at least, I thought it was a tragedy.
Have you ever worked hard for something in life? Worked really hard for it? Thought you wanted it, and then, realized it wasn’t what you wanted after all? Well, something like that happened to me, it was truly one of the most terrifying, experiences of my life. It altered forever, the way I viewed myself, and the world.
All of my life people have said that I am a very creative person,even artistic. But, for some reason, I never really being artistic, as an asset, I never thought that art paid the bills. To pay the bills, you had to be technical. I new one thing for certain, I wanted to be considered ‘Normal’ For a number of years, since I was born with Cerebral Palsy I know that having a disability can be hard, and I wanted to be considered Normal by those around me. So, for a number of years, I did what “Normal” people, I went to school, I had friends, I learned and I grew. During these years, I learned to accept people, and people learned to accept me. I graduated high-school and college as well.
When college was over over, it was time for me accept the responsibilities of a “normal” adult. I thought that being a Normal adult meant finding a job living on my own, etc. My undergraduate degree was in Psychology. Graduate school was not in the cards, and I could not find a job on Psychology. So, I decided to take classes at a community college while continuing to look for paid work.
I didn’t plan it, but, I ended up receiving an AA degree in Web multimedia Authoring. This meant that I learned to make webpages on the internet. I had always liked computers they’ve always been a pathway to independence for me. But the problem I encountered with the internet was the technology changed quickly, too quickly for me too keep up. Also, i developed pages slowly. They usually got finished, but they took a long time. It was hard for me to stick to a schedule. So, taking jobs for clients filled me with anxiety that i couldn’t quite seem to get rid of no matter how hard I tried. Yet, I persevered. If there’s one thing a disability teaches someone, it is the value of perseverance. I persevered and my skills grew somewhat.
During May of 2014. I was finally hired as a webmaster for a non-profit organization, for money. Finally! I had what I always wanted! It didn’t take long for the anxiety I had always felt to overwhelm me. But, I persevered because I finally had what I needed to be “Normal.” Yay for me! My anxiety got worse and developed into panic attacks. Eventually, I developed an “acute depressive episode”
Ever since I was young, I have felt that the only thing I really could control was my feelings, and my attitude towards the things that happened to me. Depression took that from me. I became obsessed with my job, I was always working on at the computer, but I wasn’t getting anything done. I became a frightened bitter, angry person, a person I didn’t want to be. My dream had become a nightmare, a tragedy.
So, this was “Normal?” Being normal sucked! I finally had what I always wanted yet, I felt awful. I felt farther away from normal as I could be! I decided to seek counseling to see if I could start feeling better.
It was about four sessions into my counseling sessions when something occurred to me, being Normal doesn’t necessarily mean having a paying job or your own house. That’s because being normal is not an objective state. Normality is a subjective state. It is different for everyone person. That means a person is normal, when they are happy with themselves. So, with that knowledge in mind, I told myself “Okay, stop thinking about what you need to reach an arbitrary standard set by somebody else, and start thinking about want you want to make yourself happy.” I remembered my time telling stories as a child, as soon as as the thought crossed my mind. I heard a voice: “Its about time.” I ended up choosing to quit my paid position and becoming a volunteer. This gave me time to write. I’m happier with myself now than, I have been in a long time.
Tragedy has been a staple of Greek drama, after meeting with Melpomne, and going through her machinations, the characters are endowed with knowledge and experiences they never expected. My own meeting meeting with Melpomne, compelled me to do something thought I would. She compelled me to change my definition of “Normalcy” Once that happened, I was inspired to hear Gendar’s voice and write his story. If I hadn’t gone through all the trouble with depression, I wouldn’t have been compelled to give writing a serious chance. Writing has allowed me to explore my authentic self. It is something I can do with minimal help some authentic self is coming through these words when you read them, you are hearing me, instead of others who may have to help me. That makes me happy.
Art imitates life. The central lesson of any Greek tragedy from Oedipus to the Illiad, is that obstacles and hardship beget strength. Meeting with Melpomne brings strength knowledge and will perhaps eventually, inspire the hero to grow and do things he never thought possible. Meeting with Melpomne has certainly done that for me.