That Spark

Another restless night. Bare and uncovered in the darkness I listen to the hum of whirring motors that fill the void with mechanical life. Outside, street lamps give off a dull yellow glow. I picture them, imperfect, tilted in the ground, left by some worker who figured the task completed well enough. My central air has failed me and I make do with open windows and screen doors to manage a more temperate climate. I acknowledge the heat and the beading humidity. In these moments I turn inwards.

I think on virgin days so full of hope, naivety in youth yet to be undone by the ravages of experience. I remember the mistakes I’ve made, regrets that go unspoken, pushed to the furthest recesses of the waking mind. I think on missed opportunities lost to my cowardice. I picture loves now lost and the nights we shared. These thoughts of the past lead me to the present. I reflect.

I am a twenty-six year old non-traditional student, barely scraping by as I seek stable full-time employment. Though I’ve been with my current company almost two years, it has run its course. This employment has been contingent upon my enrollment at my previous university and there is no position available to me at this time.

My vehicle is a mess, though after repairing and replacing the majority of its parts, it’s running smooth. The driver’s seat still leans awkwardly off to the right. I have a modest apartment, a low-rent shanty in a dying Midwestern town. Birds have taken nest above the main door and you can hear the neighbors above fucking every Friday and Saturday evening. It’s quite quaint.

Despite my cynicism I live comfortably. I am able to support myself, though I wonder about the long term. I don’t want to just live comfortably anymore. Comfort is the death of ambition. Fear of discomfort makes us cowards.

There in the dark, lost in reflection, is where I found that spark. In my nakedness I stumbled towards light once more, wrenching myself free from the smothering womb of familiarity and expectations. I realized that I could no longer sustain a life of investing all of myself in efforts which rob me of my passions and drain me of my creativity.

That spark I had once known so well reminded me of who I am. I’m an artist, a poet, a writer, a filmmaker. Up til late I’ve been a comfort-seeking coward. I’m not this bland and lifeless drone that I’ve accepted being for so long. It’s all been a lie. I’ve lied to others and I’ve lied to myself and we all believed it in suit. Wearing so many masks dilutes the face beneath, so I cast them aside.

This blog is but a single step towards reclaiming my identity. I hope that all of you can find that spark which ignites within you the will to just try and do what you love. I hope that you will take that first step and follow it wherever it may lead.

Mitchell Chmielewski

I currently reside in Indiana where I am taking classes through Penn State University to complete my Bachelors in Finance and work for a non-profit clinic. I was always passionate about reading and writing and I intend to use this blog to hone my craft and to entertain others. Please feel free to reach out and provide feedback or to discuss my work.

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