The notion of creativity has been on my mind a lot recently. Mostly, as I’ve struggled with my new sense of evenness, I’ve silently wondered what it really means to be creative, to feel a passion for something and be really good at it. This musing comes from a desire to really understand myself, to feel like I’m really good at something, and from a strong sense of feeling inspired, more than usual, by several external influences, books, blogs, even things that are happening on a professional life. Because I’m slowing things down, and my mind is more clear than it has been in a very long time, I’m paying closer attention, noticing and embracing the beauty and wonder that is the work of others.
While the breadth and depth of beauty I’ve found in so many places enchants me, it also leaves me feeling somewhat empty. I’ve never considered myself to be a creative person. I do creative things like writing, scrapbooking, and card-making, but I think of that as doing, rather than being. And in my opinion there is a essential difference between the two. I am often for example moved to tears by someone doing the very thing that they are really good at, truly an expert or gifted in some way. It’s an unusual reaction, I get it at sporting events, when listening to radio programs and features, when I attend workshops or conferences, and of course, in the more obvious places like at concerts, in museums and at festivals. This, to m is the very heart of creativity, a distinctive quality or passion that inspires others, whether through action, art, song, theatre, professional skill, whatever. Creativity means filling others with emotion, making a difference through beauty or skill, inspiring.
So what does a person do when they realize that most of their creativity comes from a dark place? When your depth, your connection to substance is tied to the stormy waters that you cannot bear. What do you when living a level life, an even life, means feeling productive, energetic, even happy, but still so deeply unfulfilled?
My life has become an array of contradictions. I’m happy, but I’m numb. I’m energetic, but I’m weary. I’m productive, but I’m still hopelessly lost. I’m doing, but I’m not being. I’m full of life, but running on creative empty.
And the funny part about it is that it’s not uncomfortable. It’s so odd. I believe that this is where I am supposed to be now, after almost 9 months, an essential interval in my recovery, but I’m desperate to see beyond it. What comes next? How do I move back into a more authentic, and comfortable self, without sacrificing myself? What is the healthy counter-balance? And what will it take to find it?