I spent a huge chunk of my life convincing myself that I wasn’t creative.
Being a nurse, and having excelled at science and math, I was quick to dismiss any creative endeavors.
“I didn’t get the creative genes” I would often say.
I come from a very creative and crafty lineage.
My mom, my aunts and all of my female cousins are creatives.
Artists, performers and makers.
I was always in awe of their talents.
My mom has the ability to see the beauty in anything. Where one person might see junk, she sees endless possibilities.
From the time I was a small child, she shared her imagination with my brother and I.
We would set up the entire living room with Barbies and GI Joe guys, and she would be nearby on her sewing machine crafting outfits for my dolls and sleeping bags and tents for my brother’s action figures.
My childhood was full of times like these
And when I wasn’t in imagination mode, I was snuggled in my room with my face in a book.
Some of my fondest memories are of reading the Little House on the Prairie series, and then playing them out with brother, my dolls and my stuffed animals.
We had many adventures in our make believe prairie home that was conveniently located in the backyard.
So at what point did I lose this imagination superpower??
Turns out that I didn’t.
It just morphed into imagining my future which can easily translate into anxiety for some people.
We spend sooooooo much time worrying these days that we forget to utilize our imagination for creative endeavors!
Instead we stress over the “what-if’s” of life.
I’m not someone who identifies with having severe anxiety.
I do, however, get appropriately nervous.
I have also been known to stress over things that are out of my control.
I did waste years of beautiful creative energy worrying about way too many things.
So about two years ago, I began to journal again.
It started as a morning practice. Just a purge of thoughts and feelings.
As time went on, I began to write out my recovery story.
The process of writing helped me sort through a lot of the shame that came with the healing journey.
In April of 2018, I was asked to share my story on the Juggling the Jenkins Blog (Tiffany Jenkins).
I was ecstatic and terrified at the same time.
What an honor to share on such a huge recovery platform!
But what would people think of me?
My truth is dark. I lied and stole in my addiction. Plus I was a licensed professional.
But I swallowed what remained of my pride, and submitted the truth in a very public forum.
The results were incredible.
Of course there were negative comments, but the majority were very positive and supportive.
I had 67 people email me privately (most were health care professionals) to share their own addiction stories. The “me too” response was incredible.
My story was subsequently shared on five other recovery blogs and websites.
I realized that writing was my jam and I decided to create a blog to document my journey and share things that have been helpful to me.
And… you’re reading it now…
The jounaling and blog writing turned into requests to ghost write for other people’s blogs.
I wrote articles that were published on Elephant Journal.
And then copy writing jobs with full creative freedom!
What started as a way to purge my thoughts had turned into a creative outlet and a side gig with a paycheck attached to it.
I started to explore more creative outlets.
I read creative magazines (find my favorite here) and started following artists and makers on social media.
I decided that I was going to try everything that sparked my fancy.
I would sit with my eyes closed and imagine what I would love to do.
I used to make beautiful jewelry before my boys were born.
I loved handcrafting jewelry.
So I ventured to the bead shop, bought some supplies and dove right back into it.
I cannot stress enough how much fun I am having!
THIS is what is important to me these days.
Being present with people that I love.
Connection based on truth and vulnerability.
Being unafraid to try new things, being ok with failure, pushing outside of my comfort zone, doing things for the pure joy of trying…
These things are available to all of us.
So my advice to you is this:
Pick something and do it.
Write, draw, sing, take a dance class, learn to sew, try ceramics, learn the piano.
Whatever your little heart desires.
Don’t let one more day go by without getting in touch with your inner creative.
And please share with me! I always love to know what is going on with you.
I would love to feature someone’s writing on my Facebook Page
We ALL have a story to tell!