Creativity has meant many things to me over the years. When I was a little girl I believed I was an artist like every other child. As I got older my skills grew and I won a provincial drawing competition in grade 5. In grade 6 I drew and painted a mural in the front hallway of my middle school. By the middle of high school I’d moved on to acrylics and pastels. With my first job I bought my first camera convinced that I was going to be a photojournalist. When I moved into my first place creativity became making my place a home. I sewed curtains and cushions, I painted the walls in colours that appealed to me, I put up my own drawings and paintings and then someone who should have been kind, loving and supportive made a snide comment to me about being creative. I was told that “creatives are just freaks and that there is no way to make a living being creative; do something useful”. Just like that my creativity shut down.
Life tends to get in the way of our hopes and dreams; especially when we’re out on your own at a young age and paying the bills becomes the biggest priority. With the snide comment and bills and then kids and life I gave up on creativity for almost 20 years. I dabbled a little in this and that and nothing serious all the while wishing I could just pick up my pencil or my paint brush again. I longed for creativity, for that lost part of myself.
A few years ago my life came crashing down around me. I couldn’t even put one foot in front of the other. I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing or what I wanted. Lost and broken were what I felt and what would have described me best. I had no idea where to turn, or why I should even get out of bed. The life I had planned was gone – just like that, in the blink of an eye. I said to an old friend that I was trying to see it as an opportunity to reinvent myself and my life. I tried to believe that it was a good thing. You know what they say about being at the bottom – there’s no place to go but up. My ever wise friend told me that the opportunity would come, but right then and there I had to heal. Focus, she said to me on getting myself well and whole and then you can take the opportunity to reinvent if reinvention is what you want or need when you’re back on your feet.
It took me two solid years to get my feet back under me and all the while I’ve been writing and taking photos and dreaming of being creative again. Do I dare? Am I ready to put the past in the past and to let go of one snide remark and begin again. I want to say yes and I do believe it’s possible because while I was a little girl I believed we are all artists now I know we are all creative. Our lives are ours to create as we want and dream and hope for. To quote Carl Jung – “But if you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself”. That’s what I’m doing from here on out, this is my time for reinvention and my opportunity to put my life together exactly the way I want it to be – I can be creative each and every day in the traditional way like writing, drawing and photographing the world around me and I can create my life in a way that fits me perfectly. Life is good.