While I was still processing my Oprah-tastic insights, I stumbled upon something in my google reader lineup that made me stop in my tracks. I almost skimmed right over it because of the post’s title (“pleasing dishtowels and good for them“), but i caught a glimpse of the dishtowel fabric and i really liked it.
The blog, is, to oversimplify, a sewing and craft blog. I love the tone, the inspiring fabrics, the tutorials, the title, and the coolness. This is exactly the kind of blog that spurs me to want to create. Which means that in the end I usually just do nothing and feel guilty and inferior to pretty much every crafter I have ever known or seen.
But this post gets at how we should kind of stop doing that. And that is what stopped me in my tracks. She presents this idea: rather than examining the achievements of others and possibly comparing them to your own achievements…maybe just letting it go. To say “good for them” and move along.
When the film Garden State came out, it crushed every dream I had ever had of making a movie. I had a very Garden State-ish phase in my late teens and early 20’s, and I had sort of fictionalized it and cleaned it up and made it into a movie in my mind. And then I saw Garden State. And then, I called my friend Stephanie on the phone, and I said, “Zach Braff made my movie.” And I cried. Hard.
Which leads me to the other earth shattering, yet completely common-sense point that Amy Karol brought to light in her blog: There is enough.
Saying to myself “good for them” also reminds me what I have believed for a long time now—that there is enough. Enough creativity, success, achievement, accolades, attention, for everyone. The achievement of any one person doesn’t take away the potential or realized achievements of anyone else. There is enough for all. By saying “good for them” I take myself out of the comparison—it has no bearing on what I do. Or what I choose not to do.
I chose to quote her directly because there is no better way to say it. I can’t stress enough how important it was to see these concepts in print. Creative people are sensitive, and also critical of other creative people. And also, themselves.
In the end, everything I do is about me. It’s not about other people, it’s not about expectations, it’s not about disappointment, and it’s not about making stuff that is better than other people’s stuff.
It’s about, “what is in me that I am willing to move to the outside of me as a work to share with the world?” It should be that simple.
4 thoughts on “inspiration, part two (or, other people’s stuff)”
Love your insight. We have the power within ourselves to be self-actualized. Sounds so simple…like the game of
chess…minutes to learn, lifetime to master.
Lifetime is right! Thanks for taking the time to comment, cathy.
Thanks for this. Wow, I actually have felt anger, sadness, regret, guilt, yadayadayada… in varying degrees. Sometimes what should be inspiring to me simply makes me feel terrible that I’m not doing something creative. Ignoring my reader is one way that I handle it, but I just need to get back to what “it’s about.”
nicelle, i appreciate your thoughtful comment!
this whole thing has been a problem for me my entire life… it would be nice to make a mindset change.