This morning, I woke up to yet another snow day and groaned. Writing is lonely business. Hours slogging in the early morning darkness (in my case) before I make breakfast for kids and go to work. There are long months where I can't talk to anyone about what I am working on, and more long months where only one or two editors get a chance to take a peek and offer feedback.
Not easy for an extrovert like me. As many creative workers know, it's important to stay inspired. To stay fresh. To be connected to the wellspring of your heart. Especially when it's been below zero for more than five days out of the last seven, and everything outside is gray: the road, the trees, the sky. Gray starts to wallpaper my heart.
The #This Girl Can video campaign burned through that covering like a bright spark on a pile of dry twigs. I've deconstructed, out loud and in my head, what makes this campaign so amazing. It's the tight editing, the simple concept, executed flawlessly, and beyond that, it's the way the images speak to reality i.e. the experience of real women loving and using their bodies. Not models projecting an unattainable and empty ideal, looking like pieces of furniture and objects to be used and discarded. (I've read The Guardian article here, which disputes my own experience of the piece. Well, Jessica Francombe-Webb, I politely agree to disagree.)
The practice of self-care, physical self-care or artistic self-care, is based on the act of being present in our bodies and experience. When I watch images of real, diverse women, playing sports, working out, and getting physical, I am nourished. And inspired.
I worked out on the coldest day of the year! And the next day. And the next. Fuck below zero temperatures.
And then I worked on my novel.
And then I took care of my kids, packed lunches, and kissed cheeks.
And then I went to work (school).
Just another day in this amazing life.
Props to the lovely folks who created this campaign. Thank you for inspiring me and thousands of other women and men.
Coranna Adams is a writer, filmmaker, and educator from Asheville, North Carolina.