No—really. For the last four weeks, I’ve gotten daily reminders in my inbox that this domain was about to expire. That my hosting services were coming to an end. That this space would be taken from me if I didn’t act now. Like, right now.
I’d be a fool if I didn’t see the symbolism in these pestering notes, the threats of closure looming as I approach the five-month mark of the last time I posted here. I wish I could say the months flew by without me realizing that I hadn’t written in so long, but that wouldn’t be true. I’ve thought about this virtual home of mine every day. I mentally added posts to my to-do list and then found reasons not to follow through. Long days at a new job. Summer vacations. Weddings, bachelorette parties, birthdays, family gatherings. Obligations.
But that’s not why I was taking an unplanned sabbatical. There was more to it than that.
I was recently rereading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and came across one of my favorite pages in the book: The List of Ways in Which You Might Be Afraid to Live a Creative Life. This isn’t any clichéd list, either—it’s an extensive list of detailed reasons why you aren’t doing the thing you know you should (and want to) be doing.
Though they all sound quite familiar, these were the ones that sucker-punched me in the gut:
You’re afraid somebody did it better.
You’re afraid everybody did it better.
You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training.
You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack.
You’re afraid you’re too old to start.
And finally, this one:
You’re afraid you’ve neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back.
Just typing those out made my inner critic jump with joy. You ARE a hack. Someone WILL do it better. Your creativity IS gone. Are these words as familiar to you as they are to me?
It would be pretty easy to listen and obey—to succumb to these fears and move on with life. Pack up my proverbial blogging bag, let the domain expire, and console myself with some platitude about how it wasn’t meant to be.
But then I reread Liz’s crucial rebuttal to The List of Ways in Which You Might Be Afraid to Live a Creative Life:
Fear is boring. Everyone’s song of fear has exactly the same tedious lyric: STOP! STOP! STOP! It’s the same thing every day.
Who wants to do the same thing every day? Not me. I realized that’s been my biggest gripe about the last five months: they bored me. The monotony of our lives—the grocery shopping, the deadlines, the 7am alarm—is made less so when we let a little creativity in. I was bored of fear. It was time.
And so I renewed my domain. I committed to another year of hosting. I remembered why I started, and began again.
I hope these words don’t come off as self-indulgent or navel-gazing. I’m thinking that if you’re reading this, you, too are creative—which you are, because we all are—and have experienced these same sentiments and might feel stuck as well.
Whatever distractions—fears, that is—are keeping you from your pursuit, I hope you’ll toss them aside, even if momentarily, and start again, too.
This recipe is super simple and is perfect for the last dog days of summer! I recommend using a dry rosé, but really any you have on hand will do. A sparkling rosé would make a great variation as well.
Rosé Sangria with Fresh Fruit Ice Cubes
makes approximately 4 cocktails
- Fruit, fruit peels or herbs of your choice
- Fruit juice or water
- 2 oz orange liqueur
- 1 bottle of rosé
- Ice cube trays
To make the cubes, fill an ice cube tray with the fruit, herb or peel of your choice. Cover with water or fruit juice. Freeze at least 4 hours.
To make the sangria, simply build each cocktail individually. Add several fruit ice cubes to a glass; top with .5 oz orange liqueur and your favorite rose!