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Wear a helmet and be brave

Edd and I saw a man get hit by a bus a couple of weeks ago.

I actually looked away in the split second that it happened but I heard a terrible noise and then saw a cyclist lie motionless in the middle of the road. For a moment, we held our breath – was he dead? But then – THANK GOD – he moved. We phoned the ambulance and spoke to the police and everything was rather dramatic but in the end, the cyclist seemed to be okay.

I walked away with two things on my mind:

  1. I need to always wear my helmet when cycling.
  2. I need to create more.

Sometimes these dramatic events are necessary to stop us in our tracks for a moment. To make us remember that we only have one life and that we need to do everything we can to make it count.

But what does that mean? How do I make the most of my life?

I believe that I was created by God. That I was made in his image. As a creative being. My purpose is to reflect his beauty and love and to live out all the things he put in me. To be creative. To pursue my passions.

The thing that stops me most frequently from doing so is fear. And this odd expectation that I need to be ‘good’ at everything I do. (God forbid that it would be enough to do something for pure pleasure!)

This realization came to me as I was reading this book ‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. In one of the first chapters she gives this list of reasons why people are afraid to live more creative lives:

Being scared of having no talent.

Being scared of criticism.

Being scared that you are not as good as somebody else.

Being scared of not being taken seriously.

Being scared to not produce anything important enough.

Being scared of upsetting people.

Et cetera.

 

I can relate to all of them.

Over the course of the book Gilbert addresses each of those and stresses that fear should never hold us back from pursuing our creative dreams.

What especially spoke to me was her advice to not take ourselves to seriously. I used to think that I can’t really start writing properly until I have learned more, experienced more and have something more meaningful to say. That I should never write a story to merely entertain, oh no, it should inspire people to be better, even more, it should change society.

Not that these aren’t admirable dreams. But pursuing this as the ultimate goal puts an awful lot of pressure on myself. And ultimately, this goal is so daunting, that out of fear to fail I do not even start.

Life is too short for that. I might get hit by a bus tomorrow. I might not get to learn and experience all those important lessons of life to create something super meaningful. I am here now. I have something to say. It might be small and not necessarily life-changing but maybe it will make people smile or feel understood or grateful. And maybe it won’t. But I will do it anyway. Because I love it. Because it is a part of why I am here.

I hope this encourages you, to make room for your own creative dreams. To act despite fear. To enjoy the process and stop caring about the outcome.

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” –Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus February 27, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    My god poor man, thank god he was alive! I agree it is so important to wear a helmet when you cycle to have better prevention against accidents x

  • Reply Denise February 28, 2017 at 1:03 am

    You are right. What an inspiring text 🙂 well done.

  • Reply Ali Rost February 28, 2017 at 1:31 am

    How I love Big Magic .. it’s the book I’ve gifted the most. I can so relate .. a few years ago a life changing experience made me realize just how short our time here really is .. and that I want to live my minutes in as brave a way as possible!

    • Reply Britta March 1, 2017 at 9:36 am

      That’s what I am talking about. Life is too short to waste on being afraid.

  • Reply Elizabeth O. February 28, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Events like this happen for a reason, sometimes we just really have to be reminded that life is supposed to be treasured. It’s important that we make the most of the time we have.

    • Reply Britta March 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

      Indeed! Life is so precious.

  • Reply Lindsey February 28, 2017 at 7:42 am

    What a thoughtful and moving post and a reminder to us all the importance of safety.

    Lindsey
    http://www.londonmumma.com

  • Reply chei February 28, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I have the same feeling when i was in highschool but everything got change when a classmate in senior highschool taught me how to believe in myself. She pushed me to show my talent and told me that i can be a better dancer. Eversince then, i got the confidence and courage to show everyone that i am somebody. 🙂

    • Reply Britta March 1, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Wow that is a beautiful story. So often girls pull each other down in high school, it is great to hear that you experienced the opposite.

  • Reply Emma February 28, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    It’s so important – a bike inso match for a car or a truck. it can literally save your life and not enough people are wearing them around London. It makes me angry to see them risking themselves like that!

  • Reply Fancy Team March 1, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Hey, your writing is nice. I would like to invite you to be a contributor of our magazine.

    • Reply Britta March 1, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Oh wow thank you! That is really kind, will send you an email!

  • Reply Freya Farrington March 1, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    That’s the thing, life seems to pass you by and at any moment it could be over! Stay safe yet be brave is the best way to live!

  • Reply Nikka Mendoza March 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Loved it. Exactly what i needed to hear right now. We really should just keep doing what we love doing. Fear just means its really worth something to us. Thank you. Such a feel good read snd i really need to grab Elizabeth Gilbert’s book too 🙂

    • Reply Britta March 1, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Oh I am so glad reading my post encouraged you! 🙂

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