Currently Untitled, 2019
January is almost over. I look at this new image and a feeling of not living my life overtakes me. I feel boxed in, the things I want so close, visible, yet strangely out of reach. It would be easy to blame others for me not living the life I want, making myself the victim in a grand story of woe-- a pervasive pattern in the story of my family (which we'll get to, I promise).
But that’s just another story to camouflage the deep fear that maybe I won’t be good enough, strong enough, smart enough, insert anything here and follow it with enough, for the life I dream about. Fear is a very funny thing. It’s there to keep us safe, and what is safer than a very tiny room locked up tight against any manner of harm?
Elizabeth Gilbert has some sage advice in the way of fear. Acknowledge it, she says, and invite it in to stay. Congratulate it on a job well done, for it has done its job and done it well. It has kept you alive thus far. She says to imagine that you are on a road trip. Instead of trying to leave fear behind, let it come along for the ride, but only as a passenger. Fear does not get to touch the map or navigate, play with the radio, suggest detours, and it is absolutely not, under any circumstances, ever allowed to drive.
So if you’ve found yourself in a tiny room, if you feel alone, know that this is only a place to start. Get to know your tiny room and your fears. Get to know yourself and accept your story. I’m reminded of the song, “Little Room,” by the White Stripes. As Jack White says, a little room is just a place to get started working on something good.
Well, you're in your little room and you're working on something good
But if it's really good, you're gonna need a bigger room
And when you're in the bigger room, you might not know what to do
You might have to think of how you got started sitting in your little room