Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reasons, Pt. 2

A few theories about the self-doubt, fear, and frustration:

1. Most religions have a creation story, with some kind of falling-out between the Adam and Eve figures and their God(s). No matter how much of a believer you are or are not, you have to admit culture and society are long-time bedmates of religion, so if you’re not inundated with the relationship between love and wrath in church, you get it in school, on the playground, at the bus station. “Do what I want, and I’ll give you [blank].” But what if Eve wanted more out of life than what the Garden offered? Is that so bad? I am self-doubt.

 2. Or, perhaps we are innately afraid because our mom/dad/guardian had to start telling us “No, don’t do that….” Granted, in retrospect we can see it was for our own good? Hopefully? But being young is hard in that you’re so dependent.  Whatever the adult says is right. You internalize all the things they say you’re doing wrong, and pretty soon it feels like all we ever do is wrong. We stop doing and trying things we want to do because, what if it’s wrong? It’s easier, and much less risky, to just do what we’re told. I am fear.

3. And then here’s the kicker – even if we somehow magically turn a blind eye to the aforementioned theories and keep struggling on to create, it’s hard to miss the 10 minutes of advertising that chop up your favorite sitcoms. Don’t watch TV? Then there are the banners spread across the back of the seat, the bus ahead of you at the stoplight, the little placard in your grocery cart. You don’t go out of the house? Ads scroll up on the side of email. Little images of what kinds of clothes I’m supposed to wear, the food I should or shouldn’t eat, the movies I’m supposed to go see this weekend, the games I need to buy with the next paycheck, the phone I have to have.

Google “mom ads” and this is what I’m supposed to look like (the G-rated version):

In all cases I am slender, my clothes are ironed and classy, my hair is down instead of in a ponytail, I’m supposed to be both a mom and an entrepreneur, and if that’s not working I should go back to school, if I’m nursing my baby it shouldn’t appear to be so, and I have eight thumbs instead of my usual two which no doubt has something to do with why my look is conniving and shrewd. This last add is a little creepy to me. Is she going through the kid’s cell phone while he’s looking away? That’s what I’m supposed to do as a mom?

I can't live up to all this. I am frustration.

So, back to my original trick from yesterday. I'm not saying any of this should or shouldn't change, or that it will anytime soon. I'm just saying as a creator in this world, rather than merely a consumer, you've got to have a reason, that’s bigger than yourself, why you’re doing what you want to do.

Instead of giving up and drowning yourself in that tub of store-brand ice cream, because you can’t afford the Ben and Jerry’s, or that pint of bottom-shelf whiskey, because you can’t afford the top, or whatever it is you get lost in when it doesn’t seem to make sense anymore, you’ve got to visualize your reasons. You have to feel them deep in your heart. Cheesy? No doubt. 

Regardless. You have to fill yourself with those instead and keep on keeping on with your art, your music, your writing. Not for you, but for [insert reason here].

Hours logged today: still editing   Pages logged today: still editing    Total pages logged today: 117

Moment of Magic today:

Alright, the magic came when I'd watched this enough times in mute, picking out all the details that were so not my life, laughing at the parts that were supposed to be funny and laughing more at the bits that weren't, but then I paused it at the fourth second...wait...alright maybe that's my life. No one I've ever been with has worn a wedding/commitment/"I'm taken" ring either. Maybe that is me?

No, it's not. It's a commercial. And with that I was released from the evil spell and my life could move on from this two-day-tirade. Finally.


  1. You are inspiration is what you are. I know it may not feel like it sometimes, but what you are doing is very brave. It is brave to pursue your passion to create, and especially brave to share the entire process in this manner. While reading the last 2 installments I took some time to think about what my "reason" is. The only answer I can come up with is that I force myself to get up out of bed every day because I *have* to have hope that my reason will be revealed to me. Wanting to want has to be good enough for now.

    1. I'm so glad you said this..."Wanting to want has to be good enough for now."

      Yes, and in some ways it seems that because wanting to want is less tangible, yet just as powerful of an emotion, it's more magical. Somehow.

      Thank you for your thoughtful reading, and your thoughtful comment.

  2. "I'm just saying as a creator in this world, rather than merely a consumer, you've got to have a reason, that’s bigger than yourself, why you’re doing what you want to do."

    I love (and hate) this... I'm thinking that discovering WHAT that "bigger thing" is happens to be something I'm always wrestling with, and something changing so constantly that I sometimes get soul-stipated and can't "create" anything...other than alotta shite. So sometimes I have to just art-fart without rhyme or reason, just to be alive!

    1. Mmm, I know what you mean.

      But. I think sometimes what we think is shite, isn't to someone else because it makes sense to them, so for whatever reason you were tapped into that vein? And you helped them feel more okay, more alive too...

      And what seems reasonless or without rhyme in the moment, when you come back to it days/months/years later, seems to make sense sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes.

      Having a "reason" is just a trick. The real magic is in getting up everyday, in doing and being. You're making a difference, even when you don't see it.


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