Have you seen Eat, Pray, Love? If you haven't, you should. It is one of the best woman movies I've seen in a very long time. No, it's not a chick flick, this is a woman's movie.
This is a movie that women can appreciate without that cheesy underlying (or very prominent) theme of "waiting for prince charming." Don't get me wrong, it's got the love story. But the journey of this story is not just about love. It's not just about finding a man and getting married and living happily ever after. It's about finding yourself first.
I think most people have trouble finding themselves. I know for sure I haven't found my whole self yet.
I think I have a direction, but not a destination.
A lot of people (adults) think they have discovered who they are only to find that, years later, they are a shell of a being they once constructed. But the core of who they were is buried deep beneath the facade of a character they developed.
This is what I believe to be the "mid-life crisis".
Elizabeth Gilbert is not your typical chick-flick story telling, glorify having a boyfriend type of writer. She's intelligent and she is an artist.
I've been struggling with my own art for a while. Simply because I don't create in one medium. I love to write, I love to sculpt and build and paint and knit. I love working with paper just as much as I love a good hammer and chisel.
I've struggled with my writing and my art for so long because I've been trying to conform to some sort of style that I feel I should have. Some sort of genre of unexplored creativity that I, and only I, could manifest.
But I would always end up bitter and angry and broken.
When I finish a painting or a blog post I am regretful that I ever started and wasted the precious daylight. It's the same when I cook. I am always disappointed no matter how delicious or attractive my meals turn out. There is always that something. Always picking at that one extra flaw that seems to exist with only my vision.
Elizabeths TED talk presentation is moving and inspiring.
She is a real human being.
She is a writer.
She is an artist.
All of the things I wish to become. She speaks about the issues that artists face. The self-critique the mass judgement and pity of the people who think that you're just not there yet. Or perhaps that what you have done is grand enough and there's nothing you can do to top it. She speaks about the block that many artists, including myself succumb to.
That brief moment of shallow self-doubt that metastasizes into this succubus that envelops not only our art, but our entire being.
She spoke about all of the great artists who became so swallowed up by this idea, this fear of failure or worse yet the certainty of insignificance that they took their own lives.
These brilliant minds who created the greatest art our world has ever seen so tormented by their own self judgement that they thought they would never be able to live up to expectations.
She spoke about all these problems that artists face and the solution, finding and grabbing your genius.
It's almost 20 minutes but it goes quick and it's a charming and refreshing message if you are suffering from writers block.