Since I began dedicating time everyday for my writing and starting a photography business with my sister I have learned a very important lesson. Creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t use it enough it will fatigue.
To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it. ~Osho
When I was younger I would write nearly everyday. I was easily inspired – the way the light would hit a corn field on the drive to my grandparents, the many pets we had and their unique personalities, my sister and her quirks that annoyed me but also made me love her, or my grandmother’s hands while she held onto her cup of coffee. Like most teenagers, I was mostly inspired by my daydreams of future travel and adventures.
When I was 19 I was living with my future husband, Rob – and we were financially challenged (fancy talk for poor). We had a wild young love that was not spoiled by discount shopping for dented cans of groceries at Big Lots! We shared an apartment with a few mice and were learning to embrace the unglamorous sides of adulthood. Heck, really we were lucky – we always had a roof over our head, running water, and our power was only shut off once for a very brief time – I quickly learned how to balance a check book after that. We hustled. Rob delivered more pizzas than I can count and picked up other jobs here and there. I’ve always been a workaholic – I’ve had a job since I was 16. I graduated high school early just to dive into college – then nursing school – then a nursing career with a full schedule and as much overtime as my boss would allow. After a while, that wasn’t enough so I went back for my masters degree and finished an anesthesia residency. In 2015, we moved across the country to the Last Frontier and I started my new career. For years I existed among the rat race. You know the drill – wake up, breakfast, work, lunch, work, dinner, sleep, repeat. A workout or hike here and there, on the weekends, and off days.
Some people die at 25, but aren’t buried until 75
Before I knew it I’m sitting here thinking, “what happened? how has this much time flown by? Looking back on the 19 year old version of myself it’s easy to see what happened. The vacuum of materialism sucked me right in.
And poof! Fast forward to now. I’m 34, a wife, momma, sister, daughter, friend, and full-time nurse anesthetist. I wear many hats – like most women – and unfortunately the “creative artist” hat has been on the closet’s top shelf for too long.
Then one day I was slapped in the face with a wake up call – a little stick with the words “pregnant”. It’s so bizarre but all of a sudden it was so obvious! There is more to life than this! My son saved me and lit the creative spark that was buried inside! For more than a decade I had tunnel vision – and thankfully I now see life with a full frame!
By just taking a step back – always pursuing inspiration – it has allowed me to savor life like I once did. In a way this creative hiatus has been a blessing. Always try to see the silver lining! I now value my creativity in a way I never had before. I understand how empty my life was without it!
Artists just view everything differently. That’s what makes them wonderfully weird! (That is a compliment!) Life doesn’t have to pass you by in a blink – just learn to slow down and take it in. I should mention that I know how incredibly difficult it is to slow down in this day and culture – and I’m a hot mess 75% – I’m utterly useless without my morning coffee- and I am constantly reminding myself of these profound thoughts while also considering a long list of other philosophical conundrums. Basically, I don’t have it all figured out – but I have realized what didn’t work for me…. so I got off the hamster wheel. I am playing in the grass again with dirty bare feet – pursuing inspiration – and learning to flex my creative muscles again.
I am curious…. what inspires you? Any tips or exercises that help with creativity ruts??