I know that according to my bio, I may appear to be one of those creative types, but that appearance is much better on paper than in real life. No whimsical long skirts or beaded necklaces here. No clouds of patchouli or dread locks. Nope, I look like I could be an accountant or maybe a cashier at the grocery store.
What’s more, I never have been a poster child for creativity. I was a serious child who didn’t play like other kids. I didn’t play with dolls much, I didn’t dream about my future husband and plan out my children whom I would name Sebastian and Josephine. I didn’t create play worlds out of my Tinker-Toys and Lego. I was a strange little child, indeed.
But we all know that what is seen is not all there is.
The truth is, I really am one of those creative types, perhaps trapped in the body of a nondescript middle aged lady better suited to life in accounts receivable. I built my sister houses for her Barbies, I organized my toys and clothes into patterns of colors and sizes. I gathered my classmates around me on the playground and told them stories and jokes. And I lived in the worlds found in the books of my public library.
I am creative, just on the inside more than the outside.
There are stories always in my mind, their voices just waiting to speak. There are pictures in my head, people in my heart, and songs on my tongue. And they all clamor to be let out into the world.
But there are times when my creative passion must take a backseat. I wish this wasn’t my truth, but it is.
When I am stressed, I eat sugar and carbs. I drink more coffee and alcohol. I break out in hives and have heart palpitations. I wake up at 2:30 am and obsess over my to-do lists. I lose my temper and I wear an expression that looks far from a smile. I cry. I stop baking bread for my children and buy them Pop-Tarts instead. Instead of thriving, I settle for simply surviving.
But most importantly, my passion for creating the arts of my heart hides from me.
These days, I am stressed. We are selling our house and trying to buy a new one. If you’ve ever done that particular bit of joy, you understand. If you are a writer or painter or dreamer, perhaps you understand why there is no creative juice left in my hand that aches from painting baseboards.
My day job is heading into its busiest time and there are even more pressures on me than usual. The news is filled with sad stories, scary stories, frustrating stories. My pants are too tight and my paycheck too small.
So my creative side? It doesn’t fit these days either.
I am living on black coffee and the hope that everything will work out sooner than later. But I’d really like to be able to pack up my laptop and go sit in a coffee shop and just write. To take the story living the loudest in my heart and breathe life into it. Instead, I’ll reschedule the carpet cleaners, pack up a box of stuffed animals, and make another cup of coffee.
And I’ll dream of the day that my need to create doesn’t take a backseat to my other needs.