Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Being Stuck

Recently, I've been thinking about being stuck.  You know what I mean - we get stuck in habits that don't serve us or our dreams, we get stuck in all kinds of relationships - friends, professional, lovers - that we allow to keep us from the light, and the worst -  stuck in an unfulfilling job.

When I get stuck, I immediately assume I am the only one who is stuck.  That others might get stuck temporarily, but they can recognize their stuck-ness and climb right out with no collateral damage.  Of course that isn't true.  Of course others are as stuck as I am.  Of course others struggle with being stuck.

And then I stumbled onto this post from the most-excellent Brainpickings blog:

Now, I must give you some background information. Willa Cather is one of my favorite authors.  I like to think that I have much in common with Willa.  Willa grew up in Nebraska; I grew up in Wisconsin.  Willa left the Midwest to settle in New York; I left the Midwest to settle in Philadelphia.  Willa wrestled her entire life trying to merge her creative spirit with the practical nature of the Midwest; me too.  Here's my favorite quote from Willa:

"...that shaggy grass country had gripped me with a passion that I have never been able to shake.  It has been the happiness and the curse of my life."

If you're a creative spirit who struggles with "fitting in", you MUST read Cather's Song of the Lark

Back to the Brainpickings piece about Cather.  Until reading this piece, I had no idea that Willa had struggled so fiercely with the tug between commerce and creativity.  I had no idea that she, just like you and me, had to step out of her comfort zone and take some risks.  She had to leave the well-paying, secure corporate job.  The one that was sucking her soul.  This led me to wonder - what if she hadn't taken that single step?

The world would have never had her beautiful, deeply human stories and words.

What if you're the next Willa Cather?  It's possible.  Willa didn't know what possibilities lay inside of her when she left her cushy job.  I imagine she dreamed that she would be a successful writer, but she didn't know for certain that would happen.  Right?  None of us ever know.

Be like Willa.  Find a way.  Take that first step.  Perhaps it will be difficult.  No, scratch that.  I'm sure it will be difficult.  I'm also sure it will transform your life.

1/21/16 Update:  I've fixed the Song of the Lark broken link.  Click away!

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