Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Best Thing Is Right In Front Of You

There is this story in one of Zoey's books that sneaks into my head sometimes when I have doubts about myself. The story is called "Sweet Surprises" by Lisa Ann Marsoli and stars Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Belle was always my favorite princess because she read lots of books. I also loved that she could see the best in people, though it took me many years to grow up before I realized that was the reason.

Disney's Princess Collection

In "Sweet Surprises," Belle frequents a bake shop where a young girl, Claire, works with her father. The two exchange stories and pastries and become great friends. Claire expresses to Belle that she wants to be really good at something, like Belle is good at storytelling. Claire tries many things to find out what she is good at. She tries storytelling, dress making, singing, painting and even art. But, she is not very good at any of those things. She gets really discouraged and goes home. Meanwhile, Belle decides to try and bake a special cake for her father's birthday. Belle makes a huge mess in the kitchen and ends up with nothing to give her father. Claire, who is at home in the kitchen, comes in to save the day. She makes a beautiful cake that Maurice, Belle's father, will not soon forget. Belle points out to Claire that her talent was right in front of her the entire time. She did not have to go search out the thing that she was good at and that made her happy, it was right there all along ready to pick her up when she was down.

I feel like I, too often, do what Claire did. I seek to find that thing that makes me whole, that makes me happy. I look to be an artist or a musician and become sad when I come up short. It is hard to see that the thing that makes you happiest is the thing right in front of you the whole time. It is the thing that picks you up when you are down.

photo credit

For me, that thing, is writing. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. When I'm not writing, I'm reading and collecting quotes and well, honestly, writing. I can't help myself. I don't know that I'm really any good at writing, and I don't expect to become the next Great American Novelist or anything. Nonetheless, writing is not what I do, it is who I am. I can figure out the mysteries of the universe simply by combining 26 letters in different ways. I am at home with a blank piece of paper and I feel a little lighter with a pen in my hand.

I am not saying that I shouldn't try new things, even learn to master some. I love drawing and I'm finally figuring out that I can be halfway decent at it when I take the time and practice. I enjoy music and even creating it sometimes, though, I'm not ever going to do much more than blast it while I'm writing. Trying new things is good, putting yourself out there is good. But, putting yourself out there is easier when you can come home to what you love.

I write this now because there is a little seed of doubt creeping into my mind. I have been blogging actively again for a couple weeks now, and I have to say, I am loving it. Sometimes I wonder how my words are being received. Do I post too many quotes? Do I write enough content? Am I funny? Or do I just come across as silly? I don't know the answers to these questions. I don't know that I want to.

photo credit

Writing is as natural to me as breathing. I am at a point in my life where I feel the need to share what is inside of me. What I write is less about how people respond and more about who I really am. Because believe it or not, I don't have it all figured out. I don't think I ever will. My opinions change over the years and my mood changes over the course of the day. Maybe someone can relate to me, maybe not. But what you see here, on this blog, this is me. I am not hiding anymore and I do feel a little vulnerable.

When I have a little spell of doubt, I think of this story. I don't have to be good at a lot of things, everyone has their talents. But when the world gets tough, when I have a lot on my mind, I go where I feel at home. I open my blog to a new post, or go to my notebook to a new page, and begin filling the page with my soul. Sometimes, it comes out pretty. Sometimes, it comes out harsh. Sometimes, it doesn't make any sense at all. But somewhere along the way, by the time I reach the end of my page, I understand the world a little better.

What do you do to make sense of the world?

Welcome to my home,

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