Go ahead, create something.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel happiest when I am making something. Whether it’s something as simple as writing a to-do list, or as complicated as trying my darndest to make gluten free pie crust from scratch. (It was a fail, I really tried for my sister-in-law, but it did not turn out right.) However, my most favorite things to create are things I sew up, paint, wood burn, take pictures, etc. Things where I can really let my creativity flow. I set minor expectations for my artistic endeavors, but if they end up differently, that’s ok too. It’s art, it’s life; things get messy and nothing is perfect. Being creative gives us the opportunity to think outside of ourselves and that exact moment. My crafts won’t change the world, but there are plenty of people that come up with amazing ideas that will because of their creative thinking and abilities.
I think about this often with my early childhood education studies…how many children are allowed to pursue creativity? How many are actually allowed to be messy? follow their own interests? dream big? I can’t speak for private education, but public education in the U.S. has really been squashing creative outlets. Why is this happening? Because passing standardized tests and getting ‘prepared’ for college and the workforce is more important. WTF? Are we all supposed to be turned into zombies that clock into work at a desk, drink fancy, expensive coffee that has no true value, that we can make ourselves for a fraction of the price, without the special cup, do menial work for someone else making 5x our own salary that golfs/runs/(enter fun activity here) instead of works, and clock out at the end of the day, spend extra time at late meetings and/or in traffic so that we barely have time to eat dinner before we crash out at the end of the night? That does not appeal to me, that is not the life I want for my child. Where is the zest for life?
I realize NOT everyone is stuck in a rut like that, but I know so many that are. I was until I got so depressed that I had health issues; with my husband’s support and understanding, I quit. *cue intake of a deep breath of fresh air* I feel so incredibly lucky that I have the choice to follow my own creativity. To come up with fun ideas and to try to provide some income for my family in a variety of ways with things I make or do.
My daughter is 1. I let her make messes. Her favorite activity is to make a tornado in her room that mama picks up a zillion times a day. She’s just started to try drawing and I am super excited about that. She’s very active, talks all of the time, and also loves to read. I encourage it all! I feel she will figure out what makes her happy through trial and error. I wish all children (and adults!) were given that chance today. If the school system hasn’t improved by the time she’s ready for Kindergarten, I will be homeschooling/unschooling her to give her the best chance at utilizing her skills and intelligence.
So let me ask: Are you happy with what you are doing career-wise today? In what ways do you get to create? If you aren’t creating, what are some of your creative interests you’d like to pursue? What is stopping you? Are your kids given the chance to be creative in school? (Beyond a simple themed art project here and there.)
I’d love to hear from you and what you are experiencing, please comment!