This may come as a surprise to many of you who visit my blog regularly:
I struggle greatly with what might be termed Creative ADD, to put it lightheartedly.
On second thought, many of you may actually have diagnosed me with that malady on numerous occasions as I flit back and forth from drawing to knitting, painting to crochet, ukulele playing to sewing, and even a bit of poetry. So, whether this surprises you or not, I LOVE LOVE LOVE having so many creative outlets…yet I STRUGGLE STRUGGLE STRUGGLE to find a path, a focus, a sense of direction and purpose in my artistic endeavors. I also crave a focus/”career”/”job” (whathaveyou) that encompasses my WHOLE LIFE and is not sectioned off to certain small segments of my life.
I’ve been blessed with a friend whom I’ve known since I was a little girl and who is also a creative with many interests, a mom, a hard-working gal, and whose insight and experience I both admire and feel drawn to learn from. She is a mosaics artist who is equally at home with clay and other arts & crafts. She is the former owner/operator/teacher of Everyday Art Gallery in Reidsville, NC. We were able to carve out of our busy lives some time to catch up with each other and for me to ply her with the questions that badger me.
Of the many things I came away with that day, one of her questions to me has been most illuminating. Here’s a paraphrase of how she put it:
Imagine your creative life like your closet…you know, how you sort through your closet from time to time, weeding out and sorting through all the accumulated stuff. You have your staples, the mainstays, the clothes you wear all the time, feel good all the time, say “you” all the time. Then you have the clothes that you bring out once in a while…maybe the outfit or two when you’re feeling flamboyant, or when you want to be super comfy. There are the exercise clothes, the Sunday clothes, the party clothes. Then there are things you haven’t worn in years and years that really should be given away. It always does a person good to go through ones’ closet. So…what is the ONE THING creatively that you couldn’t do without. What is the mainstay, the staple? What creative endeavors are seasonal? Which ones do you think-“well, I want to keep it, but I’m ok with not wearing it today or even this week/month. I can get to that later.” And are there any that can be given away that are just weighing you down?
I had an immediate answer to this. It surprised me that I did, although once said, I felt as if I had spoken it before on numerous occasions. Had I forgotten? Has the water muddied by just the sheer overwhelm of creative ADD? Was this further clarity and affirmation that what I actually find myself doing most often is really THE THING I want to do, want to be my focus/job/career? Yes and YES!!
It has been incredibly liberating to name it. To actually name and pen the ONE THING that jazzes me most, that makes me giddy, that I’m actually already at work doing in so many ways, but which has opportunities for so many more things I’d love to explore.
So…can you guess?? Teresa, you can’t answer this, since you already know :). But for any of you who would like to guess at how I answered my friend on Tuesday…is it knitting? crocheting? drawing? painting? poetry? sewing? ukulele playing? other? Which endeavor do you think I named as the linchpin to all the others? The overarching theme? The centering purpose?
Leave your thought in the comments and in a day or two, I’ll tell you. I doubt it will be much of a surprise…but oh, how delightful it has been to be re-surprised by it!! Just naming it and hanging it front and center in my closet has brought a renewed sense of focus and desire and purpose.
Thank you Teresa!