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My journey back to creativity

by Erin Thomson 11 days ago in goals

A negotiation with myself.

My journey back to creativity
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Holy freaking moly, it's been a goddamn minute. For some reason, the thing I swear I love and is my passion is the same thing I run full speed away from till I'm basically standing on another planet gasping for air thinking 'yeah, this should do'.

I have avoided this very thing; tapping my fingers on the keys of my laptop - because why? Did I think a sharp-toothed Jaws-like creature was going to emerge from the screen and rip me to pieces? It's completely unclear and rather perplexing in all honesty.

That fun little excuse 'i'm just far too busy' that I have adopted and basically become a brand ambassador for, is (let's be real, Erin) just utter bullshitty nonsense. I can tell you right now, I had plenty of time to marathon my way through 4 seasons of This Is Us (side note: if you don't cry through basically every episode, do you even have a soul?)

Funnily enough on the day I had decided, all on my own, I was going to stop perfecting my craft of procrastination, I checked my email to find Grammarly unabashedly calling me out on my inactivity. That made me LOL. Grammarly, I often furrow my brow at your 'interesting' correction suggestions but today you were on point.

That ol' cliche self-doubt and the thoughts of 'as if anything I have to say is of any interest to anyone not residing in my body' are my nemeses. So yeah, what I'm saying is that I'm not particularly special and just like every other human being on planet Earth.

The rather ridiculous part of all this is that I write because I enjoy doing it, and as much as I hope some of my mutterings resonate with someone else out there in the world, I do it for me. So why do I let whether anyone else is bothered by what I have to say steer me away from the keyboard?

I seem to have forgotten that it's what I've always loved to do. Pairing words together so that they reverberate through every fibre of the heart is to me the way the conductor of a symphony orchestra weaves sounds together so that they will be whispered into the listener's ears like velvet. It is a quest I seek out time and again, even if I don't always succeed.

There is this though (oh hello self doubt, I assumed you were still there); I created my blog when I was unable to work in the UK as a way to teach myself how to build a website and do all the marketing bits and pieces for my wishful future career. Its premise was being a travel blog which felt at least somewhat honest at the time. I mean, I travel to the grocery store and back but I'm not sure that's really on brand, even if it might have been somewhat topical a few months ago.

I'm right back in the thick of Melbourne life, working as an executive assistant at a corporate law firm - and though I love my colleagues, my old life sure feels so distant it's as if it resided somewhere else in the solar system. And that brings us right to the mid-life identity crisis I found myself in this week, which has encouraged me to dust off the thick cobwebs from the writing recesses of my brain.

By Christin Hume on Unsplash

I tell ya one thing - when going through such a mid-life crisis, a team of fiercely protective girlfriends is like having a superpower that you have absolutely no hand in activating. One member of my own superpower team made me laugh through tears when she said "look, you're not cooking meth in a lab and selling it to children - you're doing okay". That same friend shared an article with me about the comparison trap in the age of social media which felt rather apt, and maybe it will help anyone else asking themselves 'seriously, what am I doing with my life' and wondering why they are getting down on themselves.

It also helps to have a boss who will let you cry in their office about how you're not fulfilled and then go about doing everything they can to get you a job in the field you actually want to be in. If anyone is interested in meeting the official, most incredible human, I'll be happy to introduce you to him.

From then, to now, I've made a few changes that have lifted my spirits and encouraged me to explore my creativity once more.

I got back into an (almost) daily yoga and exercise routine

Ily Yoga With Adriene. By now I feel like YWA is a household name as far as the at-home yoga practice goes, but if anyone has not yet checked out her YouTube channel, I beg you to do yourself a favour. You'll get stretching, toning, deep breathing, meditation, an innuendo or two, and a sneaky gentle nudge towards the path of modest enlightenment (or not, YWA is for all).

Don't you worry though, I balance all this peace and love with 4.30 am high-intensity gym session style punishment. An actual vision of me post-class below.

I started reprioritising, and letting go of interests that are not progressing my goals

I am deep down such a yes person. Mainly because I genuinely want to do each of those things I'm saying yes to! I just don't realise how much energy each of those things will sap from my body. I found I was overcommitting and burning myself out.

To the point where I was like, it's COVID; there's all these free university courses online, I should learn something new. I thought to myself; I paid no attention to science during high school - I should finally learn all about science; yeah that's what I'll do! You know what course I chose? It was called 'From the big bang to dark energy'. Yep, of all the sciences I could have chosen, physics was my first stop.

So now I do my best to slow down and ask myself 'really? how much do you reeeaaaalllllyyyy want to do this?'. To be honest, I really freaking want to learn about space and the stars and our incredible universe, but is it going to get me a sweet career? No.

By Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

I picked a content marketing course to study

All those marketing-related emails I had been saving at the bottom of my inbox and filing in my mind in the section known as 'I'm going to do that later', finally got their time in the spotlight. I have now at least opened one of them, read some of it, watched some videos, and have really good intentions to follow through with the course. Watch this space!

I committed to at least typing this

In all honesty, even this very nearly didn't happen. I was so close to loading up the next episode of This Is Us. Go me! Sorry Milo, I still love you.

I purchased 'The Artists Way' by Julia Cameron (only a few pages in, but already optimistic)

I was 'influenced' to buy this book by a blogger and writer, and I'm glad that I was. It seems a lot of pretty wonderfully creative and wildly successful people picked up the very same book and found their inspiration which led them to inspire the masses. The author is labelled 'the queen of change' and the book is marketed as 'the classic course in discovering and recovering your creative self' so it seems right up my alley, and I'm excited to dive in.

I consumed works by artists I admire and am inspired by

The stack of books I'm currently reading is getting a little ridiculous and I've put myself on a book buying ban. However, lately one of my favourite ways to start the day is reading a page or two from 'Heart Talk' by Cleo Wade as I drink my morning coffee. Puts me in a feel-good mood if nothing else.

By Sincerely Media on Unsplash

I am reminding myself every day of what it is I enjoy (life is so short)

Seriously, time is flashing by so quickly these days, and we take life for granted. I'm doing my best to remind myself to spend what time I do have (outside earning a living) on things that are important, that fill my cup, and that help me understand myself and the world a little more.

Fingers crossed it all sticks. I'm hopeful.

Erin Thomson
Erin Thomson
Read next: The Deception of Instagram
Erin Thomson

word lover, thought thinker, storyteller, wanderer, seeker of stars and sunsets and all the layers ~ hopelessly full of wonder

for more musings courtesy of me, come hang with me at instagram or my soon to be more active blog

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