I used to consider myself a very creative person. I was a theatre nerd in High School and a Musical Theatre major in college. This path of study did fall under the creative arts.
I spent my twenties living in New York City, pursuing a career in musical theatre. I created my own one woman show, took acting, voice and dance lessons and went out on plenty of auditions. So, still creative then.
When I turned thirty, I left New York for the warmer, calmer life of San Diego. There I received my Master’s degree in Musical Theatre Performance and continued to perform professionally. Still qualifies as creative.
My life took a big turn when I became a Casting Director for television. Although I knew this was still a creative profession, leaving my career as a performer was when I first noticed a shift away from connecting with my creativity.
The other time I was consciously aware of separating from my creativity was when I had my kids. Isn’t that ironic? The most creative thing a person can do, actually CREATE another human being, was when I felt the separation. It actually happened very slowly, as I became a career mom.
Please don’t mistake these remarks as blaming myself or my kids for the separation, or questioning my decision to become a mom. Far from it. I take full responsibility for all my choices in life. And that includes allowing my career as a Mom to overshadow everything, including my needs.
Only recently I began to question my (lack of) creative outlets. My husband has a theory that the reason I’ve become aware of this now is because the boys are growing up and becoming more independent, creating a space for me to examine this issue. This resonates with me. After all, if my entire day is spent driving, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, nursing, and nurturing everyone else, it leaves little space for me to focus on myself.
And what a safe little space all that busyness has created. I come by it honestly. Handed down from generations of women who have mistakenly believed that being selfish and the action of self-care are the same thing. I unconsciously manifested a world where I am not a priority. Yes, there’s definitely room for growth and re-programming here.
But before I beat myself up too much, I’m reminded that creativity is expressed in many ways. No, I’m not singing or performing on a stage any more, but there’s creativity in my daily tasks. Like in the way I multi-task and maneuver everyone’s schedules with such ease. And the ways I encourage my kids to do their school work and chores. There’s lots of creativity in the way I juggle our finances. OH- and this blog is creative!
Huh. It’s been there all along!
So maybe it was just my limiting belief of what creativity looks like that was the issue; and the way I’ve been judging myself for my own lack of self-care. I hear a call for gentleness at hand. And with this awareness, I can begin to explore even more ways to express my creativity.
In the meantime, if you drive past me and see me singing in my car, put down your window and enjoy the performance. No applause necessary!