To finally realise, whether in a flash of an instant or a longwinded way, that it is okay to be happy with a calm life, has been the essence of re-discovering a kind of creative freedom for myself.
To have the ability to do x, y and z. But to realise that it is actually just x, that makes me truly happy. And to accept (even if painfully) that I must let go of y and z, has been oddly liberating.
I am cut out for a certain kind of life, work-style and my entire journey of discovering writing has brought me back to this point, several times, in several different ways. I have time and again found that all roads lead me back to this point – where at first I feel like a fish out of water, stick out like a sore thumb, but eventually I realise that it is okay to want to pursue a journey different from the one it feels you can manage perfectly. I’ve been in this same spot, arrived at it from various different routes, even acknowledged it and shifted gears before. So why am I resisting it so much this time? To finally let that guard down and accept that cycles repeat for a reason, that I find myself back at the same point over and over only because I’m not fully learning the lesson from that experience, has taken me closer to creative happiness.
To be able to really tell the difference between what I can do, and what I want to do; what is a nice-to-have career and a must-have purpose – that feeling perfectly encapsulates what creative freedom means to me. And to be in the privileged position to indulge that path inevitably leads to creative happiness. I have tasted, savoured, devoured it. But somewhere, I lost it too.
To acknowledge all of this, scale back my life and commit myself to living this dream authentically, is my creative freedom.
To dedicate myself to the smallest, most personal little goals, and watch them as they unfurl and create bigger changes around me, like ripples in a pond is what exercising creative freedom feels like. At the centre of that process, that journey, is chaos. The point at which the rock hits the calm surface of water. The dashing of peace and placidness, to make way for tumultuous action, that eventually transforms things. Within and around. That is creative happiness at work.
To understand that creative happiness is a choice. That it takes effort, it takes owning up to it, it takes following through has been my biggest learning in recent time. I fully understand that the slightest bit of wavering on these counts can make it slip away in an instant. Hang on to it, I remind myself everyday. Hang on to it, live it. And own it like you mean it.
Some of my dearest friends and I decided to start a blogging prompt thingie, to help us get into the habit of writing more often. It actually came about from the fact that several time in our deepest most involved conversations about the things around us, things that affect us, the people we engage with, the relationships we have, the phenomena we experience and our opinions that are shaped from it, we’d tell each other “Hey, you should write about this!” So one day we decided to try and make a serious attempt at doing that. Except life got in the way, an absolute shit month ensued and this got forgotten. I don’t know if it will be a weekly thing like we intended it to be but, the prompt we started and ended it at – What does creative happiness mean to you? – seemed rather apt for the month I’ve had. Serendipitous, if you will. So I didn’t want to pass up the chance to write it down, so I can come back to this the next time I’ve lost my way.