dear beginners, there is a gap.

there is a gap_ira glass

image from 7Plums on etsy

i first stumbled upon this quote from ira glass a few years ago, and it stopped me in my tracks. [side note: i think it’s one of the first things i ever pinned on Pinterest. although the original pin was a different version, a few years may very well = vintage in Pinterest years.]

to this day, i still come back to it regularly. for encouragement, reassurance…and sometimes for a little push. at my core, i am a creative, full of dreams & hope, but i am also a practical realist. as a result, i can easily get caught between the scales of these traits.

at my best, my hopes & dreams cheer me on, and ira’s words are comforting: keep trying new things. you’re not alone! it’s normal that this part is hard. but at my worst, the potential failure, disappointment, rejection, and unmet expectations can be paralyzing. fears loom large, threatening to cast long, dark shadows on my creativity, passions, dreams – everything. i get caught up in ira’s other words: it’s just not that good. a lot of people never get past this phase. it takes a long time (years).

it’s such a normal struggle. not just for a creative – for all of us, in all of our roles.

what i’m learning helps me tip the scales towards hopes & dreams is to be honest with & true to myself. on tough days, i’m learning to acknowledge the fears & even name them (not an easy task). i’m finding that when i know what i’m up against in my mind (fear & doubt’s favorite playground), i can start to knock them down with truth, and i can ask for help & prayer. i’m learning to not push past this part but to instead honor my real feelings. that has been helpful for me in two ways. first, i’m learning to give my real feelings time & space because denying them doesn’t help me grow. second, i’m learning that when i allow myself to feel my real feelings, often i better understand the root of them. as i’ve begun to try to do this more often, i’ve seen some little wins where a past fear or doubt actually motivated me in a positive way to achieve something i once thought was impossible (hello, starting – and re-starting – the blog! hello, writing a post about fears!).

and then, of course, there are the good days. days when i’m humming along jotting ideas, reading blogs & sites that inspire me, trying new things, and dreaming. even those days can get a little sticky here or there, but my perspective is set further ahead. i remind myself of the bigger picture & realize that little bumps are ok – they’re actually part of the adventure.

most importantly, whether it’s a good day or a tougher one, having people who support, encourage, & believe in me makes all the difference. i’m lucky to have people in my life who see & call out of me the potential that i sometimes lose sight of. they hold me accountable, dream with me, cheer me on, and love me unconditionally. being honest with them about my fears helps call out the truth that combats doubt, and wins & growth are that much sweeter to celebrate together.

i have a few more thoughts on this that i’ll follow up with this week, but in the meantime…

do you have some favorite resources that help as you dream & plan? favorite practices or routines?

who are your go-to creative inspirations?

how has having a community/tribe of friends & family helped shape & grow your dreams?

*my friend laura sent me this sweet vimeo version of ira glass’ interview that captures this quote with a visual of a fun overlay of the words. very creative, and it’s great to both see the words and hear ira speaking them.

not [perfect] yet.

i need to put this reminder in places that i will see it all day long. i need it to interrupt my thoughts & curb my fears. i need it to give me that little push…that little extra bit of courage.

quite honestly, i may be the queen of waiting until i have something polished, error-free, all figured out – “perfect,” if you will – before i’ll let myself believe that i can share it, ask for it, admit it, deserve it. wow – i said it. yikes.

what a shame, and what a waste to not share my thoughts, ideas, passion, fears, needs “in the moment” for fear of not being received, understood, loved, desired, encouraged, worthy. from the littlest to the biggest scenarios, this “not yet!” floating around in the back of my head has been given too much space. even this entry has been stalled by it. the topic’s been in my head for weeks (dare i say months?), but i couldn’t quite get it into well-formed, eloquent words, so i waited.

but i’m over it. i need to be over it. i need my dreams, my thoughts, my desires, my creativity, my voice back.

i’m not perfect. i never will be, nor do i even want to be.

i desperately want to live an honest, open life with all of it’s rough edges, grace & humility. god has put incredible people in my life to teach me, challenge me, process with me, encourage me, and i want my life to be an example of a life lived together. unfortunately, as i go about life holding back & feverishly trying to fix or create things on my own before i let anyone else in, i’m not honoring the lessons, wisdom, grace & gifts that these amazing people have to teach me, share with me & pray over me. it feels like i’m literally stealing blessings; robbing us of moments that God has intended specifically for us.

so tonight i sit here, typing away…trying to put words & cohesion to a thought in my head that i think is important enough to capture. something for me to look back on, to remind me, to encourage me.   it’s certainly not polished nor perfect…but it’s a start.

and i’m ok with that.