Living A Bittersweet Life
day #17/100: reflections on Brené Brown & Susan Cain's latest podcast 🎙
I spent my Sunday afternoon binging on Brene Brown’s latest Unlocking Us podcast, featuring Susan Cain and her latest book, “Bittersweet”. As I listened, I found myself breaking out my set of watercolors for the first time in months.
I’ve been wanting to paint for a while now, but something was holding me back. This time, as their words filled my ears, I let loose—and allowed myself to just create.
As my brush moved across the page, a pattern started to emerge. Deep, melancholic blues gave way to vibrant, verdant greens. Finally, the most brilliant suffusion of yellow—symbolizing joy, warmth, and hope.
This is exactly what the podcast was trying to illustrate, I realized. Sorrow and joy are not two distinct, opposite states. They coexist on a spectrum — a spectrum called humanity. They are, as Brené says, “two roads we walk on at the same time”.
One is not inherently better than the other. It simply just… is.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. My mental health was at an all-time low. Last night, I found out an old college mate has passed away. The last thing I wanted to do was create, even though I’d committed to the 100-day project.
Then Susan said this on the podcast:
“Creativity has the power to look pain in the eye, and turn it into something better.” ~ Susan Cain
I was floored.
Here I was, allowing myself to fall back into old toxic habits of distraction and self-sabotage, avoiding creation like the plague… when I should have been prioritizing it.
I’m so glad I chose to stay in today. I’m so glad I chose to take my paints out, put a podcast on, and see where it took me.
I’m so glad it brought me home. 🤍
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