It seems crazy now.
All through my childhood I felt that I was not creative. I was told by trusted adults that I was good at math. I was right brained and therefore not creative. It was taught to me that there was a choice to be made. Math or Arts and the numbers came fairly easily… so I guess that is my game.
I was 8 years old when I decided that I had no creativity or artistic abilities. I use logic, reason, numbers, and facts. I tossed my art projects in the garbage at school. None of this “draw what you feel”, “move how it feels right”, “play like there are no rules" crap.
I was obsessed with rules.
Rules keep me safe. Rules are predictable. And rules produce the same result every time.
For real. Doesn't that sound like such a boring child? It is no surprise that this same child’s favorite color was white and most loved dish was rice. Zzzzzz... Oh, I’m sorry. I fell asleep thinking about my interests as a youngster.
In my mind the fancier things in life were “them.” The other people. The people who wanted to stand out. Wanted attention. The people who had creative bones and strength that I do not and will not ever possess.
Doesn't this seem completely ridiculous?
I was a math major during my undergraduate studies for a single semester. The classes were so painfully tedious. They were more days a week and longer hours than the other classes. And the math jokes… they were going to kill me. I decided halfway through my first semester that these were not my people and I needed out. STAT.
I worked as s a counselor for the After School Program who's goal was to help with latch key children. It was during my employment here that I discovered that maybe… just maybe I might be creative.
As partners and groups of counselors we would compile games, crafts, & ideas to engage the children in. It was every single day after school until 6pm. Do you want to know what I was the absolute best at? Bragging time… I was (ahem…am) crazy good at taking an idea that another gave or I found on the internet and changing it to fit our situation and youth. I could find solutions that made it so the entire group continued to be engaged rather than a slew of children being “out” while only 2 kids are left to play (that is what we call a recipe for disaster as the others grow bored.)
What? I can use creativity to solve problems?
My first Real taste of creativity and I was hooked.
Making things happen in creative ways made me feel good. It made me feel happy. It made me feel like I was actually contributing. No math problem ever made me feel like that. That problem had an answer that already existed… I liked the world where we come up with the answer. (And many times we come up with the questions too.)
And that is when it really began. I had finally realized I have creative flow and I was overjoyed to unleash it.
I still become stunted and blocked with the ringing of those “older and wiser” in my ears telling me that I am not artistic or creative. But even when the juices aren't flowing like I desire them to, I can logically (because we all know I've got that) tell myself that it is complete BS to say that I am not artistic. I am as artistic as I decide to be.
And I am ready for the epic adventures there are to come.
(Oh, by the way, when other people are making blanket statements about me I have come to learn that it is usually projection of their own insecurities. That’s what is going on when I make such judgments about others… we are all learning, growing, and progressing. Let’s help each other out. No more dragging down.)