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Creative Blockage? Call the Plumber

I heard from someone today who has an unwelcome mouse in their house. They told me they've seen a few holes where a mouse could be creeping into the house through the walls. They asked me about blocking up the holes.

I'm no mouse expert, but that certainly seemed like a smart idea. However, someone else told me that could pose a risk, as you may end up trapping a mouse inside the wall, leaving it to die (which is sad) and leaving it to smell (which is bad.)


Imagine your body as a house with a mouse problem. You may have had "mice" run amok in your "house" before. This rodent metaphor can manifest as people in your "house" (metaphorically, or literally) who ended up hurting you, or maybe something you did that caused other people to leave. Regardless, we all have messes, or unwanted experiences in our life that at some point may have caused us to retreat. We blocked up the holes where said "mice" could get in.


But now you either have a mouse running around your house that can't escape back into its hole, or you have a mouse that expired inside the wall, and it's causing a stink-a-roo.


That blockade is now getting in your way.


Ways you can feel blocked:

  • You're in the middle of writing, and you don't know where to go next.

  • You want to be a professional actor, but you can't get yourself to truly pursue it.

  • You're procrastinating, instead of writing.

  • You can't find anyone you want to date

  • You dislike more people than you actually like

  • You don't want to pursue anything new

  • You sit on the toilet for ages, and nothing... sorry- bad joke

I spent my summer vacations before 9th and 10th grades training as an actor at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.

My first summer there, I wore my Sony Discman (insert: dating myself) every day on my walk to class. During one of my acting classes, my teacher pointed out that I always have my headphones on when I'm walking around campus. "You're shutting everyone out," she said. Or something to that respect. "You're telling people that you don't want to talk to them." Again, I'm paraphrasing, but you get the gist. I think I continued to use my Discman after that, but less so, and also with much more self-awareness about my intention behind it.

Ms. Bellinger taught me a valuable lesson that day. There's nothing wrong with listening to your Discman/Walkman/iPod/iTouch/iPhone while walking around town. Listen to it to muffle ambient sounds, listen to it to put yourself in the right mood, or listen to it because it fills your soul. But be aware if you're listening to it in order to block out the world.



Hey, if you want to block out the world, go ahead. Lots of people live long, successful lives blockading themselves from anyone or anything they don't want to engage with.


Personally, I want to feel creatively and emotionally open, available, and serene, and when I block off the entrances into my metaphorical house, I block my creativity.


Whenever I meet someone who says they like dogs more than they like people, it seems to me that they think they've cracked some code that dogs are superior to people. But I disagree. Instead of looking at those people as having figured it out, I look at them as people who have given up on humanity.


Don't give up on other people, on yourself, or on the world. Open yourself up and see the potential in everything and everyone. You don't have to let the mice run amok, but you can at least take your headphones off and embrace the squeaks.


Today is a new day.

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