30 Days of Creativity: Days 22, 23, 24, and 25

Yes, I’m attempting to cover four days in just one catch up post. And feeling a bit sheepish about it.

Things have gotten away from me a bit lately, in general as well as in terms of this little June project. Life is in flux, in so many ways. And, in wanting to talk about it while also maintaining my carefully curated semi-anonymity here, I’ve found myself feeling stuck.

I say that I don’t want to get Dooced, but that’s a small part of things – sort of a cop out. I know that. I’ve been surprised to find how private I am, in a lot of ways. Maybe it’s smart. Or maybe it’s personal preference or paranoia – not wanting any random person to know the ins and outs of my life. Or maybe there’s more to it.

In the world of Facebook, we broadcast our whereabouts, our relationships starting and ending, our frustrations and happiness, our lunches. It has a tendency to make things that really matter seem on equal footing with all of the banal bullshit. Or at least that’s how it feels to me. I’ve heard about countless engagements and divorces, even deaths, via the status update. And I can’t help but resent that.

Recently I spent a little time with someone who has no qualms about telling everyone what he loves and hates. He has a tendency to express himself so openly that he sometimes looks kind of pathetic. Kind of angry. Kind of a lot of things we all are, sometimes, when we’re not just showing the PR version of ourselves.

I know the same level of honesty or bluntness, the total lack of filter, whatever you want to call it, isn’t me. And I’m thankful for that, in a lot of ways. But I’m also kind of in awe of it and trying to learn a little something from that acceptance of vulnerability. It’s so goddamned refreshing. Somehow it’s different from the unfiltered broadcasting of big and little, good and bad. And that’s something I’m still sorting out: how to respect the importance of how we feel, be honest and authentic, even in cyberspace, while still maintaining my own sense of boundaries and what feels right to me.

“The heart of authenticity is the courage to be vulnerable.” – Brené Brown

OK, so blah blah – what does all of this have to do with creativity, you ask?

I’ve been reading a bit of Brené Brown’s blog after watching a TED talk she gave about vulnerability. And I came across this post about living a creative life. This thought really resonated:

“I had the creativity scars that many of us have; the ones that come from not being able to draw a still life in middle school and being told that I better stick with writing and reading.”

Yep. Because my grades were all-important for so long, I grew to dread art class – the one class that would get in the way of my perfect report card. Not only was I, along with others, given the impression that I had no talent, no ability, but we were also graded A-F dating back to grade school art classes. Maybe the kids who couldn’t carry a tune dreaded music the same way? I have no idea.

I spend a lot of time now pointing out that “I’m not artistic, just kind of crafty.” Because anyone can be crafty. Crafty just relies on the willingness to try, to buy random supplies, to not get your feelings too hurt if it doesn’t turn out the way it looked in the magazine photo.

But isn’t the same true for so many aspects of creativity?If you’re just willing to try and not be embarrassed and practice, you can do it, at least kinda. I won’t pretend I have innate drawing ability or painting ability or musical talent. I could work at all of those for a long time and not create a single masterpiece. Or a single thing that didn’t look like a fourth grader was involved. I’m not foolish.

But there are things, creative things, I do pretty well. Writing is one. Photography is another. And there’s no shortage of crafty projects!

But there’s also the unsung creative heroes: Problem solving. Curiosity. Wandering. Decorating. Fantasizing.  Cooking.

And so, in honor of some of those, a few things that have been inspiring to me in the past couple of days, in the midst of moving chaos and carpet cleaning and furniture stacked up in the kitchen and to the rafters in the garage.

A few photos coming tomorrow.

Do you feel creative? Artistic? Crafty? Inspired? When? Where? Why not?

Related Posts with Thumbnails