This is scary, this writing stuff, this making stuff, this putting yourself out into the world for everyone to see.
Am I an writer JUST because I write? Or do I need to write a certain amount before I AM a writer.
Chicken, egg. Egg, chicken.
Every artist faces this question. It’s something I’ve been thinking and reading and writing about (privately) for the better part of 8 years. The longer I’ve studied things the more I belive that this struggle isn’t exclusive to artists. It’s part of the human condition. It is the question that anyone who seeks to create something new in their life asks themeselves.
Am I a wife?
Am I a father?
Am I a techer?
Am I an accountant?
Am I friend?
Am I healthy?
Am I happy?
When are you ready to be and do the ideas that dance around in your head? When is it time to walk out on the stage and be who you want, do what you want? When are you ready to claim the title? Or does the mere boldness of committing yourself to an endeavor bestow upon you the crown?
When are you ready to make the jump from egg to chicken?
The answer is never.
Because you’re not the egg OR the chicken. You’re in a place we don’t talk about much (but we should).
You’re just cracked.
You’re brimming with the energy of change and it wants out of the shell. Bad. It’s potent stuff. Oh, and it’s really volatile. It can sooth one moment and burn the other. It’s tangilble for a moment, then slips through your fingers like smoke.
Above all though, it wants to be free.
We want it to be free too. Immediately. But energy moves at it’s own pace and I guarantee it’s never at the speed we want .
Here’s an even crazier part.
Sometimes you feel like the egg is inside you and the enery is brimming and simmering and smashing against the shell trying to get out through the cracks.
And other times you feel like you’re inside the egg and it’s getting real crowded in there. You want out, you want more, and you feel trapped. You know there is something better on the other side of the shell that surrounds you and you can see it through the cracks.
But as much as you want out, it’s scary to break through. As badly as you crave the release of the creative energy that’s bubbling inside, you have no idea how it will change you once it’s coursing through your veins.
That’s the tension of creativity and change. We always see the end of the journey, not the path. In that period of birth and newness there is always tension. It’s hard work being born. Just ask your mom.
Things will be different when you accept who you are. And different can feel uncomfortable. Maybe you decide it’s time to pack up and move across the world. Maybe you don’t hit snooze on the alarm and instead get up and excercise. Maybe you don’t get to sleep in on the weekends because your kid gets up at 6:30am. Instead of going to lunch with friends you sneak away with your note book to pound out a few words for your next story.
In every case though, you’re where you supposed to be. It doesn’t feel like you’re the chicken, fully formed and prancing around the yard. You’re surrounded by pages of half started blog posts and stories. Pages and pages of ideas in your sketchbook. You have a tired screaming kid with piles of dirty laundry and a sink full of dishes. You’re tired and a little cranky as you put on you’re sneakers and head out for a run. Each of those moments is another break in the shell…another bit of you coming free.
This is the practice of being who you are.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll never be the chicken. Maybe you’ll always be a swirling bundle of energy that’s always changing, always growing and evolving in reaction to what you experience everyday.
Maybe, we all just a little cracked.