I have a confession: I have been putting this blog off for years. That's right, you heard me: years. In her newest book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert breaks down a few things. First, she gives a nod to those who weren't Eat Pray Love's biggest fans (ahem, me…), next she goes on this really beautiful rant about creative living, and about how we are all creative creatures by the mere fact that we are born human, and about fear, and about why we should let go of it.
Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder.
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
The list is literally endless, right? Let me tell you, it was SUCH a wake up call. I signed up for my first blog service in 2011. 2011, guys! And I never published ANYTHING. I have so many ideas. I am so passionate about so many things. I love to write. I love to create. And yet, I have always been too afraid to share them with the world, for all of those reasons mentioned above and more.
Though I really hated Eat Pray Love (no offense, girrrl), Big Magic was just the kick in the pants that I needed to get this blog up and running. The other kick came from a tiny human being born to us in August - all of a sudden, I became part of this super cool mama club. I wanted to be a part of the beautiful community of mama writers and creators. I wanted to be that voice that hasn’t been heard yet. I wanted to start conversations with mamas near and far! The paradox of motherhood is that it is such a collective and isolating experience, all at once. Guess what? So is being a Latina living in Southern California. So is being a feminist who really, really loves to look fabulous and feel her best, but who is vastly critical of the beauty industrial complex.
With this blog, I hope to untangle the messy web that is intersectional motherhood: What the heck does it mean to be a working mama? More pointedly, what does it mean to be a fabulous, red-lipstick-wearing, feminist, Latina, working mama trying to make the world a better place for her daughter, but who is super torn about leaving her every single morning?
Thank you for reading. I can’t wait to go on this adventure with you.
Credits // Photos: Popsugar