JAYANTHY'S FREE SPACE

I read. I admire. I love. I write. I laugh. I live! I love to think loud and the reflections of my mind are in my blog!

My Two Cents on Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

When I initially started Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I expected some good magic to happen by the end of the read. After all, I definitely need some magic in my life now. That is one of the reasons I picked this book in spite of having an already lengthy list in my TBR. Actually a silly thought here, initially I thought of borrowing this book from the library after seeing it on many TBR lists. Then it happened, I saw the cover of the book and was truly impressed. I don’t know why, but I felt I needed this magic to stay with me. Like, I must stay in touch with the magic.

What I never expected was to experience magic many times during the read. There are so many moments I chose to read the book aloud. I wish I read the entire book aloud so my walls and my room also experienced the magic I felt. They will soon feel the magic. I wrote this as I read the book, I just thought this would be a post where I could write about my feelings then and there while reading the book.

Every time I placed the book down, I was glad because I know I have learnt something about myself or someone that unlocked something inside me. So I felt I must cherish the break I take with this book. The book cover is so colorful that makes me smile at it every time I see the book or pick it up. If you want Magic to capture you all over again, read this! Irrespective of what you do, I sincerely recommend this book to everyone who believes in magic and to those who know there is magic around us. Rest of you, decide for yourself.

There are many times I have regretted not working on an idea that consumes me fully. I have pushed many things behind, some of it because I was extremely afraid to put them on paper and others because I found someone’s version better than mine. Nevertheless, the idea that consumed me would have had it’s own impact on me if I had put it on paper. So, while reading this book, I decided that I would never compare my writing with anyone ever. I’d always focus on myself. After all, it’s my crazy world and work. Though we all go through some same things, we all do things differently, even if some of us do the same things, it will be good to find a few like minds. So, it is worth reading our stories again and again. Somehow, I was bored by it earlier, now, it all feels different. Maybe, that’s what Magic is. We just realize the wonder of our own ideas.

During those times when I sit down and read my own posts, I really wonder, “I don’t even know where that came from.” It reminds me of the strength I have gained against my odds, what has changed in me and how I have changed. It is all marvellous, even though I have more moments of laughter and eye rolling posts.

We all have a Ruth Stone Moment. Yes, a moment. And if we are waiting to be another Harper Lee, I think we cannot, because she herself couldn’t. Liz has beautifully captured most of the thoughts that would otherwise just keep us occupied naturally. This isn’t about a poem rushing towards us, this is about the thoughts that run through our busy minds every single day, those that remain hidden and come out only when we want to see the change in us. While reading the book, I felt a lot of dèjà vu moments mainly because we all go through these, but we choose to ignore them. I have ignored a lot of good. I am glad someone like Liz who considered her genius as someone who helps her, put all this down without fear. I am amazed as I read each and every page, smiling at the thoughts we all go through at some point of time in our lives. It’s all the same, but somehow different.

When I came to reading about Permission, I realized a lot of things. A woman seeks permission for many things. I used to wonder only I was like that, this book made it clear that all of us are the same on that. So, I realized from now, I give myself the full permission to live my creative life the way it appears in front of me rather than just the way I desire it.

While reading this I realized how I had always wanted a degree in Creative Arts. I was born in the time where Engineering or Medicine were the two respected choices by most parents. However, I had different ideas. I wanted to take up journalism, but for a long time it remained a dream. As much as I remember, I had wanted to be an Engineer while in my teens, at other times even a bus conductor – I found the job really appealing.

I accepted Computer Science Engineering course with little care, but enjoyed it thoroughly from Day 1. Around my final year, I found I liked to write and my friends shared their thoughts about my writing and encouraged me to write more. That’s how it all started. Now, as I read this, I realized my fight that day was to enter into a field of writing and that’s not exactly journalism. I am delighted to find my interest in writing flourishing and remaining intact even after 10 years. I love what I do right now(even though it’s on and off), I only wish I spend time every day on my blog. Even while working in the corporate, I was able to write and that’s exactly what kept me sane even then. I understood my Engineering only while I worked in the corporate. Somehow everything so far seems good because I write. I have started writing about it all for my own acceptance. It feels so much better than before.

I met a few students while I was deep into this book. While conversing, one told me he wanted to pursue a good degree in a good college. Most students say something like that. Debt is not something most parents of those kids could handle at the moment. I asked him to go for an education loan if he really wants to pursue the course he desires. He agreed and I told him to keep himself free of debt starting now.

There are parents and children who still decide on the basis on IT for an engineering degree. Today’s children want a job that starts with a minimum of 10K pay. I wasn’t even thinking this way, not even now. I asked one among them if he would go to a job at the Supermarket in case he doesn’t get a job after his degree or even as a part-time, he smirked and said, NO. I said keep your options open, be ready to pick any job initially. He looked at me like I killed his dreams. Well, he will figure it out sooner.

Jobs are step one to keep our dreams alive. We need jobs to pay our bills, to make one problem less to pursue what we’ve always liked. I’d rather be working than dreaming about not being able to do something I like. While I worked full-time, I loved writing most weeks. It made me feel sane during hectic timelines and over-time at work. The focus was entirely on writing and I loved spending every minute of it. When Liz has clearly told about what it is like to work and still write, I felt she was right. We need our jobs to support us.

It is one of the best books to show your fear in front of your eyes and list it out daringly as boring. I loved this book more right there. We are all scared of many things, but to address them as it is and move on takes courage. Let’s all find the courage to break free and live a deep creative life.

I enjoyed reading Big Magic and I know I’d re-read this many times because focus doesn’t come easy now. There’s so many things running constantly on my mind and priorities have changed. Still, it reminds me that I am my priority. So, I’ll need her guidance and to live a life beyond fear. Trust yourself and we’ll find our way in this creative world.

What’s your two cents on Big Magic? I would love to know. If you haven’t read it yet, do read. You’ll not just love it, but nod your head throughout the book to make things better for yourself.

Happy Reading.

Prompt: A book written by someone of a different nationality / color / ethnic group than you: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Jayanthy Govindarajan

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