When I first got married I would have told you I was an extrovert. I thought I was the one that enjoyed lots of people and that I was out-going and well, extroverted! Marriage and raising our son, David Paul didn't really reveal anything new to me at first. Our home life was rather quiet with each of us returning to our own space after meal times in the evenings. Dave and David Paul to their computers, and once I began painting - I went out to my studio to paint or prepare for classes. But when we began going on cruises together I realized I was much more of a recluse than I realized.
Dave enjoyed meeting the new people on board and getting to know them ALL. I, on the other hand, enjoyed time alone and meeting maybe one other person and getting to know them deeply. I enjoyed excursions on land to meet specific people - artists, mostly. David Paul was always at the Rock Wall conquering some new challenge! Slowly, it began to dawn on me that I wasn't the extrovert in the marriage - Dave was. And I was actually an introvert.
Fast forward to 2013 when we found ourselves with two small children - permanent custody of children we had fostered a year before. We were thrilled. It was a learning experience to have small children back in the home but we really were so happy. But after a few months I was super stressed. I didn't feel like I could finish a thought in my head. I was irritable. I was feeling thoroughly stressed out and I couldn't figure out why. Finally it dawned on me how much I missed "the quiet" of the home we used to have. I realized I craved peace. And quiet. And alone time. I felt like I couldn't recharge. I had to make a change in order to be the Mom that my children needed.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because, as an artist, and just as a human being, it is important to know what recharges you and what drains you. Learning that I needed the alone time to recharge was vital to me being a Mom that was calm and peaceful even when the home seemed a bit chaotic with two small children.
The process of creativity can be a recharging mechanism all by itself. Even on those days when we don't feel like being creative. Knowing if you are energized by activity or by quietness is vital to being able to do your art successfully - and also vital to your home and work life.
I am an introvert. I like people, but especially in one-on-one situations for deep conversations, not social butterfly style light-hearted casualness. I want the heart-to-heart conversations, not the more superficial conversations. Strangely, I am also energized and love a teaching situation - whether 12 or 1200, I would be completely at ease. But teaching is a passion of mine, so when I get to do it I am completely engaged and excited.
Part of "Loving the Process" of creativity is learning who we are. Learning what motivates us. Learning what turns us on. Learning what drains us. Learning how to get motivated when we are not. Learning the tools that make us better.
The Psalmist, David writes, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made," (Psalm 139:14). We are each unique individuals with unique gift, callings and needs. Understanding this can go a long way in moving our creativity in the direction f our dreams.
For me, I had to learn to prioritize quiet and alone time in order to be a better person for my family, and also for my art. What unique needs might you have overlooked that could be cared for in order to further your creativity?
This month I will be talking about all kind of tools for moving you along in your creativity. If you have a specific question or subject you would like for me to explore send me a message and I will do my best. Until then...
Finding Joy in the Journey,