I’ve gotten into the habit of reading Mind, Body, Spirit books. You know, the shelf that starts out with meditation and ends with ending your depression in 8 days or less. That stereotype does not even begin to cover it (*cough Long Island Medium*), but still, recently, there have been a few gems published that opened my eyes to all of the crap I’ve been saying but not doing for pretty much my entire life.
These are the books that make you want to get up and do everything RIGHT NOW. Because you can. Because you want to. Because it’s your dream. Because you’ve been beating yourself up about the fact that you want to do all of this crap but can’t manage to stop binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Or is that just me?
Well, considering the fact that this is my blog, we’re going to talk about me and what a complete nut I turned myself into. Can I blame watching too much TV with hyper-emotional women and over-caffeination? Probably, but I’ll take the blame because I knew the whole time. I know what I want to do–workout in the morning, write before work, watch a healthy amount of TV before spending quality time with family and friends and the dog–but somehow, I end up not only not doing any of those things, but I also manage to make myself feel incredibly guilty about it, then continue to do nothing to change.
What the actual hell is wrong with me? Seriously. Adulting is hard and stuff, but like, this is absurd. I set goals, then go after them for like two weeks, then crash. Then guilt and shame, then I get wicked lethargic (see: me right now) and the cycle somehow resets itself and round we go again.
Usually, the cycle resets when I get so annoyed with myself that I sit down and write a bitchy blog post about how dumb all of these habits are. (Ahem, hey friends.) Give it another two weeks and it’s back to basics.
Point being, I was getting so sick of getting so sick of myself. I am sick of being sick of myself. To fix this, I read.
I picked up “Big Magic,” by Elizabeth Gilbert when it first came out and I thought I was going to write a novel in a month…. Anyway, some people might think you’ve got to drink all of the Kool-Aid to get on Liz’s page. She argues creativity is a living, breathing thing that can pass from one person to another–as if it can either be accepted or rejected by the person the creative idea is trying to possess. Well, let me tell you, I am chugging this Kool-Aid because ideas hit me and abandon me all the time. Case in point: this blog. I wanted to write it about a week ago–I had fresh ideas, a cool title, the whole bit. I made excuses, ignored the creativity for a few days and POOF. Gone.
And here I am, six days later, spewing crap on a page because I need to. Because the creativity isn’t going to come back until I earn it. So this is me, trying to earn it back.
Here’s a good one–Shonda Rhimes is one of the major reasons I am emotionally unstable. Well, her and the Palladinos, and sometimes Joss Whedon. But mostly Shonda.
I want to be Shonda though. One of my ridiculous goals in life is to have the ability to manipulate and control emotions the way she does. Girl is on fire.
And the girl was also fearful. She kept her imagination behind closed doors–even when she became famous. The woman was actually the reason for a 16-year-old melodramatic junior stopped believing love and fate existed for three weeks when a ferry boat crashed and a fictional character kind of drowned. (Spoiler: it was me.)
To think this woman who controlled so much said no to basically everything astonished me. What astonished me more is how hard I laughed at her when she described panicking when people wanted her to do things–because I’ve felt it. Granted, I’m not freaking out about being interviewed by Kimmel or Oprah, but still.
So, Shonda decides to say yes. To everything. For a year. Hence, “Year of Yes,” by Shonda Rhimes.
She told me to dare. She told me to change. She told me that I could do anything. She told me to take the leap of faith. She told me to say yes.
And finally, there’s Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen and her wisdom in “Better Than Before,” are showing me how to break these crappy habits I’ve fallen into. She’s showing me how to identify my personality and develop ways to combat how shitty I’ve been toward myself. She’s showing me that creating habits that make me happy will actually make me happier–sounds easier than it is, I promise.
And the kicker to all of this is, I was never going to implement what I learned from Liz or Shonda until I listened to Gretchen. Truthfully, I still have like 75 pages left in “Better Than Before,” but Gretchen’s theories on habits have taught me that any day, any hour, any moment can be the moment to start anew.
So, instead of kicking myself in the ass tonight as I crawled into bed next to my husband after accomplishing nothing, again, I got up. I started. I invited the creative idea; I said yes to creating something, even if it’s crap; I decided not to decide.
If you don’t get it, just go read the books.