By: Beatriz Craven, Guest Blogger
So this article is kind of a two part deal. I wrote up a piece to send to my editor and I found myself hesitating a bit about it. I wasn't sure how I felt about my writing. Despite some of the freedom I have as a blogger for women, my piece felt too free flowing and story-like. So many of the blog posts we read these days are bite size with titles like “10 ways to decrease stress” or “5 things you didn't know about your toothpaste that could save your life.” I certainly appreciate this kind of approachable writing, but I struggle to write like that myself. I'm a hard-wired right brainer. I have always had to manipulate my imposed structures to allow myself room to breathe and create within a pre-determined mold. I have always managed to adapt and yet I still found myself wondering, do I need to change my writing to best accommodate my readers? It seemed like a fair question on the surface but I looked deeper. I wondered, if I express myself freely, would that be ok? In essence, am I ok?
It was on my morning commute that I heard a perfectly timed podcast from TED entitled, The Source of Creativity. It offered some much needed insight into our tendency to stifle our own creativity. I thought of my post and its state of pending. Without fully realizing it, I was clipping my own wings in my self-doubt. Creativity doesn't thrive in self-doubt, nor do we.
I couldn't help but realize how critical it was that I share my daydreamy, curious head that does whatever the hell it wants. By granting myself freedom of expression and freedom of thought, I am also proclaiming that it's ok to do so. So here it is. Here's my post. Here's my way of allowing myself to be myself; a snapshot into my world and the way that I interpret it around me:
I found myself in one of the most dreaded locations in the United States: the post office. Despite my best efforts to make my journey at an unassuming hour, I swung open the glass door to a long line of sad, pathetic looking people. They looked back at me with eyes of hopelessness and despair. I took my place at the end of the line, preparing myself for the inevitable torture that awaited me. I soon made myself comfortable in a hazy state of dissociation, losing myself in daydreams; the clock ticking in the background with sadistic pleasure as it watches the scene unfold below.
The line lengthens and the woman behind me pulls me out of my reverie. Her wave of irritation is too sharp to tune out. I can feel it sting through my body and make its way to those in front of me as heads begin looking back in her direction one by one. We quickly become a room of side eyes and furrowed brows. She's upset. She's confused. There is only one attendant and by God no one is there to help her decide which mailing envelope to choose. The woman next to her offers empathy. In a tender “I'm so sorry for your loss” tone, she helps soothe her irritated neighbor. With well intentions she reinforces the woman's entitled display and we are reminded that the post office can bring out the worst in people. A civilian steps in and like a hero of grace and courage, gets the irritated woman the envelope she needs so that she can stop talking. It works. The woman begins to calm and resemble something more akin to human with actual blood in her veins.
The old woman in front of me has been standing strong in spirit this whole time. Unlike those around her, she stands in a frail body, leaning delicately but firmly against her cane. She looks at me bright-eyed with a warm smile: “I think we're going to make it.” She winks. I smile. The customer on the other side of her smiles too. Just like that a new wave, a lighter, wiser, more positive one swirls about the room. I'm reminded of the power of our energy and perspective. I find myself feeling so incredibly thankful that someone remembered to generate that good stuff and share it with the rest of us fools. Even in the most mundane and generic moments, we have the capacity to choose our quality of life. Now that's some great news right there. How fascinating, I think to myself. Just like that, the post office delivered in more ways than one.
Let yourself daydream and space-out; there's no telling what inspiration you might find!
Beatriz finds incredible meaning in her work as a therapist in Houston, Texas. She completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology and works with college students at Sam Houston State University. She is an avid life enthusiast, loving wife, and movie fanatic. Check out her website and tumblr at beatrizcraven.com