“The chief element of happiness is this: to want to be what you are.” Erasmus
I do some incredibly stupid things.
In travel and my day to day life, I blunder around like a moving flesh-bag of insecurity, discontentment and laziness.
This isn’t to say “woe is me”. Nor is it an elaborate way to fish for compliments. This is simply to say: I’m a bit of an idiot. And I think you are too.
Here are some of the dumbest things about me:
Bloody hell, I can not seem to pull my sluggish body out of bed when my alarm goes off. I know a lot of people do this, but I set three alarms: 7:00 am, 7:15 am and 7:30 am. I’ll snooze these alarms between six-ten times.
Greetings. I suck at them. If an acceptable form of greeting was to bump faces, hurt the other person and do a weird fist-bump/handshake hybrid then I would be a greetings expert. Please if you’re coming towards me and expecting a greeting when you’re three metres away, just yell out what you’re going to do. “Hey! Jo! I’m about to shake your hand for about 5-7 seconds. You ready!?” Thanks.
I’ve tried to ‘quit sugar’ about 6 times.
And possibly the dumbest thing about me (which is the point I most want to make) is that I overthink everything.
This extends from thinking the cute boy who has sent me a couple of messages probably wants to marry me and have seven tuxedo cats, to thinking that the God that I believe in might just be a big ole’ joke. Hoping I’m right on the former, and wrong on the latter.
But the most painful thing, and I say painful because it does hurt, about this whole ‘overthinking’ shebang is that it stops me from creating.
You can see it in the sixteen unpublished drafts that sit on my blog dashboard. One of them is called ‘Curiosity’ and contains the words ‘If there‘ and that’s it. Another is a heartfelt, detailed snapshot of my life three years ago. It has this line in it ” We go grocery shopping on Tuesday nights. We buy the same things every time but its still exciting. Sometimes we sing in the aisles, and my heart feel like it is going to explode because you make the simplest things beautiful.”
You can also see it in the notebooks full of ideas and stories. And if you were to climb into my mind, you would see it in the self-chastising, the disregarding of ideas, and sometimes, the self-loathing.
I didn’t publish or write these pieces because I at some point I decided they were going to be bad, boring, and useless.
Where I have gone wrong, and maybe where you have gone wrong too, is that I didn’t view these pieces of writing for what they were.
And golly gosh,there is something so precious about expression.
Expression for expression’s sake might just be the cure for overthinking too.
There was nothing wrong with my drafts, or the articles that have popped up in my head and I’ve dismissed. I just didn’t let myself feel free to give things a go. I’ve been taking myself way too seriously. And I think maybe you might be taking yourself too seriously too.
Elizabeth Gilbert (oh god why am I quoting Gilbert now) said in her book Big Magic:
“Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”
I enjoy oversharing, dropping the word ‘butt’ into my writing too many times, talking about my (poor) trodden on feelings, whinging about my single status, waxing poetic about recent travels, rambling on about nothing at all, and making people feel like they’re not the only idiot in the world. These are the things I love to express.
Yeah, I may be a serious copywriter writing serious things for serious people during the day. And you, well, you might be a super trendy clear-glasses-wearing woodworking, film director, artist, creator person.
But let’s just admit we’re all idiots. We aren’t that cool. Let’s not hinder our own expression.
Let’s create stuff and humiliate ourselves!