Creative Confusion

I’m itching to create things. More accurately, I’m itching to know what it is I want to attack and conquer. It’s pretty normal, at this time of year, (exam season) for me to suddenly want to be very creative – it’s a direct product of sitting inside on my butt a lot of the time and engaging in some good old rote memorization. This uncertainty about what to choose, however, is relatively novel. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of casting around (in my brain) for that one thing that I want to do/make/be. I’ve been endlessly inspired by blog after blog, photo after photo, and story after story of people who’ve found their passion and are maximizing it, big time. But I’ve been feeling this strange kind of desperation to figure out what my thing is, so I can start tackling it, making strides towards it, and becoming the best I can be at it.

This inspiration has been wonderful, and buoyant, but it’s also been draining. The thing is, although I definitely sometimes lust after cool things and beautiful stuff that other people have, what I’ve been mainly coveting lately is people’s focused passion. They’ve chosen something, immersed themselves in it, and they’ve become (at least, in my eyes) totally incredible at it. I envy that focus. I know I have drive, ambition, and the willingness to work hard – I could be successful at many things if I put my mind to them, because I value a good work ethic. But my major downfall is not being able to choose what I want to pursue.

Right now, I have friends that are getting into the best law and medical schools in the world, who are interviewing at prestigious grad school programs, who have been offered salaried jobs at huge companies, who are networking their tails off and getting tons of opportunities. And I want to be clear: I’m really and truly happy for them. Many of them seem so excited about their futures and are so driven to achieve their goals. While I don’t want to be on the paths they’re taking, I admit I am jealous of that excitement and drive and focus in their lives. Their skills and experiences have built to something, and they’re following their passion.

In five years, I hope I can re-read this post and realize that all this time, my skills and experiences were building towards something too, something perfect for me. Right now though? It feels like instead of checking things off a to-do list, I’m just drawing squiggles all over a page and squinting to see whether they amount to anything. I know I’ll always be proud of my blog, and my photography, and my work with Leacock’s, and my degree, but currently they all feel like separate, unrelated things. I feel as though, instead of building something cohesive, I have been building a bunch of half-finished piles. As though, instead of getting very good at one thing, I’ve been getting a little good at a lot of things. Sudden epiphany: I now understand the saying “will I ever amount to anything?”!

I know, I know – nobody ever just has the answers. I know it’ll take time, and false starts, and failures, and going back to square one, before I figure out my thing. Reading this article helps. Saying all these things out loud to attentive ears helps. Writing sporadically in my journal helps, and so does making fumbling attempts at all kinds of different forms of creativity to see what sticks. Reading the “About” pages of people that inspire me helps, because the one thing they all have in common is how finding their passion was a long journey. Sharing these thoughts here definitely helps.

I’m off to heed the creative call! I am definitely feeling the urge to document my December in a festive way, so that might be the next project. Have a wonderful Wednesday evening, everyone. Much love.

4 thoughts on “Creative Confusion”

  1. I know how you feeling. I would suggest doing things: first is to do something, anything that you enjoy. Dive into photography, or baking, or writing, just immerse yourself in it and see if you can take doing it for long stretches of time. Second, I would suggest taking some time off. I think many of us, at some point in our lives, find ourselves needing to just rest, step back and do some thinking. It took me a good year and half to really figure out what I wanted to do (for the next few years at least). Now, I was in graduate school during this year and half but it have been better if I had just taken the time off. I know it can be scary and frustrating not knowing what you’re doing or what you want, but I think you can’t really force these things either. Just give it time and spend that time doing something you enjoy and that makes you grow. You’ll figure it out eventually. Good luck.

    1. Hi Shrutarshi! Thanks for your comment. It’s very good advice. So far, taking time off is exactly what I have planned after graduation this Spring. I am excited to not have anything pressing to deal with so that I can hopefully follow my passions a bit and decide for myself what I’d like to do. And it’s absolutely true that I can’t force it, even though sometimes I wish I could. So for right now I’m just doing what I like and hoping it will help me in the long run. Thanks for your wise words! :)

  2. I know exactly how you feel! Well, sort of! Haha. My feelings are similar but different at the same time. I know what I want to do – write – but I still feel like I’m in limbo sometimes, because I haven’t written THE BOOK yet, the one that makes me legit. I know the only thing that can make you a writer is writing, but a lot of the time I feel like a little kid trying to ride a bike: I have all of this enthusiasm, but I still have no idea what I’m doing.

    But I know that you are going to do something awesome! You’re super talented and enthusiastic, and you’re always trying new things. That’s a recipe for success right there :)

    1. Hi Gabs! Yes, it’s a bad feeling isn’t it. But you’re so talented, and it’s wonderful that you dedicate yourself to your craft so much. THE BOOK will materialize one day, slowly but surely. And I’ll be first in line to buy it!

      And thank you for your sweet words. :) I hope you’re right! xo

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