On Being A Creative
I realized this week, I haven’t written much on my blog since moving to St. George. Maybe it’s because I’ve started my taxi service, a.k.a. Kids n’ Carpool. Or maybe it’s because I’m working on other writing projects, and channeling my creative energies toward making STUFF. Stuff like oil paintings, building furniture, crocheting dish clothes, growing succulents, crafting bath bombs—it’s a thing. Stuff that I can point to and say, “See, I made THAT.” Because being able to point to something YOU make is incredibly rewarding. In fact, I really can’t overstate how important it is to CREATE. It’s life giving.
I say life-giving because there have been moments, patches of time in my 20 year career as a mother, where I’ve felt “less than,” where I’ve even felt…I don’t have a life. It’s scary, in a soul wrenching kind of way, to suddenly wonder what you’ve been doing with the last decade or two of your life, you know, besides cooking dinner and cleaning laundry. But if you can glance over at the windowsill and see your succulents growing, or admire the frame on your nightstand (the one where you collected shells and hot glued them together), or look up on the wall and see the shelf you mounted, using a level! It’s something! It’s evidence! You are quietly creating spaces that reflect joy and bring harmony to your home.
Being a Creative means being present and witnessing lives in action. You are the catalyst. That takes energy. And it’s not just about artwork and being crafty; you’re approaching life with a level of awareness and thought that brings meaning. You foster connections, not only between materials (i.e. blue and white pillows go good together), but with people too. Friendships bloom in your surroundings and you create flow in your family life.
Being a Creative might not be what you set out to do. No one tells their parents, while they’re forking over funds for college, “I’m going to get this degree and then go be a Creative.” The Creative’s life journey is for the uninitiated, schooled and unschooled, mother, teacher, lawyer, doctor or otherwise, the only passage necessary to board this ship is that you begin—you begin to find a life through creating.
How do you know if you’re a Creative? You might be a “Creative” if…
- If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What am I doing with my life?”
- If you’ve told people, “I need to find my purpose.”
- If you’ve put your dreams on hold to make sure others live theirs.
- If you take joy in creating spaces that nurture conversation and bring friends together.
- If you love colors.
- If you go to Farmer’s Markets.
- If you treasure an antique of your grandmother’s.
- If you like to crochet.
- If you keep a journal.
- If you think homemade is better than store bought.
- If you post as many photos of food and décor as you do people.
What is a Creative?
It’s someone who loves to do sooooo many different things that they can’t decide what they love most, (FYI if you’re a Creative you don’t have to choose). It’s someone who creates things, little or big, out of seemingly nothing. (Dinner in a pinch, I’ll make a frittata. And if you know what a frittata is, then yes, you are a Creative!) A Creative loves to watch the sunset, but loves it even more with family and friends. A Creative might be 70, but she’s still not sure what she wants to do when she grows up *wink*. A Creative loves people. Van Gogh said, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” (Van Gogh was a Creative).
In writing to his brother Theo, Van Gogh remarked, “I must continue to follow the path I take now. If I do nothing, if I study nothing, if I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it — keep going, keep going come what may.”
A Creative must keep going, keep nurturing, keep building. Do you want to be a Creative? Then you already are one. Keep creating, putting a life together, one day, one project, one meal on the table at a time.
With Cooper in Iraq this year, creativity has taken on new meaning for me. Living in a new city, transitioning my world, I’ve found immense comfort in working on tangible projects that bring me joy. Sure I’m busy with the kids and doing the heavy lifting of being the sole parent, even more reason to get my hands busy on some projects that enlarge my mind and feed my soul. How do I find time?
I steal it. Here a little; there a little. Time barely notices.
I strive for increments of time, not whole chunks of it. I wrote this blog on and off over the course of three days. A thought here, a quote there; I let the ether talk to me and I talked back—that’s how it works. If you have only 10 minutes you can write some thoughts, paint a board, prep veggies for dinner, redo a table setting, read some pages of a book, light candles and breathe. In 15 minutes, well, the universe can be yours.
But what is your final goal, you may ask. That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely… right now it seems that things are going very badly for me…and may continue to do so well into the future. But it is possible that everything will get better after it has all seemed to go wrong. I am not counting on it, it may never happen, but if there should be a change for the better I should regard that as a gain, I should rejoice, I should say, at last! So there was something after all!” –Van Gogh
There is something to life, something to think deeply about, wonder about, search for…there is meaning in walking the creative path, seeing more deeply the beauty of nature, family, connections. Foster it, grow it, breath it.
The next time someone wants to know who I am, what I do, what’s my job title, I will say, “I am a Creative.” If they ask what that is, I’ll say, someone who specializes in creative living, designing spaces for life flow and connection. If they look puzzled, I’ll smile wide and let them know if they’re interested, they should Google it. (They might just find this blog.)