Your Dancing Electric Self
Creativity: the path to fulfilment
When I was twenty-two and I’d just graduated college I remember sitting in front of the computer day after day sending off my resume, fingers and toes crossed someone would eventually want to hire me. I quickly became discouraged. I remember wondering, ‘Is this it? Is this the real world’? With each resume I sent off, I felt a dreadful sinking sensation. Was this really what my adult life was going to be like? Struggling to find a job and then once I’d found a job, then what? Could a job fulfill me? What did fulfillment look like? I explored this question at length and thought about all the amazing women in my life. What made them happy? Of course it wasn’t any one thing and it certainly wasn’t a job. And while I knew family was important to these women, it wasn’t the sole source of joy in their lives. What struck me was that each of these women had a creative outlet. My mother’s mother used to sing. My mother makes jewelry. She started in the 80s making earrings out of paper and clay. Then she discovered her love of beads and gemstones. Thirty years later she still makes jewelry. Another woman I loved and admired painted. She didn’t paint for anyone in particular, she just painted. What was my creative outlet? My heart slumped when I realized I didn’t have one. Despite the fact I’d just graduated with a degree in Journalism, I was at a loss for even a clue. (Oh the hilarity.) It would take me nine more years before a friend would suggest Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” and I realized what I’d known all along; I’m a writer. It’s what I do. I write when I’m longing, anxious or sad; when I’m happy or when I want to remember something or fully express my emotions. Writing. It still surprises me but as it turns out, writing’s what I’ve always done. And as it turns out, the writing doesn’t even have to be good to shift something. I might not always feel good about my writing but I always feel good for having written. It’s a surefire way to get back to my dancing, electric self.