Do we need permission to do the things we want?
I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast on the bus the other day. Liz (cause we’re close, I can call her that) was helping out a young American poet who got rejected to a dozen MFA programs. She was feeling like she didn’t deserve to be a poet and write.
I was tearing up. I thought it was me talking to Liz Gilbert on that podcast.
No, I didn’t apply to a dozen MFA programs. I did apply (and got rejected) to a creative writing program though.
Was I devasted? No, not really. I’d probably never admit to feeling anything, even when the only person in the room was me.
Parts of me felt like: boohoo I’m not meant to be a writer, I shouldn’t write (insert other self serving ego pity parties here). The other part of me felt relieved because…
I could do other things with my time.
Because I could explore.
Because I didn’t have to commit to writing poetry forever and ever.
Because I could just write.
How many times have you felt like you needed the thing you wanted to do to mean something? For your life, career, etc.
You like cooking, you’ve been doing it for a while, and you want to cook, but then you start questioning why you want to cook in the first place and why you’re going to spend this time learning how to cook when you’re not going to become a chef who owns a restaurant, so why bother cooking in the first place?
Yeah, I can hear the crickets chirping in the background too.
For the longest time I had been chaining myself to this irrational logic.
Why does there need to be a definite reason/purpose/justification for doing something?
Isn’t the desire to do so, the desire to create, enough? Enough reason, enough reward.
No permission required. It doesn’t even have to make sense!
Unless of course you want to do something illegal and morally corrupt, then you should probably think twice about doing the thing you want to do.
That aside, the Type A in me can help but hyperventilate a little.
Isn’t it terrifying?
Well, isn’t it liberating.