A few weeks ago I was in the mood for a rom com, so I threw on "Julie and Julia" with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. I wouldn't define it as a rom-com, but instead a powerful mix of female characters fulfilling their passions while the men stand by, supportively (for the most part...) Here is the synopsis (based on a true story!):
"Frustrated with a soul-killing job, New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) embarks on a daring project: she vows to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Childs' landmark cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Intertwined with Julie's story is the true tale of how Julia Child (Meryl Streep) herself conquered French cuisine with passion, fearlessness, and plenty of butter."
Julie Powell had found a purpose: Cook 524 recipes in one year and tracking her progress on a blog. This was in 2002 - way before the internet was saturated with blogs.
But you know what? THIS little non-rom-com is what inspired me to start back up my newsletter and blog. Because I realized that I keep calling myself a "writer" or "blogger" - but I haven't posted a blog in almost exactly 8 months.
You either are, or you aren't?
Because you don't do something all the time, do you lose your title in that? Am I photographer if I haven't truly photographed anything, the way I used to, in 6 months? Or have I taken up new tools, like using my phone on photo walks instead of lugging around the cumbersome camera. (Also, it's winter!)
I keep telling myself I am a certain type of person, but my actions did not match the definition.
How do I want to define myself?
Free-spirited, mostly vegetarian/vegan, creative, passionate about nature & the environment, tries to leave a small footprint, on my own spiritual path, adaptable to change, someone who meditates + does yoga.
my inner dialogue tries to convince me that I am this kind of person:
Anxious, vulnerable, secretly had bacon a few weeks ago, stressed about dumb things, sometimes uses plastic bags at the grocery store, lazy, not productive, judgmental, will never be in shape, insecure.
I knew these thoughts above were not true, but at a low point I was starting to believe these demons. I was tired of feeling trapped inside my own head with all these thoughts and ideas - I needed to express them. I needed to start writing again. I needed to join the gym. I needed to find a counselor. (Why do I feel embarrassed to admit that last part? Therapy is IN these days!)
My thoughts weren't aligning with my actions.
What happens when you fall out of line with the best version of yourself? Can we allow ourselves grace and trust that we will find our own path back to the person we want to be?
We get back on the horse. You don't have to overhaul your entire life to fit the preferred definition of yourself, but starting somewhere small is the best way for everything to fall back in line.
What does this have to do with creativity?
I hope you have freedom to choose how to spend your time chasing down the things you want to do to become the person you want to be. Just remember that it can only happen incrementally, and expecting it overnight will only lead to continuing old habits.
It's hard to start sometimes. Think of the times where you did that thing you are trying to bring back into your life. Find those projects that have been on the back burner. You KNOW this. You know that you are capable, and the one thing left to do is: begin.
Join me weekly as I set off on a Creative Quest.
Every week I set out to send something inspiring, thoughtful or whatever the heck I feel like. If you wish to follow along, drop your name and email right here!