When Creativity Doesn't Come Easy
This is going to be a different kind of post, but stick with me here. I've been thinking a lot about this recently and it's kinda weird because I don't know who to talk to about it, so I'm putting it here. But never fear, I will also put card instructions in this post as well, I promise. Just as soon as I finish my therapy too.
I remember when I realized that I wanted to work in a more creative field. I was between my junior and senior year of college, I had just wrapped up an internship in LA, and I had no desire to actually work in public relations. The timing could not have been worse. Do I finish my last year of school, or do I drop everything to pursue what might turn out to be a whim?
Always practical, I decided to finish school with a shiny writing degree. Not exactly the creative outlet I wanted, but not super stiff either. I dabbled with the idea of pursuing an actual art degree, even sending in half an application to one of the best fashion and art schools in the country. Fearful of my ever-growing student debt, I took a job at a mortgage company instead. It was the opposite of creative, to say the least, but it was stable.
Since then I've contemplated exploring the creative side of things again, but always, always practical wins out. Maybe one day, which is what I've been telling myself for years now. It's really time to get on it or move along really.
The thing is I've always had something inside of me that I wanted to get out. Before I semi-formally started studying art, I would sit down with the need to draw something, anything. I was frustrated because it never looked like what I wanted it to, but it was almost like scratching an itch.
I've never really had much trouble finding my creativity before. Making and crafting seemed inherent in me. And I don't say this to brag, because, believe me, more often than not my works of "art" were less than appealing. But it was just me.
***stay with me, it'll all make sense***
I struggled with infertility for six years. To the day. For six whole years there were negative pregnancy tests, some positive tests followed by crushing news, injections, ultrasounds, probing and prodding, hormonal rages, tears, sadness...you name it and I got it. I also had a craft room. It was a beautiful room, big, and it was all mine. It was the place I could retreat to after each negative test. Each month that I would learn that I was not going to be a mom.
Until one day I learned differently. I wasn't even looking for it. We had all but given up hope. We certainly had stopped trying. And then, while wrapping Christmas presents, I decided to take one of the dozen pregnancy tests I had lying around the house because something was off. It wasn't the first time my uterus had thrown me a lifeline. I'd seen two pink lines three times before, and each time that line had disappeared a few weeks later. So I tried not to get too excited this time either.
But something was different. For the first time in over five years, I got actual good news from my doctor. My numbers were going up. It had every appearance of a viable pregnancy. And then, six years later, on our anniversary, the most miraculous thing that has ever happened in my life happened. I met my daughter. And she is perfect and beautiful and miraculous and I literally do not let a day go by without thinking that. She's amazing and I really and truly could not love anything more than I love her.
But a funny thing happens when you become a mom. Time changes. Sometimes it goes really, really fast (it's her first birthday already?), and sometimes it goes really, really, really slow (naptime yet?). I remember thinking before she was born that all new parents were tired and wrung out, but I didn't know why. I mean, there was clearly a reason as it happens to everyone, but I didn't know exactly what a baby did to have this effect on our entire society.
I do now.
Even now, she's entering her toddler years and I thought that maybe saying goodbye to infancy meant that maybe mommy would get just a moment more to herself.
I was soooo wrong. I get even less time to myself now. And it's not like I'm incredibly busy all day either. Usually, it's just me sitting there saying such classics as the following:
no, stop that, don't go over there, what's in your mouth, are you hungry, do you need a new diaper, and really?!
I know that this is not something novel and new. I know that every parent before me has learned this lesson and every parent after me will as well, but I can't help but think sometimes, is it me? Am I doing something wrong here?
I mean, I know other stay-at-home mothers who appear to be able to get things done during the day. Am I bad at this? Am I babying her too much? Should I just let her get a tattoo and send her on her way to an office somewhere?
And it's not like it's super quality time. I am not imparting knowledge to her constantly. I'm not showing her how to weave baskets or train for marathons (though I'm giving her a little too much credit as she's only 1.5 years old). No, mostly I sit while she plays, I give her hugs when she wants them, and I feed her regularly.
But the point of all this is (and yes, there is a point) somewhere in the middle of all this I've lost my mojo. My mind is not brimming with creativity anymore. I'm not desperate to get things out of my brain so I can make room for new ones. I don't care about looking at fashion magazines or going to museums or anything else that I loved to do because I just can't. I can't. And that makes me sad.
I watch a lot of crafting videos. I watch a lot of art videos. I have a subscription to creative classes that I can watch on my phone anytime. I have a Pinterest board with over 10,000 pins, at least half of them dealing with creativity. Being creative is who I am, or was at least, and I miss that.
Now, to be sure, I do not blame my daughter at all. Again, most wonderful thing winner right there. But it was just surprising to me, that's all. After trying for so long, I fully expected I would magically turn into the mommy who knits her baby tres chic booties and whips up delicious mush for her to consume, all while never allowing her delicate feet to touch the ground.
This, uh, this isn't the case. Mommy-hood is not as magical as I thought it would be. Because no matter how much I wanted it, no matter how long I waiting, being a mom is the same across the board. Sure, my perspective is a little different, but it's still changing diapers, feeding the little one, and ensuring that they remain safe in this deathtrap of a world (or so my perspective is now with a new walker in the fam).
So, what does all of this have to do with card making? Well, with what little time I do find to craft, I haven't been able to actually make anything worthwhile. Seriously. It's been bad. I see the things people make on Instagram, I think they're beautiful, and then when I sit down at my desk...nada. It's all blah, blah, and more blah.
Lately I've been color or cutting things out, moving them around the paper, and then ultimately giving up the whole thing and stuffing them into these bowls or bags at my desk. There's a lot crammed in there at the moment. Nothing has really hit and it has made me so sad. Literally sad.
Which makes my little triumph all the sweeter. I fought hard tonight for a win, even a little one, and I made it. Yes, I kept getting interuptted, and yes, I gave up at one point, but I persevered and made it across the crafty finish line.
Ladies and gentlemen, I finally finished a card I didn't hate.
I know, not really that amazing of an accomplishment for a card making blog, but let me tell you...that stuff was hard.
It's nothing super amazing. I didn't invent any new techniques here. I didn't do anything particularly spectacular, but it feels so good to know that while my mojo is on its own version of maternity leave, I still have a little something there to get me though.
I worked hard for this. Really hard. It's weird to have to work so hard for something that used to come so easily, but I didn't mind in the end. I enjoy creating so much, so just the fact that I found that again makes me really happy and gives me enough umph to try again. During nap time of course.
Supplies I used:
Spellbinders Wreath Die (picture below)
Gold, green, white cardstock; vellum
Honey Bee Designs Thanks die
Pale Periwinkle and Rosewater Jewel Drops, Nuvo
Gilded Peach sequins by Little Things by Lucy
Evergreen Bough, Shaded Lilac, and Tattered Rose Distress Oxide inks
If you made it this far, thanks for reading and listening. Sometimes it nice to just get things off your chest, even if it's in the wide world of the internet.