I have felt like a dried up well of creativity for a long time. For so long in fact I started wondering if I was even creative at all anymore. As a child I used to draw all the time. I think I had a natural talent in it but when I finally started going to school and being around kids instead of in my homeschool bubble, I realized there were others who were better than I was so, I quit.
In high school, I wrote poetry with my best friend in a notebook we shared. Someone found our notebook and made fun of it and I was so embarrassed. Shortly after, my grandma found some of my journaling and said it was ‘depressing’ so, I quit.
College brought to my attention the fact that I wasn’t as good of a student I always thought I had been. I was truly under the impression school was my “thing”. Now I could barely force myself to write a 3 page paper the night before it was due. Yet, there were people winning teacher-led contests for having the most handwritten notes in a semester.
This is not a post about being homeschooled, nor is it about me finally realizing my true talent, and its not really about comparison either. Although, all of those are stories in and of themselves and may found themselves being told another day.
Being homeschooled for a large portion of my education did mean that I didn’t have many to compare myself to. I may have had some unrealistic perceptions of my aptitudes in certain subjects. This is not to say that I didn’t have anyone to push me to learn or try hard. I had some pretty high standards set by my family. Really, I was already falling behind in their eyes. I was supposed to be on track to graduate at least two years early from high school. Unfortunately, I was just one year ahead I was excelling at things that I didn’t even give a damn about to please other people and basically never doing a single thing for my own pleasure. Anytime I would find something that brought me joy and I was “bad” at it, I quit.
I have spent a whole lot of my life running away from things that feel good and make me happy because I didn’t excel at them immediately. The shame from not being able to measure up to impossibly high standards for “important” things kept me from running ahead in the fun parts. Work first, play later, right?
Well, it’s time for that to freaking change. Because when will later be?
This week I have been making a conscious effort to open my mind and let ideas come. I’m tired of feeling about as shallow as a shower. I want depth! I want creativity and lucid dreaming and brainstorming and collaboration. I want to give ideas freely because it feels good to use my brain and not only when it serves a purpose in the “real world” and can pay the bills.
You know what has happened since I have opened up my mind?
I seem to have bloomed and found my soul.
Tell me; have you kept your creativity hidden? Do you let fear of being “bad” at something keep you from things you really love?