When you hear the word “creative,” what do you think of? Do you imagine a child having fun with finger paints? Or a sculptor intent on perfection? Maybe a fiddler in a pub leading the crowd, or a dancer on stage.
Truth is, “creativity” is any number of forms of self-expression ~
Playing an instrument
Writing a book
Creativity is a passion that calls on you to express yourself. The vehicle that you use to say hey, this is me doing my thing.
It’s the thing that makes you smile, lights you up, sets you apart, makes time fly.
Now, a question ~ have you ever thought of turning your passion into a business? Is your creativity sitting in a dusty corner waiting until you get a job and can afford to support it? Or when the kids are grown? Or when you retire?
It’s not likely there will ever be a time when all the lights are green and obstacles magically fall away. Rather, indulging in whatever lights you up energizes you to tackle other areas of your life.
Here’s a case in point:
Playing violin has always been the thing that sets me apart, lights me up, makes time fly. In a word….my passion. Well, in my early 20’s I started a full-time job and full-time boyfriend. Said boyfriend didn’t see the value of playing violin, and to him, rehearsal and performance time was taking time away from him (I know, get rid of the boyfriend, not the music).
But I chose to make it all “work” by committing my time to my job and to him. I completely quit playing. The boyfriend, thankfully, lasted only a couple of months. But like a law of nature, whenever there’s a void, something rushes to fill it. I started socializing more; the time I used to spend playing and practicing, I spent out with friends and coworkers. I don’t need to tell you it wasn’t the best use of my time. Mostly fun, but I lost my art, passion, the thing that makes me unique and different from most others.
My identity as Ellen-with-a-violin disappeared. I became Ellen-the-office-worker. Understand, there is nothing wrong with working in an office. But it wasn’t who I am.
At the time I didn’t understand this. I had given up my music and art friends and replaced them with non-musicians and -artists. So of course they didn’t understand I made a mistake when I would tell them “I used to play violin.” Like a has-been who lived in the past.
See? This is who I was! I was talented, and unique.
So even I came to see myself as common and dull. My violin hiatus dragged on for twenty – yes twenty – lost years.
I would check my violin every few years. Open the case and say hey. I lugged it around with me to every place I lived, just to have it with me, even in the back of the closet.
Time lapse to Christmas 2000. My father had given me a CD by Andrea Bocelli. I loved it, and listened over and over. There were fantastic orchestral backing tracks.
One night, I said to myself, what’s wrong with you? Remember when you immersed yourself in playing this kind of stuff in orchestras? You still remember what it was like. You can go back to it.
That night, I clearly remember, I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited about deciding to go back to my passion. The next day I called my former teacher who I hadn’t talked to in two decades. He was still teaching and would be thrilled to have me back.
So that’s how I got my groove back. Not just with violin, but in my entire life.
So however you define “creativity,” keep it.