I never thought of myself as a creative person. I studied business. I am practical, efficient, organized, a creative problem-solver. I am a planner and an executor, even a motivator. I am a get-it-done and do-it-well girl. I can assess how tight of a ship you are running, identify comprehensive points of failure, architect a cross-functional solution and drive change. I’m an operational beast. All the buzz words. I would concede that it seemed as if I had nurtured all the skills to optimize someone else’s vision and told myself when the day arrived where I had inspiration of my own that I would be prepared to harness it. Cut through the all the resume lingo and you’ll find a definition that is pretty wah wah in the personal meaning category.
How many times do we spend our energy preparing for someday as if we’re preparing to catch a ball but forget to take the more important steps to actually put ourselves in the game? I have a remarkable skill set for organizational optimization and if I stay on that path I’ll continue to manifest more of the same. If deep down I’m interested in using my abilities for my own creation however, shouldn’t I start with cultivating creativity?
That’s where this writing thing comes in. Writing has always been a source of creativity for me but I never really thought of it in that way. I have been an avid journaler my entire life. This is simply my voice. Unlike journaling in my own private universe, it has been really scary for me to go public with my deepest thoughts. I am not a big social media sharer and have to think consciously about how much of my personal life is OK to expose. Still, I feel the need to connect with, support, inspire and motivate others especially in this realm of social media highlight reels, which often leave us with the similar feelings of FOMO and self-deprecation inspired by beauty magazines.
To the creative souls out there, do you ever get comfortable with exposing yourself, with being vulnerable to the opinions of others? I give myself comfort by recognizing how many other voices are in this social sphere just like mine. If you don’t relate to what I have to say, you can simply turn your attention elsewhere and, in a nanosecond, forget all about me. If only I had learned that fact when I was younger: People are mostly thinking about themselves and don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do. There’s freedom in that knowledge.
The other challenge with going public with my creativity is the commitment to being consistent. Sure we can all get our groove on when the mood strikes, but how about turning out creativity consistently week after week, on tap? How sexy is the word “schedule”? Not very… but I am project manager by trade, driving a schedule is in my wheelhouse. I can do this.
For my fellow “non-creative” souls, I’ve found that creativity it like a muscle and you have to work it out regularly… and yes, there is such a thing as being out of shape. Even when it has the Monday-morning blues like me at Bond Fitness where absolutely no part of my being wanted to move or even be in full lighting. I regularly remind myself: 80% of success is just showing up. Put a little work in and lay a brick day by day, it doesn’t need to be a masterpiece.
Creativity is a unique practice that gives back to my often neglected right brain what feels like ten-fold. The more I put in the more incredibly present, inspired and full of joy I feel, literally. I’m inspired in a way I never was before to investigate topics that interest me, to push myself and to communicate anything I can glean that I think might resonate with others.
Something is working in the right direction. When I started MerWoman it was because I felt like I had something to share, messages and thoughts that would connect with others. Now I realize that it’s giving a gift to myself. It is opening my eyes to the extraordinary world around me, which is an even greater gift than I’m offering to anyone else.
To all those ball-busting women out there, who may feel a little, or a lot, out of touch with their creativity, just start. Start with a little curiosity and a little effort day by day. Be consistent and create a schedule for yourself and stick to it like it is one of the most important things in the world… because your relationship with yourself is important. Once you start cultivating your creativity, you’ll start noticing more and more beauty surrounding and within you- like in technicolor. My days are brighter, my tastes are sweeter and I recognize joy in a way I never have before. My fellow MerWomen, thank you for sharing this journey.