To commence a post with no purpose, no concept, no subject, is both a risky and reckless move. There is a chance it will turn to ramblings, lost metaphors and symbolism so deep that it doesn’t even make sense.
But there is also a possibility, that in writing to release tension, anxiety and boredom, with no agenda, rules or subject and therefore no measurable’s, that it invites creativity. That it becomes the process and not the outcome that is therapeutic.
Something I have realised many times before, but most recently since being in isolation/quarantine/lockdown, is the expectation we put on ourselves for achieving greatness. We are encouraged to use this time to better ourselves, and I wouldn’t be the first person to challenge that. However is anyone else relating to a fear of failure in attempting these new creative hobbies that we have all now acquired time to attempt? .
I could list off endless ways of how I would ideally love to fill my time. I would bake bread, make fresh pasta, paint, sew a new outfit, learn French (finally), do pilates and spend time learning a new song on the guitar. But unfortunately, these are all activities that I happen to kind of suck at, measured by my comparisons on instagram of course.
When someone shares their , “isolation painting afternoon”, or a “freshly baked focaccia”, there’s a part of me that thinks, why bother. I know it will turn out shitty, I won’t be able to share anything (even though that was not the purpose… however we all know if I were happy with the outcome I would have), and knowing the result will not be what I had desired or imagined, it takes the fun out of the process.
How many of us have performance anxiety, or feel like we are too uncertain if we will be good at something, so we don’t try. Because it will only be an enjoyable activity if we succeed. And if we fail, by our standards, or the standards of others, we put that hobby, that dream, into a box labelled, “not for me”..
Sure, there’s some things you may just never enjoy. But if you removed the fear of failing, the expectation of succeeding and immersed yourself in the process itself, would it entice you to try something new?
I sat down recently to paint. I discovered while cleaning my old room in my parents house, that I still had some paints and paintbrushes, so decided to give it a go. It was horrible. The painting sucked. My 5 year old niece could have created something better and I could feel the awkwardness from my parents as they looked over my shoulder and also realised, it sucked..
I felt the need to justify myself, “it’s the base coat”, “I’m not finished just yet”, and these probably stemmed from my own childhood problems that I’ll spare for now. However I realised in this moment, that I didn’t fucking care. The purpose was to fill a few hours, listen to music, and play with some paints. The fact that it turned out shit, was secondary to my primary goal, which was to enjoy my time.
I feel better already writing this, because like I said, this was about the process and not the outcome. So if you don’t like this, or you think it’s kinda shit. I don’t really care. I enjoyed it. :)
I added the video of Scarlett from the film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, talking sincerely about her desire to express herself, but feeling like she is not gifted to be able to do so, for the relatable feels.
And also the song, Free Your Mind, by En Vogue from 1992 because it came to mind after I read over this and I think it always puts you in a good mood.