Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Creative Inspiration

I’ve been doing much more reading and writing lately, and it has been a real catharsis for me.  During the period of my undergraduate study, I drifted away from the two hobbies that had always shaped and defined who I was; a 60 lb stringbean with a curly mop, scribbling in a journal or pouring over pages of anything from the latest, greatest adolescent book series to CS Lewis and Kerouac.  I was a true bookworm of a child and I can veritably say I read hundreds upon hundreds of books (not all great literature, true, but nonetheless).  In high school, this continued but upon entering college reading and writing for my own creative enjoyment dropped off – I still poured over books and wrote volumes but it was all for a grade.  I can truly say I almost never had the time to read or write for my own pleasure.  And when I did, I am sad to report that the thought of picking up another book after finally putting down 600 pages on geological formations did not appeal to me.

Time having passed, textbooks being banished, (until the next chapter involving graduate work) I have dived back in headfirst.  This blog has been my first organized writing – I will always have creative bursts where I scribbly on scraps or pick up an old notebook.  I’ve been on a non-fiction binge lately and am currently ¾ of the way through John Grogan’s “The Longest Trip Home” and ¼ of the way through Katherine “Dreaming in Hindi”.  We each have hobbies and habits that define us – those things which we as individuals love to do on our own.  And because these hobbies require time, effort, and being solo they sometimes happen rarely.  For myself, I realized that when I had ceased to do these things, stopped carving out time for myself and instead would do something easier such as popping in a movie, I lost a little piece essential to my own being.  The activity which best comprised me slipped out of my life, meaning resurrecting it would gradually take more and more effort.  Most things like this are habitual, once we find that time to do them it becomes easier to find that time in almost every 24 hr period.  Some days more and some days less and perhaps some days not at all – but still, the habit becomes ingrained once more. 

What are the creative outlets or solo activities which best define your being?  A jog in the park, kickboxing, black and white movies, photography, bird watching?  We each have these things that for some hard to define reason we so deeply adore performing and assign to a special little corner or our heart.  And yet, for so many of us, in the insanely busy day-to-day shuffle of life, we stop locating the time to do them.   A huge part of my personal life-mentality overhaul and New Year’s resolving was to get back to these activities; for me, reading and writing.  I haven’t looked back since I welcomed these two dear old friends back in to my life and I can say in all actuality I have felt enlivened, creatively inspired, and so much more a better version of myself.

Yes, sometimes it take being a little “self-ish” and I put the hyphen these for a reason; not a negative “selfish” but instead, being a little centered and focused around your own self.  For veritably, your own self is someone you should love and respect and devote time to so much the same as you do to others.  Embrace being a little self-ish.  Do what you love purely and solely for you.  And I can promise, you will be a better version of you for those around you.
What is it you love to do?  Is there a particular time slot you devote to this activity or do you simply fit it in when you can?  If you find yourself often ‘not having the time', why is this and how can you change it?

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