When a year opens with the death of David Bowie it’s fair to assume that it’s going to be a rocky road ahead. In 2016 it felt like the hits just kept on coming.
For many of us there has been much to absorb and process. For me personally, this year has brought so much to the surface. Things I wasn’t ready to acknowledge, feelings I never wanted to examine, choices I had no desire to make.
The highs and lows of the past twelve months have seen me leaping further than was comfortable for me, in both directions. All the walls in my comfort zone came collapsing down like dominos. Familiarity became scarce. Uncertainty was the new norm.
My discomfort brought discovery. Not in the ways that I might have planned, but sometimes clarity comes from surprising sources.
For most of my life I felt as though I was looking for a cure. I was searching for a definitive answer. Something that would unlock me. I always felt that the solution was tied up in something or someone else.
If I could just be in that relationship. If I could just own that house. If I could just have that job.
Always searching. Ever seeking. Never really finding out or fitting in.
And then creativity came along and everything changed and truly nothing was ever the same. I say, came along as though it were a chance meeting, but really creativity had been there the whole time. I just had no idea that I was allowed to claim it.
I’d been so intent on looking at all the external things, that I’d completely missed the magic of my own imagination and my ability to take the conceptual and make it tangible. And because of that great missing piece, I was also completely unaware of how creativity could heal me. As in, save my life kind of healing.
It took embracing creativity for me to recognize and unlock what had been true all along:
I am the key.
I am the home.
So in the twelve months of turmoil and turbulence that 2016 decided to shape itself into, creativity once again became my saviour and my sanity. When everything else was a flurry of chaos I knew I had sanctuary in my words and images. Writing and photography welcomed me, as they always do.
And it does not matter what budget I have or what resources I have available to me – creativity will find a way to burst through. It is in these moments of creative meditation that I am able to make sense of the senseless. I am able to move through my world with more ease, I am able to afford myself an easier breath.
Externally, everything is the the same. Internally, everything shifts.
These moments are my pause, my prayer, my opportunity to process. It is mindful and mindless all at once. And it is greatly empowering.
By deliberately creating I get to reaffirm who I am. I get to remember that nothing is lost or wasted, everything is fuel. It is not so much art imitating life, rather art witnessing life. Not asking it to be different, simply acknowledging what is.
Creativity brings me peace and strengthens my resolve. Both of which are welcome hands to hold as I ease into 2017 fully committed to being all of the human I am.
I love the New Year feeling of a blank canvas, cliched though it is. I’m excited about new adventures and all the possibilities. But I’m also at peace with the fact that if I wake up on January 5th and feel down, it’s ok. Same for January 18th, February 10th, July 3rd, November 8th – whenever. They’re just dates on a calendar. I won’t have “failed”. I won’t swamp myself in sorrow that I’ve ruined any resolutions.
I’m resolving to be me. How can I fail?
I set intentions that serve me, not expectations that stress me out.
So I’m creatively flowing into 2017 with all my love and laughter, all my cranky moods, my wrinkles, my cellulite, my fierce, my wild, my curious mind, my quirks, my passions, my vulnerabilities and my creative expressions. They’re all coming with me. They’re all welcome. And so are you.