Ok let’s be clear, I’m not talking about a creative juice cleanse. Yes do I love a good juice recipe but that’s not what is on my heart this morning.
Today I’m getting the creative juices out of my system. I never thought of myself of a creative person. I follow the directions and usually whatever path someone gives me but in this road to self-discovery I’m learning that I’m totally a creative being I just hadn’t had the opportunity to let my own creativity come out.
Being a gymnast I was always given what to do. Routines were scripted and performed to perfection because the hours spent doing them over and over and over again. I bet I could still do my floor routine because I think it was engrained in me for life. There was not a lot of room for improv.
As a dancer, we had counts and choreography. It was taught one day and memorized the next. The most creative I got in those days was with my facial expressions. And on Charger Girls, you learned to fit in… not to stand out. You were one piece of the bigger picture so if your own style came out, you were called out and told to tone it down.
I don’t know how many hours were spent in the studio, at the gym or on the field but I imagine it somewhere in the thousand upon thousands of hours of my life. I assume I averaged 15 hours a week (more in high school and college age years) for about 23 years. Started dancing and gymnastics at age 3 and retired from Chargers Girls at age 26.
I did the math and I’m around the 18,000 hours spent being told to fit inside a box. Stay inside the lines of expectations. That number seems like a lot but when you’ve had 306,000 hours of life, it hardly compares but those were the hours spent at practices and rehearsals, add in the time practiced at home and the hours sleeping and we’re getting somewhere. If I averaged 7 hours of sleep for the 35 years, that’s about 90,000 hours.
Fun fact… 20% of the hours sleeping is equlivent to the time spent dancing and gymnastics! Crazy, right?
Back to the point of all this… every once in a while in dance and gymnastics we were given the opportunity to choreograph our own dances. I was bad at it. I didn’t know how to be creative. I didn’t know how to trust my own ability. And I was certain I didn’t have the confidence to try. So for the 23 years I did the bare minimum of allowing my creativity flow.
Since hanging up the pom poms 8 years ago, I’m realizing more and more that we as human beings were meant to be creative. Now let me be clear this doesn’t mean your ability to create a dance routine. I believe this could be in any realm as long as it is within your own thoughts and ideas.
And the absolute only way to become creative is to create. It comes down to doing it. For me, I have found so much joy in being creative. It’s taken a lot of time of trying different things to find that joy but I’m learning now how to allow myself to try.
My greatest area to create is in the comfort of my home. DIY projects and decorating. For me this gives me a sense of joy watching an idea of what I want to do in a space come to life by either the hunt to purchase something or the idea to build it myself.
When people come over to my house they always tell me they love the details in my decorating and that it’s so comfy.
That compliment is the best because when I started decorating our home that was always my goal. I wanted a space that would allow comfort and relaxation but here was the challenge… I was very particular in what I bought or made.
I was very in tuned with what I had envisioned for a space and I just started with one space at a time. If I tried to do more than that, I would easily be overwhelmed and give up. It has taken months and months to complete areas but the key (I believe) is start with one and search on Pinterest for ideas. That’s thing is amazing and I’d be lying if I said it was all my own ideas, because it will never be that. I look at Pinterest as a tool to help the creativity flow.
I guess my whole point is simply try. Try and allow yourself to envision something. Come up with ideas as silly as you may think they are or as silly as your husband thinks they are. IF it brings you joy then go for it.
My downstairs space is just about complete and I”m obsessed with it. But if I allowed my hubby to influence my desire to create a comfy space, our place would look like a frat house. Let me be clear, he is supportive of my craziness. Haha He often responds with… “well if you NEED it?” And my response is always, “Well I don’t need it but I want it.”
After 8 years of being together he is finally accepting my creativity and I’m so grateful that he allows my mind to run wild. Does he bring me back to earth every once in a while, yup! But we joke now when I share my ideas… “I know you’re going to think I’m crazy but I want to do this…(fill in the blank).”
Some ideas get put into action and others fall by the waste side but that’s the point. They are just ideas and the more I dream them up that better they become. I’m learning now that the hardest part about coming up with them is when do I stop? When does the decorating become complete?
Who knows? But really who the heck cares, when there isn’t an idea or a project to be done, I’ll figure it out then… but for now, I’m loving this creative juice. I think what’s really cool is that my home is not the only outlet I’m discovering creativity… I’m finding it in my writing and my workouts as well as within my relationships. It’s possible to be creative in more aspects than fitting in some imaginary box. I mean if we really want to be creative… what if there was no box to fit in? Where would you be then? What would you be doing?
We all have the idea of what life is supposed to look like. For me growing up it was, go to school, build a career, find a husband, have kids and then die. That’s the box I thought I was supposed to fit into. But after my divorce everything changed for me. I no longer knew if that box existed let alone if I wanted to be in it.
That’sthe Beauty of life… we can decide what we want for our life. Box or no box? Makes no difference as long as YOU are happy. So get your creative juices flowing… allow yourself to dream, and don’t be afraid to try. You may find that your box isn’t big enough or what you truly desire!