I really really love to read and I'd like to give credit to my sister Lilly for instilling that love in me at a young age. To this day, we still consult each other on what we're reading on our frequent chats. As a kid I poured over every Beverly Clearly book and then later, every Judy Blume book ever written. How did these old white ladies GET me?! I realize now, teen angst knows no bounds. Everyone just feels that awkward and uncomfortable growing up.
I also really liked shopping for books. Strolling the aisles, looking at all the covers, flipping them over for their synopsis is such a relaxing process. Also, you can't spoil your kid by buying a lot of books, because it's educational! Remember those books that would have a craptastic "gold" locket necklace on them? I LIVED for those. My dad did draw the line though when he noticed that I made a beeline for them. How dare he impede my need for a charm bracelet on The Secret Garden? Yes, I had a copy at home, but this one came with accessories! Nevertheless, my love for reading has not dwindled. I'll read anything, but I've always been drawn to fiction. It's like TV, but you look smarter, because your reading. They don't know it's not Proust. So here's the launch of what I hope to be bi-monthly book reviews.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I give this book all the credit for my return back to the blogosphere. From the author of Eat Pray Love comes, gosh I hate to say it, but Gilbert's first self help book. This book speaks to all of my insecurities, my self doubt and my hesitance to share my creative side. It tells you to let all of that go and unleash your creativity into the world because it's ultimately about your happiness. It's not about the world validating what you do by generating income or praise but creating because it's genuinely what your heart desires.
My true passion is art and design. I went to school for painting but unless you've been in my home, you've probably never seen any of my work. I don't consider myself an artist because I feel like I don't have the inner turmoil that makes a great artist. This book challenges that. Why must you suffer to make art? Essentially ideas are out there for everyone. Your art is not original, your thoughts are not original but it's your job to grab that idea and run with it or someone else will. Forget labels, just do what makes you happy. I've always been relatively shy about sharing what I've created. Mostly because I was afraid of criticism. Of course I was proud of my work, but my parents always taught me the importance of humility. Hello Catholic guilt! This teaches you to say F!@$% it!
I started blogging after the insistence of friends and family who just really wanted to know what I was up to. Turned out, I loved it! I really like having projects. Now I had projects upon projects on my hands, and my inner self rejoiced! Of course life got in the way and starting up again seemed too daunting. I told myself I didn't have time with a new baby. After reading this book, I thought, of course you have time dummy! There's many hours at night, when baby is sleeping that I'm binge watching TV and online shopping. I thought it was recharging me somehow. That is my creative window. I liked that this book wasn't preachy and long winded. In fact it's lighthearted and funny and it got me off my butt. For anyone that feels stagnant in their creativity, this book might give you that gentle push you needed. I highly recommend it!