I Am [Blank]

As a writer, I constantly feel the need to fill in the blank. The blinking cursor overwhelms me with opportunity and pressure as the words start to make their way across the screen. It’s a habitual ritual that I’ve grown to practice in both my personal and professional worlds.

Even in my journal at home, I find myself plotting a story line and editing it along the way. When I go back to read past entries, I get annoyed at misspelled words and weirdly worded sentences. It takes a lot of focus for me to not focus on being a w r i t e r and just w r i t i n g. Sometimes I get it right, most times I don’t.

This constant need to ‘fill in the blank’ left me reflecting on other blanks in our lives.

When it comes to social media; it’s staring us right in the face. ‘What are you doing today? How are you feeling? What sort of nonsense do you feel you need to share with the world?’ It’s an empty canvas waiting for the stroke of a 1,000 brushes and you’re the painter.

Blogger. Creative. Photographer. Designer. Mother. Wife. Yogi. Fur mama. Wine-o. (Only a couple of these apply to me, FYI). But this is what I see every single day. People labeling themselves and fitting into boxes. Square pegs trapped in the struggles of fitting into a round hole.

Labels are great. They make things clear and concise and easier to understand. However, they box us in and separate us and create room for judgement and hypocrisy. For the sake of the good in this world, I like to thing they bring us together. They help us relate and connect and collaborate. If I am a [label] and you are a [label] then we’ve already established a connection and our feelings of loneliness in this world have taken a temporary back seat.

As I begin a new transition for my blog, my space, my brand’ (it still feels kooky even saying that) into a new world and a new life, I can’t help but feel that same need. The need to classify and identify and clarify who I am and what I’m doing and what you’ll get out of it. And while those are necessary things for myself + my audience to know, I can’t help but feel stinted and stuck. Almost like a box that somebody else has already put me in before I even get a chance to draw them a circle.

Here’s to the blanks in life. And to only filling them with whatever feels right.

The Best Way To Be A Writer Is To..

Write.
The best way to be a blogger is to
Blog.
The best way to be a singer is to
Sing.
The best way to be a guitar player is to
Play.
The best way to be is to
Be.
I think a lot of times we stress (and stress about) being the best. Maybe it’s a confidence thing or an American thing or a human thing, but whatever we’re doing, no matter how trivial, we like to succeed in doing it. From pics posted to words written to songs sang, we want each and every piece of craft we create to be exceptional. To be of value. To be noticed and appreciated and worthy. And that’s a beautiful and noble thing.
However, somewhere along the way of creatives creating and makers making and singers singing and doers doing, we got lost. Lost in the sea of critics and critiques and likes and ads and promos and sponsorships and we drifted further and further away from the authenticity of the shore. For a lot of people the shore is hardly even visible anymore. For others, it’s still in sight, but their vision of it is starting to get blurry.
In a world of constant communication that demands consistency and 100% of your attention 100% of the time, it’s truly impossible. You want to share your words and spread your light and the next thing you know, it’s all too much. Too edited and filtered and unnatural. Too polished and “perfect”; perfectly poisonous that is.
It’s a dangerous game we’re playing with ourselves. With our delicate hearts and sensitive souls and impressionable minds. We’re seeing it all right before our eyes with every scroll and click and ‘like’ and comment. It is constant. It is (almost) unavoidable. And it is scary.
As someone who is a radiator of positive shit and an instigator of laughter and a spreader of light, I felt consumed by every negative facet of the online world. Of the social media vortex. Of the never-ending negativity. It didn’t stop and I thought if I stopped it for myself, then it would somehow go away. Somehow not affect me as much. Or in some way be less real.
And it worked… for a while.
But soon enough I realized that hiding my light was only making the darkness darker. Or at least not making it any lighter. Not sharing my thoughts or using my voice or making my presence known didn’t diminish any of the negativity that flows through this world, it only inhibited the chance for more light to shine, because a candle burning only adds light to another candle. It doesn’t take away from the existing flame.
Or some deep Buddha shit like that.
So here I am. Writing, playing, being. Trying to find a grasp of what it means to be content and happy and to just simply be. It’s not an easy feat, I’ll tell you that. But on the road of life, we tend to focus solely on the destination. The stops along the way. The ETA and the miles travelled and the amount of gas in the tank.
But it’s really about the take off. The bends and the curves, the hills and the mountains and all the views along the way; the journey itself.
I’ve slowly come back to social media. But not fully. Like when Jim came back from Stamford but he didn’t really “come back” and Pam’s all like “well I wish you would” and they have that moment in the water after the beach games. It’s honestly been a wonderful break away from it and the reason I haven’t come back come back is because I just don’t feel like it. I don’t always hear, or listen rather, to my gut with clear uninhibited confidence, but in this case, I’m just doing what feels right. And it just doesn’t feel right.
Yet, at least.
Do what ya gotta do. Do you and do it with as much faith and belief and confidence in yourself as you can find or create. Sometimes I approach the days with a desire to gain some sort of all-knowing-epiphany-like clarity, and I just don’t see it. Maybe I need glasses or something. But there is no genie in a bottle of clarity or giant neon blinking sign that says ‘CLARITY ON TAP HERE. HALF PRICE TILL 9.’ (Although that’d be refreshingly dope).
It’s in a small plant on your desk. In the first (or last) few sips of your morning coffee, that’s still going strong into the afternoon. In the sounds of the Spotify playlist that best fits your current mood. In the curtains pushed aside to let the sun shine through. In the guitar that makes you smile until you cry and vice versa. In the breeze of the wind as you check the mail (only to realize it’s Sunday and you pretend to be checking out the paint on your porch or just perusing the action of the traffic while still in your pajamas at 1PM). It’s in these little moments, these tiny little big huge moments that we take that deep breath and even, just for a few seconds or maybe even a few full minutes, we feel calm and grounded and at peace.
And moment by moment, we realize that we can just, be.