There is a writer/photographer who I really admire. Her words are like the soft brushstrokes of a masterpiece, creating a painting I immediately want to hang on my wall. And each of her photos tells a story, evoking so much emotion in just a single image. She is such a creative soul, not just with her words and camera but in all areas of her life. She lives with such ferocious love and abandon, I admire her perspective and spirit.
I admire her, and I am little jealous, because I want that. (Let me be clear that I don’t want her to not have it – those double negatives, sorry English teachers – she can have it, but I want it too.) I want creativity to spill out of every pore. I want to view the world and life and parenthood with the awe and beauty it deserves. It’s not that I feel like because she has that, she does that, that I can’t don’t and can’t. I know that’s not how life works. I know that’s not how gifts are passed out. There are enough gifts for everyone. Her gift of telling a story doesn’t mean there is less of that gift for me. There are endless gifts to go around. I admire her and I applaud her. But, I wish that I could tap into my gifts the way that she does. I wish that my personality was more of the rainbow-believing-view-the-world-with-rose-colored-perspective-and-freshness that hers is.
There are days that she inspires me. That all of the writers who I devour inspire me. But then there are also the days that I use their amazingness against myself. I compare my gifts to their gifts and because they have gifts that I want, I feel lacking next to them. Their eloquence and beautiful spirits outshine my own. And I beat myself up and I compare and of course I can’t compare because I’m not them but then I feel like I want to be (like) them.
The thing is, it’s not just her gifts I appreciate. I also really marvel at her personality and perspective. I want to see the world like she does. I want to have open eyes and an open heart and live with so much joy that some people find it exhausting. I want to be silly and crazy and laugh. I want to be creative and adorable and light.
Light. Yes, that’s the perfect word. She is light. She is airy and light and seems to carry no heaviness with her. And she is Light. She’s a person who is an almost constant source of light for those around her. No darkness can linger near her for long. She is light and she is Light. And I want that. I want to be that person. I want to be the sunshine when there is none to find. I want to see the happy and BE the happy.
How do I change that? I’m not saying I’m an unhappy person (I just had déjà vu, have I written about this before?), but I’m not sunshine. I don’t often see the world in color, I see it in grays. I don’t make joy wherever I go, I just, go. The best I can say is that I plod along, sometimes smiling, sometimes not, but I certainly don’t emit anything resembling joy and light into the great wide world. How do I take the weight off my shoulders? The weight I’ve managed to put on myself, but it’s been there for so long I have no clue how to get out from under it? How do I stay real to who I am and what I’m experiencing, but change what I experience to something other than foggy sometimes depression filled mediocrity?
(And of course I feel like qualifying that to say that I don’t always feel like I’m plodding. I occasionally skip. And it’s not that I think my life is mediocre. Quite the contrary actually. My life is wonderful and there is beauty everywhere, it’s just that I seem unable to see the joy as often as I’d like. I see it, but not a lot. And I want to be seeing the joy and beauty more. I want to be FEELING that joy and beauty more. I want the moments to be mostly sunshine with minor amounts of gray. Right now I feel like it’s the opposite. And I’m not sure how to change that.)
Perhaps it is less about personality and more about perspective? Or is perspective a part of personality? I don't know. All I know is there are definitely things about myself that I don't want to change, that I like and am proud of, but then, there are some things that I do want to change. A lot.
How do I do that? How do I see the good over the bad? How do I change myself from a realist (the glass is neither half-full or half-empty, it just is) to an optimist (the glass if half-full, and it is full of a delicious and tasty drink and we will make a party out of it, gosh darn it!)? How do I appreciate what I have and what I am living? And how do I portray that appreciation and joy into the life I am living?
I have no idea. (Yet.)