I hadn’t posted anything since the beginning of February. It had been an entire month and I was letting it get to me. I expressed my frustration to my boyfriend, saying how I really needed to get something written. His honest and innocent response of, “Why?” really threw me for a loop.
Why did I need to get something out there? Aside from the fact that I: a) was of course wanting to grow my blog and b) really needed to put in that writing time; was I really doing this for me? I have always been a big supporter of approaching tasks, goals, and dreams when the timing is right. You have to put in the work along the way, but by no means should you feel bad about where you’re at right now. And then I realized, that’s precisely what it was. I have been feeling stuck, lost and frazzled, simply moving from one task to the next. I was placing so much emphasis on my job title that I felt as if I wasn’t contributing according to some so-called standards. When in all honesty, I’m calling bull on that one because I know in my heart that I am doing great things every day, even if I can’t see it. I am a nanny to 2 amazing boys, whom I adore and care for with my whole heart. I am a server at a family-owned restaurant, where I have met some of the sweetest guests and co-workers. I am a mentor to a remarkable young lady. I am a volunteer in my community and church. I am also a writer.
I’ve also been healing this year, taking the time to come back from the loss of my mother, as well as other cards I’ve been dealt in this hand. I take it day by day. Through this I found that for every tide that has washed away pieces of me or my story, it simply has been rewritten and I have gained tenfold during the course of it. My faith has strengthened, I’ve regained my confidence, new and wonderful people have appeared in my life, and though the loss of my mom will always hurt in some way, I have found thankfulness for the time we had and peace in knowing her suffering came to an end.
For the creative type, this all matters. We can be people-pleasing perfectionists (say that 3 times), always wanting to put out something great. But, what if we’re just doing it to go through the motions, instead of when it’s the right time? Can we really create greatness in those moments? When you’ve pushed yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally to the brink of exhaustion, how can you want to create?
I came up with a mantra to remind myself of this:
MAKE SPACE FOR CREATIVITY.
I don’t mean an actual space consisting of the perfect desk and chair. Rather, the space inside of you. Allow for failures and mistakes. Call security on that inner critic when he gets too rowdy. Make sure you are in a healthy mindset, as well as physically nurturing yourself. You wouldn’t go to work in rough shape, so why insist on settling when your creative work is just as important?
If we, the creators, are so striving to make something of lasting value, then we owe it to ourselves to nurture that part of us. We can still create in those moments of extreme emotion such as anger, sadness, or guilt. In fact, those times where we are just putting it all out there are often jumping points for future great works. But, don’t sell yourself short in terms of creativity. You are a beacon of light in what can sometimes be a seemingly endless, dark horizon. The sun beam that comes through your window just right. The first firefly, beckoning the beginning of summer.
You owe it to yourself to bring something of lasting value into this magnificent world. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or even the next, but I promise you that it will happen, perhaps when you are least expecting it to. Don’t box yourself in and most importantly, do not rush the process. I know that can often go against what is instilled in us but creativity should be about slowing down, not speeding forward. Make that space. Be that light. And always, always keep creating.