Looking for my mojo
Aug. 26, 2015
Yep. It’s gone. Somehow, I have completely lost my mojo. You know, that special thing that keeps you on track, makes you creative, motivates you and basically helps you kick butt in all you do? I’m not sure if mine is just on summer vacation or if it hopped on a bus and headed out of town. I’m hoping my mojo is just hiding nearby and I’ll be able to find it shortly.
I notice its absence mostly at work. I sit down to write something and I can barely string words together that make any sense. I go to a brainstorm meeting and my normally wildly active mind that spews ideas out like a volcano lies dormant. I stare at my computer screen and have to will my fingers to wake up and type. This is so unlike me. I’m normally a very creative and productive person who works at warp speed. (I know I’m creative because many Buzzfeed quizzes have told me so.)
The other day I was on a conference call with some colleagues at Northwestern. They heard me give a presentation at a conference earlier this summer and wanted to talk with me some more. I absolutely love doing this kind of thing. Some people hate public speaking – I would do it every day of my life if I could. And yet, on that call, I felt like blathering idiot who was talking a lot but not saying much of anything. Yep. My mojo has clearly left the building.
It’s not like my mojo has just decided to sleep in and skip work. It seems to have taken a hiatus everywhere I go. In the last week, I’ve managed to kill three patio plants; I stare at the refrigerator and end up making salad for dinner repeatedly; I’ve forgotten where I’ve parked on numerous days; I’m bored at the gym; I washed a shirt that bled onto my white sweater; and I stalled my car at a stoplight which I never, ever do. Mojo – whatever I did to tick you off, I’m sorry. Please come back.
It’s not like I’m making huge mistakes or that I’m not actually doing my work. It’s more like I’ve been given the foxtrot on So You Think You Can Dance – I’m technically doing all the steps but there’s a lack of excitement or connection and the audience will not be giving me a standing ovation. I’m just lucky my bosses are a whole lot nicer than the judges and I can’t really be voted off.
Although Facebook makes it seem like everyone’s life is perfect, I know I’m not the only one suffering a lack of mojo. I know that there are plenty of people out there looking for motivation and sifting through their brains for inspiration.
Carolyn Loeb, an associate professor of art and architectural history and associate dean in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, found her inspiration by traveling across the world this summer to teach a class in Hong Kong. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Greetings from Hong Kong, to learn more about her experiences at Lingnan University.
For faculty and students, the summer break from school can be a great time to find your mojo. Senior Jade Wiselogle, a first-generation college student majoring in professional writing with a public relations specialization, found her mojo in the Big Apple last summer as an intern at Seventeen Magazine. Watch a short video about her in the STUDENT VIEW: Fashion as Art to learn more about this impressive young woman.
I don’t know why my mojo decided to hide this summer – maybe it doesn’t like the heat. Or mosquitoes. Side note — what was with them this year? Why so many mosquitoes all summer long? I currently have a bite on my big toe and the bottom of my foot. Why haven’t they died yet? Why didn’t my mojo take them with it when it left?
I actually thought I caught a glimpse of my mojo this past weekend. I drove through campus and there was a lot of activity as the international students moved in. I saw things being hauled into residence halls and excited groups of kids walking around campus.
This weekend, the rest of the freshmen move in. While others might complain about the traffic or the crowds, I absolutely love move-in day and have volunteered to help for the past four years. There’s something special about watching new Spartans take their first tentative steps into college life. It’s like all of a sudden campus is electrified with unlimited possibilities and new perspectives.
I have a feeling my mojo might just come back to town this weekend, perhaps hitching a ride in one of the many U-hauls headed this way. I’ve missed it greatly, but I wasn’t too worried – I am a Spartan, after all. Spartans always work hard, persevere and get the job done – even when their mojo is missing.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner