Being Brave When Exploring Creativity

I used to be creative. When I was a young girl I always enjoyed tinkering and making little things as gifts for people. I always loved dancing. I loved orating, pretending to speak in front of a class of people. I’ve always loved writing. I’ve regularly kept a journal since the age of 5. I’ve always liked singing out loud. But my focus started to change when I got to high school.

I’ve always had creative friends. In my group of friends there was always at least two talented artist of something or another. Many of them were such originals, creative-types and innovators. Then there was me. The “wanna be” or so I felt. I guess it did make sense that we were friends because deep down I’d always been a creative person.

For the longest time, I’ve been yearning to be creative, re-kindle the feeling of playful free flow that I seemed to always be in when I was a young girl. I have desired being in a creative space. I’ve pictured myself writing, singing, dancing, making stuff with my hands, learning the arts of whatever.

But I never gave into this yearning. Because, the truth is, for most of my life I wouldn’t let myself enjoy it too much, believing that it wasn’t utile, and a luxury others could indulge in but not me. I reasoned that I didn’t have time to play. I had to focus on academics. I had to do well academically because that was what I felt was the only way out of my “economics”, I guess. And, while I had a pretty good capacity for Academia, I had to work for it. So, I spent my time mostly engaged in studying text books and reading non-fiction (which I enjoyed). I was and still am a natural sponge!

At that time, no one in my family had ever graduated from university. My mother went, but didn’t finish because she  got preggo with me. My father never had anything other than like, maybe, a second year high school education. So, I felt obligated not to just get there but also to finish. I felt a deep responsibility to my family to progress myself and them through graduating with a college degree. There was really no room to indulge in “play”. And from what I’ve learned, you have to be able to “play” to create. You have to be willing to “play” in order to step into some creative space. I wouldn’t allow myself to do that. Until recently, that is.

I don’t think that I’ve done anything as brave in my entire life, at least so far. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’ve done other brave things in my life, but allowing myself to play in a creative space, to place an intrinsic value on art and give it room in my life — coming from me, that’s damn brave.

Here’s why: because despite not knowing what it’ll all be for, despite not knowing if it would even yield anything, I’m still doing it. I’m playing with creativity, doing my thing, doing me, my art. I’ve always been so focused on only doing things that will yield results and that are “worthy” of my time. Yes, that is wise. Yes, that is smart. But I’ve done that way for so long and have been concluding that I’m not anymore joyful for it.

I’m discovering and doing the art that’s in me because there’s something about doing it that makes me feel free. Anyone who knows something about me knows that I love to get free. Since freedom is where it’s at, joy naturally follows.

Is there something inside of you that wants to create? Have you forgotten about a creative aspect of yourself, too? What are you yearning to do? I wanna hear. Really I do.

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