I am a firm believer in the mantra that everything happens for a reason. Some of those reasons appear in the form of a human body, a momentous occasion, or even in the heart of a simple object. The latter is what happened to me and this time it showed up in book form.
I had just purchased the book Big Magic. I saw that it was written by the same author as Eat, Pray, Love so I had a hunch that it would be good. Just a hunch though (sar-casm). I hadn’t even opened the book yet by the time I made my way to my friends house later that same evening. If I did, it could have altered my actions that night when I came across something that made my stomach turn.
My friends and I were sitting at the table when I came across a blog. In this blog, a recent post that I had written had been referenced and in my opinion, ridiculed. I was mortified. Did my writing really send the message that she was expressing? In my mind, I didn’t feel as though I deserved this. “Who does she think she is?” I exclaimed. My initial response was followed with further concerns such as: “I’ve always been nice to her!” and “What makes people with a blog think they can just talk shit about people like that?”. Well, the sad truth is she can do whatever the F she wants — and it’s as simple as that.
That night I cracked open Big Magic hoping it would feed my creativity and relieve my writers block. What I didn’t expect for it to do was solve the confusing riddle that my life had become. Not only was I suffering from writer’s block but I was also suffering from neurotic writing shame caused by the opinions of someone else, diagnosed by me. I was letting this one person who spends their time writing about whatever they want, whenever they want, effect me. But was I affecting them and their freedom to write? Probably not.
So I continued to read Big Magic. I fell in love with the book and even referred it to a friend before I was finished because I knew it was a gem. Then one day, I got to a part that really hit home. Elizabeth Gilbert offered up some insight on the writing process as a whole and even included the one piece of advice we all need to hear but hate to admit. She blatantly stated that other people’s opinions about you are none of your business. Sounds like common sense doesn’t it? Not really. Had I been slapped on the head with that a few weeks prior, I probably would have been able to handle the previous situation a little better. I probably wouldn’t have shouted as much, stressed as hard, or blocked this person on Instagram. But I did.
I couldn’t help but think that I overreacted just a little. But I couldn’t dwell. The only thing to do now was to move forward with the big magic and let the little things be. There will always be people out there who have something to say about what you are doing. You could give 100% of yourself to something and there will be someone else right behind you to tell you what you did wrong. Those are just opinions. Opinions that shouldn’t matter to you because at the end of the day, it’s none of your business. Doesn’t that sound comforting (and confusing)? It definitely does. It’s not your responsibility to track the negative thoughts of others. That is something they can stress about — not you.
At the end of the day, continue to do the thing that makes you, you. Never stop living, creating, or doing because someone else decided to hide behind a username, a blog handle, or even a phone number. Don’t let the whispering in the background hinder your future.
Make your magic and make it big.
Until next time, Poof! (Imagine me disappearing behind a pretty cloud of pink and purple smoke.)