Why are inspiration and melancholy so intimately entwined? Perhaps it's just me, but that deep longing, the ache of lost opportunity, the dance of desire and dashed hopes - these are the feelings that come upon me when I feel the most inspired. I'm told these things are supposed to be opposites. Inspiration is supposed to incite, to motivate, to fill us with creativity and good feelings. And, it does those things. But, it's always mixed with the feeling that I could do more. I should see more, create more, love more. I see opportunity mixed with loss, beautiful memories mixed with what has gone.

Apparently inspiration literally means "to breathe in" - how can one breathe in the world around them without feeling a bit melancholic? What's beauty without something to compare it to? Something that we specifically describe as being less. Something not quite as lovely as that other thing, that beautiful, deserving thing over there. But, isn't the most beautiful thing you can find the "diamond in the rough." Aren't our favorite stories those of redemption? The Cinderella stories that capture our hearts. It's those quiet moments, the unexpected, and the beauty in the disaster that shine the brightest. So, then, isn't it natural that some of the ugly, sad, or unwanted would get mixed in? We see beauty and the rest comes along for the ride. Beauty is all of it, then. The good, the bad, and the ugly. That's life. And that's beautiful.

I've always found a strange kind of joy in listening to sad songs. What was easily considered just being an "emo kid" in my days of old was perhaps a bit of insight into the true, real, beauty of this mix. Real emotion - even the saddest kind - shows the beauty in life. To be that sad, to croon the melody of lost love, dashed dreams, or unexpected downfalls implies the reality of joy. You simply cannot mourn a loss without acknowledging the very real joy, peacefulness, or fulfillment that you once had. And can have again. It's inspiring, but it's also very heart-wrenchingly real. Real hurts. But, it's beautiful.