They never tell you all sides of the story in the beginning. When I was little and had creativity coming out of my eyeballs, no one ever laid out the cons, only the pros were highlighted. When I say “they” I am referring to my parents, family, and teachers that all witnessed my little creative wheels turning and could see the fruits of it in the dance moves I’d created, the songs I sang, and the “poems” I’d scribble down. I made evening gowns out of my bed sheets (with hair clips as fastens) and created extensive biographies for each of my stuff animals. I wasn’t Mozart, no child genius, but creative enough for people to take notice and encourage me to pursue something in a creative field. So I went willingly, and embraced every creative outlet that interested me. I sang in the choir, I did ballet briefly, I was a thespian by age 12 and I had a poem published in a local magazine when I was 16. Awesome right?
It was, and still is. However, no one warned me about what happens when a creative person grows up, the bad habits, the self deprecation, the emotional exhaustion, insomniac tendencies, the procrastination, but most of all the FEAR. The fear of never being good enough, the fear of actually succeeding and monetizing said creativity, the fear of having to consistently produce things that just “come out ” of you. Creativity isn’t a skill, or a formula you just follow. You can’t fake it, you also can’t force it.
:::Enter anxiety attack:::
Us creatives tend to get those too by the way. Sure, education and a certain skill set can be an almost fool proof vehicle for said creativity, but at the heart of it all, if you don’t have the idea, the light bulb, the divine inspiration…you have nothing, your product has no heart. So what happens when you’re tapped out- when your day job got the best of you, you got four parking tickets in one day, and it hurts to think of your full name? How can you still produce honestly and passionately? How do you find the heart, when you can barely feel a pulse?
I don’t know.
But here is what I do know: I am a creative. I was built to work with the many grey areas in this beautiful world. I see things differently, and feel everything- sometimes all at once. For now, clothes and words may be my vehicles of choice, but I should never fear where my creativity takes me. I know that most of who I am is powered by my brain, but my creativity- in the many shapes it has taken over the years- is powered by my heart, and as long as I recognize and appreciate how unique BOTH parts of me are, I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay.
The hardest part of being a creative is trusting yourself. It requires lots of honesty, self- love and crazy vulnerability.
No one ever told me about the pitfalls of being a creative, but then again, if I had the disclaimer in the beginning would it be as fun? Would I even do it?
I’ll never know, but that’s okay. I’ll just follow my heart instead, it hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
Never skip a beat birds,