Today I thought I’d share a little about my creative history and how creativity has played an important part in keeping me healthy during difficult times.
Creativity in the Early Years
One of my earliest memories is sitting against the wall in my home with a tape player (yes, I’m that old) and singing my own songs into it. The love of word and melody never left me, but didn’t fully grab hold of my heart until I was fifteen (when I officially started writing and never looked back). Up till then I wrote poetry, created musicals with my sisters that we performed in our basement, took gymnastics (because I wanted to be Nadia Comenici, but I was too big of a chicken to be any good), taught myself to sew, made clothes, learned to cross stitch and danced around my living whenever I felt bored!
I grew up in a family of six kids, my parents were nomads and entrepreneurs, so we moved around a lot! We didn’t have a lot of money most of the time so I learned to be creative.
Creativity in High School
At fifteen I started writing music (though even to this day I still haven’t learned to play an instrument very well), I was a cheerleader and on drill team in high school and loved the expression of movement through dance (though we could never afford formal lessons). I sang and performed publicly whenever I was asked, even though I hated the spotlight and never felt like I had “that kind of voice”. Still I sang. I even did some theater with a lead role.
Creativity as an Adult
I got married right out of high school and had my first baby two weeks after I turned twenty. I became a stay-at-home mom from that point on. I got into every creative thing that interested me. I learned to toll paint, crafted like crazy, designed dolls (fabric and wood), learned to draw, did floral design, gardened, sewed home decor, clothes and costumes, made teddy bears, started collecting my now enormous home library of books, designed OOAK barbie dolls, dabbled in needlepoint, silk ribbon embroidery, bead work and sculpting (stunk at that one!) and read more non-fiction books than I could ever count (I love to learn).
I also started homeschooling (I’ve now done 21 years of it), learned Photoshop and graduated from The New York Institute of Photography portrait photography program. I’ve done lots of graphic design, and even wrote a full-length fiction novel (which I never published). I’ve written and published two books, a memoir and a guided journal. I’ve also owned a high-end custom wedding guestbook and invitation business, ran a photo biz for awhile and had a successful business in wedding floral design. I’ve written thousands of songs (many not worth finishing), and just started recording my music in 2018. My husband and I recently began learning how to shoot videos so I could record music videos for my songs. Since about 2009 I have had creating and running a blog in the back of my mind. I tried a few times, but couldn’t quite pull it off. Why? Lots of reasons, but mainly I had to heal some things first.
The Dark Side of Life
My first marriage was long and very emotionally destructive for me. And the first 4.5 years of my second marriage were so rough they almost did me in. I recently came out of 6.5 years of health problems that overlapped part of that first 4.5 years of my second marriage (talk about adding insult to injury!). Things were so overwhelmingly difficult during that time I completely stopped creating and, because of level 8-10 pain daily, I also stopped taking care of myself physically. That culminated in one of the darkest periods of my life.
Ultimately, I learned that when I stopped expressing myself creativity and stopped with self-care it got really dark and I got really sick.
But I’m a seeker, and not willing to accept unhappiness as fate. I’d already done a lot of healing and knew there was much more to do. The journey was long, but what an education!
With over a decade of experience applying self-care and self-healing techniques, and some short-term help from therapy, and miraculous results from a handful of EMDR sessions, I can say that life is good. I’m still married to my second husband (he also did EMDR to address trauma from his first marriage) and we have been able to build a rewarding relationship together. We have a blended family of six kids, mostly grown, one still youngish.
Life will always bring challenges, we never “arrive”, but with growth we become more equipped to face those challenges. My road hasn’t been easy, but it has been amazing. I wouldn’t change what I’ve been through because it has given me a wealth of knowledge, and material to draw from creatively.
We need to feel the whole spectrum of emotion to be powerful creators, but we also need self-care to balance out emotion so we can be healthy creators. I hope some of the things I share on this site will inspire you to explore your unique creative potential and encourage you to care for yourself in a more mindful way.
Here’s to your creative journey!