It’s Wednesday of the first week where I haven’t been bombarded by training at my new job. I’m launching into new projects and already feel fairly accomplished in just a short time of being at my first real, non-internship engineering position. I moved into a bigger apartment, am getting a new car, and have a whole summer of stories from traveling abroad to tell (kfdevault.wordpress.com). It would seem like things are just falling into my lap, but they definitely didn’t fall there. Seeing this quote got me to thinking about it.
Waiting for the perfect moment is something I would normally prefer. When I first read this quote, I was imagining me as an artist. I can sit down to my favorite pencils and paper and just be completely incapable of drawing anything. Then there are the times when inspiration just hits, I drop absolutely everything, and I crank out my best piece to date in less than an hour. Just two nights ago I was watching my favorite movie (Silver Lining Playbook) when I was sparked to draw Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence). I’m not sure how I did it, but I drew her without looking up at the screen and undoubtedly drew Jennifer’s portrait. On just any spontaneous moment, I wouldn’t ever be able to do that. So I feel like inspiration is not a spontaneous thing.
But inspiration doesn’t mean the “perfect moment” or the perfect reason to start something. This quote has a little deeper of a meaning than just that. When you know something needs to happen and you find the inner fire and drive that will fuel that thing to happen, that’s generating your own inspiration. That’s almost like a survival instinct kicking in and forcing you to seize an opportunity that you have to make before you can seize it. That would be me at my art stand when I was an artist at Kaman’s, forced to replicate a human with pastel in less than five minutes of seeing his or her face. That would be me almost exactly two years ago.
I hear so many people who don’t have jobs and who are shocked when they find I came back from a summer abroad to begin work. They find it hard to believe that I picked up a job as quickly as I did. But I never had that perfect moment. In fact, my resume is now so full that it only contains things within the last two years. It took me years to build myself – personally and professionally – before I could make it to where I am now. It took encouragement from some friends and a feeling of both urgency and need to land the interview that got me this job. But more important than the interview and everything else was that moment two years ago as a junior when I realized I was in a terrible position to be hired in a year and decided to take a year off of schooling to find work in my field. I think some of it was incredible luck finding the first company to give me that opportunity, but nonetheless the inspiration came from my acknowledgment of having absolutely nothing on my plate.
There was no perfect moment; I had to make it. In two years, that moment finally bloomed to its full potential and none of it was easy for one second along the way. Sometimes I feel like a steel rod supporting everything and I wonder – if you bend me too much and stress me out – if I may suddenly just snap from fatigue. But I guess that’s everyone. Even wild animals have their own daily stresses to deal with. But they’re prey. They don’t get to sit back and make educated decisions. They just run with it. You do. You have the time. And you’re capable of making more of it. So don’t wait for that perfect moment; just make it.