There’s something I want to say, but for the life of me, and regardless of how long I sit here, I’m still unsure what it is. It’s an absolutely frustrating-to-the-core feeling. One thing’s for sure, being a Creative, isn’t easy.
When I was young that word wasn’t used that way. When I was going through my formative years, ripe with possibility, I had no clue who I was or what I should or could possibly do. It took all I had to manage my every day life. And school was no help. Sadly, I hear this is often still the case. Please know, if you were or are aimless or unsure your place, you are not alone.
I grew up in a town so small it took two minutes to drive from one end to the other. It was beautiful. And still is. But small. And unless you excelled in math, science or football, well… you were invisible. You had to find your own way. And I did. Many years later.
Being a Creative, as it’s now termed, isn’t an easy path. In fact, its profoundly irksome. Just as much, its profoundly rewarding. But it’s also who you are so to do otherwise is akin to repeatedly shoving your foot into a shoe that’s two times too small. It won’t work. Many do it, of course; resigning themselves to a life that never feels right. Life is all about feeling to me. And I’ve spent many years living a life that didn’t feel right. It’s a slow death that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I used to dream of being a writer. Spinning captivating stories. Most likely with a decanter of expensive Scotch perched beside me, slowly slipping into giddy madness. I never did live out that fantasy. And I still don’t like Scotch. But my idea was based on a limited concept. I only knew what I knew. And my education never bothered to show me how to utilize my very individualized skills. I spent much of my early years feeling as though I was somehow spectacularly unintelligent as I had no interest in much of what was being taught. Aside from one or two classes that left an indelible impression, the rest was a bore. But it wasn’t because of my lack. It was because it wasn’t meant for me.
Life is about finding our way, discovering who we are and what fills us with passion. Even if that passion is mild and calm or wild and enthralling. It doesn’t matter. It’s our passion, our definition. For many of us, we unwittingly forfeit our first couple of decades before we stumble into discovering our niche and place in the world. School should be a time of discovery, not rote. I don’t give a flying flip about formulas, unless it’s the formula for happiness and self exploration. Because those formulas are necessary to us all.
I’m sitting here on a leisurely afternoon, surrounded by flowers with soft music playing in the warm breeze, grateful for this life of mine. But it shouldn’t take decades to find one’s place. So whether you are young or old, and feel lost and wondering your place, don’t despair. If I can do it, so can you. And if people seem wildly unhappy out there in the world, it’s because they are. There are a lot of people living a life that feels like an ill-fitting shoe, wishing for something better.
If I were to create the world. I would spend a lot more time cultivating one’s ability to think creatively and critically. I would make sure they knew they were smart. It takes strength to find your way. I’d make sure they knew they had that strength. And if they decided they wanted to live the life of a Creative I’d warn them that it won’t be easy. There will be days when the desire sits like an itch. But also too, there will be days when they click the final key, make their final brush stroke, design the final piece or make their final edit, and it will feel so deeply gratifying. Either way, which ever path, I’d make sure they know to live it fully.; unabashed. Embraced. I wish someone had taken the time to tell me that. Well dear reader, at least I’m here to tell you.