Lost and Found: My Return To Creativity

Back in my high school days, when my angst was high and my desire to conform was low, I lived for creative fun.  

My friends and I would sew purses from vintage fabric, develop our photographs in our school’s darkroom, write poetry to share, paint using kids craft-isle watercolors and style our clothing and accessories for fashion shoots.  

When the rest of the freshman class was out celebrating the last day of school before summer break, we were in my best friend’s kitchen decorating raw wood picture frames with beads, sequins and even shellacked pretzels.  We considered ourselves oh-so avant-garde.  

In high school, I was a maker...though I didn’t actually know it.

As I grew older and attended college, my comfort level with my creative side began to wane as my focus turned to academics, leadership and “making it in the real world”.  

I do not recall anyone specifically saying it, but I came to the [albeit, false] understanding that creative expression without a plan or bigger picture was foolish.  

Who had time for such childish things?  I had to settle on a major!  I had to figure out my dreams!  I had to plan my career!!  

I wish someone had told me that your major in college does not dictate your life – not that I would have listened, however.  

I imagine that, on some university campuses, this is may not be the norm, but for specific reasons unknown to me, this was my personal experience and it led me far away from my balanced state and path.

A degree in education, careers in both teaching and wine hospitality, a baby, two unexpected years as a stay-at-home-mom and turning thirty all left me feeling out-of-sync and unfulfilled, but I could never quite put my finger on why.  

One day when I was feeling particularly low, a friend said the most amazing words to me.  She said, “For you, Meredith, creativity is not a luxury.  It is a necessity”.  

Light bulb on.

And just like that I began to sew again.  I picked up a paintbrush.  I photographed our house, my daughter, our yard using my DSLR.  And I started to write.  

None of it was great, or even good by conventional standards, but I didn’t really care.  I was having fun!  I had needed someone to remind me that the purpose of creating can simply be because it makes me happy.

I enjoy it.  

I am proud of the things I create most of the time, and when I am not, I am proud that I tried.  

I have learned to recognize, acknowledge and accept the painful knot I get in my stomach when I am in the creative zone as a sign that I am on the edge of something really great.  

It isn’t fear telling me to turn around.  It’s my vision telling me to persevere – don’t give up it yells!

We do it because we love it.  We do it because it makes us happy.  We do it because it gives us pride.  We do it because we have 20 minutes to spare before our next meeting, appointment, lunch date, play date, haircut, whatever.  

Whether you make to sell, make to give, or make just for you, makers gonna make.

Make on, my friends.  Make on.

This post appeared first on Everyday Enthusiastic.  All ideas in this post are of my own opinions including any mention of companies and/or affiliate sites.  No sponsorships were involved in the creation of this post.  Photograph taken by Meredith Wheeler using a DSLR Canon Rebel T3 and edited using Photoshop CC.