I’ve always considered myself a “creative type.” Ever since I can remember I loved reading, writing, painting — things like that.
I loved playing dress-up, putting on shows for my parents, using a brush or a broken-off antenna from the television for a microphone. When we’re children, we just immerse ourselves in creativity. We don’t think about it. We don’t worry about the outcome. We don’t see it as a means to an end.
We just play. Then somewhere along the way, we stop doing that. I don’t know if it’s from something a teacher, adult, parent — whomever that said something, intentionally or unintentionally, that crushed that little seed of magic that allowed us to create, but we let it become a truth.
I’m not casting blame because we grow up and have a choice to do this or that. You can’t keep consoling that little inner child or you’re never get anything done.
Responsible Adults are We
Life takes over and we become responsible beings, adults. We forget that Oh, I want to be a writer, actor, sculptor, mechanic, pilot, zoologist, lawyer — whatever it was that just made you light up.
We opt for the more stable course, the safer way. I’ll do that creative kid stuff some other time. When I have time. Then there are those lucky individuals (hubby is one) where they decided as tiny little ones what they wanted to be and they did it, that’s what they are.
Not me. I originally wanted to go to college to get a degree in English or Creative Writing then life got in the way, all sorts of stuff happened and I found myself going to school in my thirties for a degree that would land me the “right” job. It was a safe route for me — the responsible thing to do. I tried to make me into what everyone else thought I should do. I got much praise and admiration for it too. You can keep that going for decades.
Something’s Gotta Give
The older I get the more I’m realizing just how vital it is to do what your creative self wants. That doesn’t mean quitting a job or shirking responsibilities. It means mixing things up a bit. Doing something, even if it’s a tiny something, that you keep saying you’re going to do. And just do it. If you screw it up, so be it. Even the screwing up part will teach you something, make you braver and prompt you to take another risk. And another. And so on.
Before you know it, that sleeping giant of creativity you’ve kept buried, wakes up. It’s uncomfortable and it even makes you angry sometimes. It’s kind of like a birth and from what I hear, that’s pretty damn painful. That’s what I’ve been experiencing anyway.
Being creative also makes you vulnerable. If you choose to show your peers, your family/friends or the whole world your creative self, you risk someone criticizing your efforts. And there’s always going to be someone that does, huh?
Many years ago I decided to try out for a part in a small play. I just walked into this tiny theater company and read for the lead part. Mind you, this was in the South; we’re not talking Broadway or anything, but I got it. The lead. I didn’t have any fear and nothing hinged on me NOT getting it. I solely did it for the experience.
Why do we stop doing those things? What makes us afraid to try? Being laughed at? Someone discouraging us? The wiser I get the more I realize that’s it’s important to stretch our creative limbs regularly. To surround ourselves with like-minded people who celebrate that, encourage it and applaud our efforts and we do the same for them.
After all, what’s the worst that can happen? You just may discover something about yourself that you love, that brings you a joy you thought you’d lost. At the very least, makes you smile a little bigger or makes you laugh out aloud. That’s always a good thing.
Happy Monday everyone. And listen to this song, it’s an old one that I heard the other day. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but it always makes me smile, makes me want to run around with flowers in my hair chasing a unicorn or something.
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What was your favorite creative thing/activity as a child? If you could have any job what would it be? When is the last time you did something creative and spontaneous? Do you like your inner child or do you want to kick her/his little ass? (yeah, I borrowed that from Don Henley).