Celebrate ALL Times
Hello and thanks for joining me for WEEK 52!
I would like to say this Week feels EPIC….being the last Week of my last Topic….but EPIC seems almost anticlimactic. Especially since I do not want to STOP writing! I alluded to a potential prologue after my 52 Weeks were complete, so have comforted myself that the writing will not stop entirely, meaning I have no reason to prolong this inevitable moment any further.
I hope this is proof, that with some Patience, Kindness and Generosity, this gal….prone to leaving projects incomplete….can, and will finish, anything she sets her mind to doing.
So fellow 52’ers!! This is happening now! Here is….bup, bup, ba-dah… Creativity with THEM.
I am fascinated how people in the world exude Creativity. I think it exists in many areas of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. I asked an old College mate with a dazzling abundance of Creativity, to describe what being Creative felt like:
Captain Thunderpants: “It feels like digesting and then birthing a new, wonderful, weird brain baby”.
Oooooh-kay! Google the Captain later to see more nuggets from his twirling tornado of genius. I need to get to work on my ‘weird brain baby’! 🙂
Now, I do not always start a Topic quest by searching google, but this time it proved quite helpful. Below is a list of characteristics that resonated for me when I thought about how Creativity has shown up in my life.
Any of these fit for you? I think we should feel good about encountering these traits, especially if it means something Creative is about to happen.
I read this list a few more times and realized the attributes were not always viewed as positive. So, I changed the title of the list to “Qualities Describing your Neighbors and Colleagues”, since this Week’s Creativity focus is about the people and world around me. The result was unsettling.
Any previous encouragement I felt, disappeared. I suddenly saw people as potential failures if too many of these characteristics showed up while on the clock.
Then, I changed the title again to “Top Ten Problems in Kids”. I felt even worse knowing I have been guilty of inadvertently robbing my children and others of their Creative tendencies by seeing them as problems.
Yup….there is some work to do here….which means….it is story time.
I had a friend in Grade One admonish me for ‘coloring outside the lines’ AND using the flesh colored crayon on the skin portions of the princesses we were embellishing in her new coloring book. She let me know I was not welcome to share her book until I promised to mend my coloring habits, and reform to her standards.
That stung! Here I was, completely absorbed in placing bright hues to stark, black lined figures….watching them come to life with each stroke bursting through my fingers. My goal? To use every space available, filling up each blank, and saturate all possible voids with color…..glorious color. Ahhh, delicously simple!
Then….from one six year old to another….coloring outside the lines is uniformly deemed, intolerable.
Reform or relinquish your crayons!
That Grade One stuff….is tough!
Since I truly loved my friend….and still do….I wanted to make her happy….as well as keep coloring in her book….so I promised to correct my erroneous ways.
Peer to peer, parent to child, colleague to colleague, it seems we are in the business of annihilating Creativity that does not fit a particular standard.
Don’t believe me? Let me translate that list to what I think happens to Creative people showing their true colors:
#1 -Easily bored….translates to….ADHD. Medication can fix this problem.
#2 -Risk taker….translates to….Careless, Short Sighted. This kind of problem lands you broke, or in the hospital.
#3 -Color outside the lines….translates to….’Messy, Undisciplined’ = This is a problem joining the Military could fix….
Shall I go on?
#4 -Think with their heart….Illogical = Problem
#5 -Make lots of mistakes….Brain Dead = Problem
#6 -Hate the rules….Real Bad Apples, Criminal’ = PROBLEM
….and so on. We live in a society that actually does not acknowledge the potential strengths of Creative people, unless they achieve rock star status and can draw crowds of fans to admire them for certain moments of time. I personally sought that status for years, hoping to stumble across the one elusive break necessary to bring my Creativity to an ultimate level. Not to be.
In its place, I have the experience of travelling down roads I may never have seen, if I were not chasing a dream. I have courage that rejection taught, when a hopeful road lead to a dead end. I have learned to navigate after too many corners have been turned, and gained faith by pointing myself in any direction, yet somehow always finding my way home.
It seems in this world of ‘mold fitters’, it is only acceptable to talk about breaking molds and stepping out of the box, if it is a trendy topic, or a good financial living can be made from it. There seems to be very little room for recognizing Creativity just for what it is; A different process, a shift in perspective, an alternate focus on details ‘the mold’ misses.
What if every time someone expressed a difference of opinion, thought or religion, we celebrated it like bravery and marvelled at the roads they must have gone down before reaching that destination. It might eliminate some pity, shame, or judgement that usually accompanies a diverse expression.
What if our sports heroes, musicians, artists, and top achievers in any discipline were rewarded with intrinsic value, instead of financial gains? Would they all stop trying to be awesome? I doubt it. I would not trade the years I spent honing my craft, even though very little financial benefits were gained.
During my current career, I have managed to utilize many of my Creative skills, even though it makes me stand out as a bit odd. I am not the cookie cutter version one may expect in an otherwise corporate organization. Creativity offers me something fresh each day while doing the same thing….it offers freedom. It fuels my love for life and urges my heart to care for others, which overrides my compulsion to maintain a mold.
When I was in training, one instructor told me to wipe that grin off my face because it was going to get me into trouble. 13 years later, I am glad I did not quit expressing who I am. I can safely say, my grin ‘saved the bacon’ many times, helping conflicts ease or anxieties to decrease.
No rock star wage. No cameras evaluating my worth. No stage to elevate my deeds. Just a girl doing her job.
That is all of us.
A man who cleans offices, walking to work in his oxfords, trench coat and business suit – Pro!
A woman serving coffee with rotted front teeth giving the quickest and friendliest service – Rocking it!
A parent that refuses to let the word ‘scholarship’ control the standard of success – Powerful!
A Mum whose surroundings do not match her style, so wears hats like this to show her quiet, true colors – Fabulous!
She wore it well, and my last Finding 52 icon from Mum.
These are the people who shine in my eyes. I hope they keep shining and are never dulled by what others believe they are supposed to look like….supposed to do…..supposed to think.
I want to value the Creativity that people share within our world, even when hurtful experiences or harsh exposures to incredibly hard things in life almost extinguish them. I admire the ones who can take the faintest glowing ember left after a devastating blow, and fan their fire big enough to take that next step toward home.
And with that, may Creativity always lead us home.