The sky has vacillated between blue and gray so often this morning that I’m reminded for all the world of myself during my Sunday morning insecurity ritual of trying on outfits and flinging them away. (I’ve learned to start setting out my clothes the evening before because it’s guaranteed that come Sunday morning, every item in my wardrobe will be utterly unwearable according to the code of former pastor’s kids, amen.) As always, the weather draws out the corresponding colors of my personality, and I’m fidgeting this morning along with the clouds.
This is the part of my day set aside for writing, so each moment of unfocused restlessness digs under my skin. This is my one wild and precious life; how can I just sit here watching it whorl away into the cloudscape? I open my blog reader for inspiration, but the beautiful photographs and stories only paralyze me today. I wonder once again what is missing from my intrinsic make-up that allows other mothers to photograph-and-blog or paint-and-blog or landscape-and-blog or write-books-and-blog, all the while dedicating far more creative attention to their children than I seem able to give. It produces a instafreeze combination of jealousy and guilt that is the very opposite of helpful, I know, but I can’t seem to help looking for my own personal trailhead among the pages of others’ lives.
If this space is designed for anything though, it’s for holding my thoughts up to the light and naming them, looking at them from all sides, and replacing them with some new measure of clarity. That’s why I’m here even though every idea seems to fit me all wrong today. I needed this self-imposed focus. I needed to look at the measuring stick I’ve constructed out of jealousy and guilt to cow myself into inaction, to see the full scope of its ridiculousness and then admit it before God and all these witnesses. Even though I’ve written variations of this post a dozen times before, I needed to write it once more—to hold my thoughts up to the light, flip them around, and see clearly once again.
Do you ever feel the same crippling sensation when you look at others’ blogs or creative projects? Do you have any strategies for nurturing your own originality in a world with so many ideas and motivators and objects of comparison?