Sometimes, when I head to my couch and pull up a blank screen ready to write, I stare at its emptiness, wondering what on earth I’m doing. Blogging is a strange pastime — for many reasons — and I go through cycles of freedom with it and then cycles of questions. Why do I do this? Am I narcissistic to have a blog? Is it really for me — to document my family’s life so I have a record of it or is it for them? And if it’s for me then why don’t I just keep a diary? And if it’s for them then I need to produce art which adds value to the world. Do a few cute photos of a little pumpkin party do that? I don’t think so. What am I doing here? Who is even reading this? Why do I bother? And on and on it goes.
When this happens, a little green monster creeps up on me, the word e-n-v-y plastered across her face, and it makes me look to every woman out there who is doing, writing, photographing, loving, thinking and succeeding better than me. I start feeling grabby. I start plummeting into scarcity syndrome because if SHE rises, that only means there is less for me. I get a few crumbs while she gets a huge big slice of pie because she deserves it, because she’s brilliant, of course. It’s like that line in Lover’s Eyes, “Your strength just makes me feel less strong.” Yes, that. And suddenly, jealousy clouds everything good I might have to offer and leaves me staring blankly at an empty screen.
When we behold our pie slice, one of two things happens – we either shrink ourselves, in that we lower our self-worth to match the size of our pie, or we rise up and barge through and snatch and grab until we are satisfied with the size of our pie. Until we have more and others have less. Success is often judged like this — how far we have risen above others. How big the gap is between what we have and what they have.
But listen. Here’s the thing. In the words of Glennon Melton — whom I envy, let’s be honest — it’s understandable to fight for a bigger slice of the pie, but it’s admirable to fight for a bigger pie.
If we know the worth of having each other on our sides, we would know that when one woman rises, she brings us all up with her. Jealousy is a natural instinct. Of course it is. But we can either use it to fuel competition and separation, or inspiration and connection. We can’t save the sisterhood if we’re so concerned with snatching from each other. The truth is that there are enough ideas and success and love and beauty for all of us, all the time, and to think any differently does nothing to make us happier or more successful as human beings.
It’s a good pie, guys. It’s freaking delicious. I get why we all stare, salivating, when our sister gets to taste it but we don’t.
But still, still, on the days when we feel uninspired, when we feel so far from ever getting our hands on that pie, I think, well, is that enough too? Art imitates life, right, and if I want to create art , I must also be true to life — uninspiring, unoriginal, messy and boring, some days. And full of flaws.
So today, this it what I have to offer. Some beautiful photos. Some random, honest thoughts.
And today, that is enough.
Yes, let’s fight for more. But let it be a bigger pie.
Because, in the end, Lover’s Eyes finishes with this:
And I’ll walk slow, I’ll walk slow
Take my hand, help me on my way.
And I’ll walk slow, I’ll walk slow
Take my hand, I’ll be on my way.
Friday Photo Dump to end – my small Instagram happies of the week. (theredtent on IG if you want to follow the feed.)