My Fickle Creative Soul

I got to be creative today and it felt amazing. What makes it even better is that I was able to do it in a job setting where my coworker could look at me and say “That looks really good. You are talented.” My creative soul needed that.

I feel like I have been searching for my creative soul, off and on, for many years. Every once in a while she comes by for a visit to remind me she is still out there. She stays just long enough to get me excited and enjoy her company so that I miss her terribly when she fades away. Social media memories will show photos of jewelry pieces that we created together. I would be wearing them proudly and putting them out to sell. Thos photos remind me that she is out there. Sometime she sends ideas to me from afar. Those thoughts that flitter in and swim around for a bit but do not come to be. Those are her postcards, sending me love from wherever she is, letting me know she still thinks about me.

I didn’t know she was going to show up. I have felt rumblings, like something was brewing. In my wisdom, I have learned to not get my hopes up that she will come. She is fickle and she likes it that way. Today, she was with me.

It was while I was working at my new job at a home, garden and cooking gift store called Stone & Spoon in downtown Ypsilanti, Michigan. One of the display windows still needed to be designed because we had to get the glass fixed last week. I took it upon myself to start filling the window with goods on display. I thought I was just passing the time doing my job. It was something that needed to be done. But in actuality it was my creative soul coming for a visit. When I was done the owner of the shop and my friend turned to me and said “That looks really good. You are talented.” The fact that she is an artist as well as an amazing entrapenure helped me believe what she was saying. She didn’t have to say those positive words. I know she would not have said anything if she didn’t really believe it herself. It felt like the universe conspired this morning to send me a warm fuzzy. I was in the right mood, at the right time, in the right place, around the right people, doing my life as I do.

The last number of years have been challenging. They have been challenging for so many reasons. BUT… there has been a shift in the stars lately. That is the only way I can explain it. With COVID, it is like we did a hard restart. The past eight months have been a slow reboot of the mainframe in the midst of occasional brown outs and power surges.

My town looks different. Some small businesses are gone. Some are frozen in time. Some are still there and alive but a different version of themselves. These businesses are ones that I kind of recognize, like looking at a cousin of its former self. Also, the feeling inside them is totally differrent. The people walking the streets look totally different, masked and walking by each other aware of an invisable bubble between them. A subtle humm of hyperawareness that is present while we all try to act normal.

My family looks different than I expected it would at these ages. Both of our kids are home. All day, on a screen. There is no super busy sports schedules and packed social calendars. There are jobs that we all have. We move through life in a forward motion being mindful and safe but still living. I have to acknowledge that we have split custody of older kids. We are all riding our waves of feelings some days but I think it’s safe to say we are all doing okay.

My work looks different. I have chosen that I need to take a step back and reassess how I am loving myself. I have spent much of my adult life taking care of others. Many people that I love very much and many people I hardly know. In my professional life, I have always loved what I did but I also felt like I was trying to fulfill a quota of good deeds in my life. I measured my life by how I could help others. I must admit, some time long ago, I decided what qualified as “serving the greater good” and I think I was a bit off my mark. For example I did not count ME making art in the “serving the greater good” category. I had to earn my time to be selfish and make art. I wasn’t worthy or good enough yet to take that time to be so selfish. That was my thought process. I can tell you right now, that I think that is the biggest pile of cow puckie I have ever thought. And I have had that thought for awhile. *eye roll at myself*

I have expanded what I consider for the greater good. I have found permission to be creative because I am in a place where I believe gives back to the greater good. I have yanked off my limiting blinders that were just a hurdle to my own happiness. I am done being not good enough and not worthy. I found a place that brings my creative soul around. Ok

On a grander scale, I am going to say this about the political world: I didn’t even realize I had been holding my breath, until I could breathe again. Waves of tears have struck me over the past few days. Tears of joy. Tears of sadness. Tears of relief. I have also been bitten by a desire to learn more about how this whole big machine works. I want to understand what is behind the sound bites and news blips.

I do have faith in the people and the grand experiment of our democracy. I do have believe that, even though I was not a fan of the last four years, some progress has come from the unsettled times. An example of progress is the greater visiability of the full fabric of our country. We now have a greater sense of what our country is comprised of. People of many colors and backgrounds are starting to be heard. I hope the next phase in our evolution of humanity includes a greater heft on character, kindness, empathy and curiosity. I am throwing that out to the universe as a wish. Maybe she will pick up my idea and give it a try. I know I am one who tends to attempt to see all sides and find the positive. It can be hurdle at times but overall it has ended up being a survival skill that I appreciate.

Things are changing. We cannot go back. I don’t want to go back. I will miss the wonderful businesses, friends, the sense of nieve security along with many other things I am sure. But I do have faith in whatever is to come from all of this, we will figure out how to move forward.

Today, I have my health and I plan on being on this planet at least another 50 years. I cannot always control what situations will cross my path. I can try to control and choose how I react to a situation. Life will happen though. I still get scared and anxious in the month building up to my three month cancer check-ups at the hospital. I now get worried with every weird pain or sensation in my body. It is exhausting. It is something I am working on. I remind myself many times a day, that I have today. I have to tell myself that many times a day because it is easy to slip into the negative nelly pants. The pep talks to myself do not always work but I try. It’s ok to feel the feels. There are lots of feels and that’s okay.

I have been quiet for a few months. We needed to pull in to recalibrate some things, as is needed in times of change. I am glad we did. I am also glad to be writing again and hanging out with my creative soul.

Me working the floor at Stone & Spoon in Ypsilanti Michigan. Loving it also because I get to dress like a grown up…… well my version of grown up 😊

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