Inspiration for Salinger


It was a rainy day, that spring evening.

I was sitting at Spyhouse Coffee on Hennepin, having a large Carmella. It was the first time in a while I had written anything. After all, with the new job taking most of my time other passions had to take a back seat. But, all of it was winding down as my term in the position was gearing into the next year, my replacement already lined up.

It was inevitable, that’s not the problem.

“I’ll stick around for the year,” I would say to my colleagues. “Then I’ll bow out gracefully.”

Which I would. But, I put myself so much into this job, I almost lost something I strove so hard towards:

I almost lost my love of writing; arguably the primary way I express myself.

Hell, there was a long time where I couldn’t pick up a pen. Despite trying several different tricks, despite several “life hack” advice, there was something disconnecting me from the pen and paper. I knew that I had to take time off to contemplate passion versus reality.

At that point, I began to work my way through The Catcher in The Rye again. Holden Caufield to me is J.D. Salinger. His insecurities, detachment from the world–that Salinger had developed after seeing some of the WWII’s worst events–and, most of all, desire to capture youth in a “corrupt” world. It made me contemplate detachment and what it meant in relation to the world.

My detachment at that point really manifested itself in my lack of writing: my look into the business professional world that I may have to face once again, and my inability to accurately perceive the situation I was in.

Simply said, perusing passion versus putting food on the table was at the forefront of my thoughts.

I think that’s an essential aspect of passion: how much are you willing to compromise to get to where you need to be? To what extent do you sacrifice yourself in order to grasp happiness? Do you let a detachment from the world–how it affects you, how you effect it, etc–define you, or do you strive to define it?

If you have the answers to these, let me know because I’m still figuring it out. I think so does everyone else. In the meantime, I will continuously refine my passion with the goal of using it to put food on the plate.


2 thoughts on “Inspiration for Salinger

  1. This life is what you make of it. It is important to take care of other people but if we don’t take care of our own needs taking care of other people is no longer an option. Writing will always be there and should be looked at as an act of self therapy.
    I can certainly empathize with you about starting a new job at the wrong time. I had to drop down to part-time status in school because I started a new job the same week this semester started. I’m still playing catch-up and stressing out about my school work but this unexpected new job has been a very good fit for right now and when I feel stressed I think how lucky I am and everything will be fine.
    Good luck with the life balancing act.

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