Advice

Published on May 4th, 2012 | by thevyne

1

Express yourself. Don’t repress yourself.

By Ebony Staton Weidman

Lately, I’ve come to realize that for years I have devalued my creativity.  I’ve always enjoyed writing.  I’m obsessed with studying colors, and I perceive the shape of objects in a designer-y kind of way.  I love taking photos and enjoy cooking as well.  And music, don’t get me started on how I listen to music.  I revel in how a song plays with sounds and the brilliance of its melody and rhythm. But, I’m not a graphic designer or a traditional artist.  I can play a little guitar.  I take dance classes, but I’m not a dancer. And so on.

But this part of me is much more foundational than a hobby or item on my interests list, so why have I acted as if something about being creative is childish or silly or unimportant?

I’m going to make a guess.  I’m going to say that in my many life circles of professional, academic, family, and social interactions, the idea that someone is smart or successful because she is creative is usually not a part of the discussion.  Instead, what school you attended, what company you work for, what car you drive etc. tends to be more deciding factors.  Therefore, (and I’m using my analytic voice here), while being a creative is admirable, it is not of high value unless you make money off of it or it gets you on television.  It’s just a theory, but I see this happen over and over…

You love writing.

You feel so good when you put pen to page.

You don’t want to sell articles or perhaps you know your stuff ain’t Barnes and Noble quality.

You start to think it’s silly.

When someone asks what you love to do, you stop mentioning writing.

You stop writing all together.

You stop doing what you love.

It’s tragic to think that we do this in big and small ways every day.  We make time for participating in everything but what we love to do.  Perhaps it’s because we are a little embarrassed.  Or maybe it’s because if we create and express, we are afraid of unleashing our true selves.

Ok, for fear of sounding too Oprah circa 2000, I just mean that I feel most like myself when I am writing.  I’m happy when I am taking pictures.  I experience such calm when I chop and slice and cook in my kitchen.  I feel grounded when I’m listening to music.  So, why not ensure that these expressions are an active part of my life?

So, in examining this phenomenon in my own life, I decided to literally force myself back into a creative space.  I bought a vintage camera off of eBay.  I painted my office a bright blue-green color.  (Apparently, this color is said to spark creativity.)  And I started writing a book, which is an idea that has lived inside of me for a long time.  (Note: I feel a little self-conscious and insecure just by telling you that.) Even if the book never happens, I am convinced that there is power in self-expression, and this power can lead to amazing possibilities and discoveries in ever part or circle of my life.

I once read…

“To create is to live.  To express is to breathe.  To find beauty in all things is to prosper.  Everything else is what we do in our spare time.”

Such wise and creative words.  I wonder who wrote them?

I did.

 

 

 

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One Response to Express yourself. Don’t repress yourself.

  1. Gigi says:

    This came right on time. Thank you.

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