There’s something so invigorating about admitting that. Wouldn’t you agree?
Somehow, a part of me has always known that I was a creative. When I entered high school, I knew I felt out of place, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly why I felt that way. And no it wasn’t just teenage angst (at least I hope it wasn’t). To me, it felt like much more than that. It felt like an instinct that I kept trying to ignore.
I’m sure you already have an idea of what a creative is. I personally define a creative as someone who feels drawn to invent new things within their mind and uses their drive to make their vision tangible. Of course, there are other bloggers out there that give a more poetic meaning to the word creative like the wonderful and inspiring Marie Forleo, but that’s my interpretation of it.
The day I admitted to myself that creating was something I couldn’t help, I really started to see a change.
Still, it has taken me an awfully long time to get to where I am now.
I like to think of creativity as a muscle these days because I’ve noticed that when I neglect it, I hit personal roadblocks. When I prioritize money and survival over my natural inclination to innovate and imagine, I end up hurting myself more than helping myself.
Before entering college, I never paid much attention to what I gravitated towards. Sure, I liked to write, and I wrote every day. I started writing when I was eleven years old, and I continued to write every day because I loved it. In fact, I still love it! It’s something I’m good at, but I’ve come to realize that writing is not what I’m passionate about.
Very rarely, you’ll hear someone (usually very wealthy and established) say “follow your passion”, but I never knew what that felt like. How could I follow something I couldn’t even identify? I was never passionate about writing. I thought it was fun, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. While I might have improved over time by exposing myself to various creative writing forums, I never had to chase writing.
And that is what differentiates a passion from a hobby.
I’m very selfish when it comes to my hobbies. I only want to write for fun, and that’s why I can’t call it my passion. Whenever I had to write for assignments in class or even if I was writing as a favor for a friend, I would never enjoy it. I never saw it as a challenge or a way for me to improve. It was simply something for me to do. Sure, I could write, but I never wanted to pursue a career as a writer. I didn’t love it that much, but I kept talking myself into thinking that I did. It took me years to realize that writing wasn’t my passion, but once I did, I started focusing on exposing myself to all kinds of different fields and industries in the world until I came across something that actually made my heart beat a little faster.
That thing just happened to be…
Wow, what a shocker! Who would have thought that me, a marketing major, was actually passionate about marketing?
All jokes aside though, it took me forever and a day to figure out what I wanted to major in once I entered college. In high school, I wanted to be a dermatologist. Why? Because my mom wanted me to be one! (I also wanted to get paid a lot of money). Then, after realizing I was neither good at science or interested in it, I decided to become a music therapist. Why? I was an okay singer, and I liked helping people cheer up.
Are you starting to see a pattern here? These reasons for pursuing a career were so shallow, and they continued to be for a very long time. I wanted to be a marriage counselor, I wanted to be a human resource manager, I wanted to do human resources consulting. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stick with anything I had chosen, but life kept moving on without me and soon enough I had to decide on a major to be accepted into the highly-competitive Terry College of Business.
That’s when things got very real very quickly.
So, what was an indecisive college sophomore to do with her business school application due in one day? I did what any other reasonable college student with poor timing would do of course: I started exploring other options! None of the coursework for the other majors really called out to me, but when I saw the classes offered for marketing, something in me said, “That sounds like fun!” So, on that fateful day, I chose my possible career path based on fun.
I hastily wrote up my statement of purpose for declaring my major and my backup statement of purpose for another major I was hardly interested in that same day, proofread them about ten times and submitted my application.
Now, please don’t discredit me guys. I swear I’m an organized, driven and focused person, but at that time I was lost. A lack of exposure to what was out there left me floundering in the dark. I didn’t know who I could talk to that wouldn’t direct me to what path they thought was best for me instead of what I thought was best for me. To be honest though, I never really tried to look for anyone like that in the first place. I was just following my gut which, of course, was careless and risky of me, but I trusted that I wouldn’t steer myself wrong.
When I think about that time and how much pressure and stress I felt to make a decision that would impact the rest of my life, I feel glad that I decided to follow my gut. I’m much happier than I was when I was trying to follow the sensible route. I’ve found a path for myself that makes every day unpredictable, and I would prefer to make the most of every day I’m blessed with than to intricately plan out my future. I have hopes and dreams like anyone else, but I’m also patient and willing to soak up as many experiences as I can so that one day I can look back on my life and say that I truly made it. At the end of the day, I know exactly who I am and what I’m passionate about, and for the first time in a while, I’m excited for what the future holds!
If there’s ever been a time when you felt lost or if you ever felt like you were losing yourself in the midst of trying to satisfy everyone else, please know that you’re not alone. If you want to mold your life into a life you’ve always dreamed of, start taking the steps toward that goal today. It might take some time and you might lose your way, change your mind, or even flip flop back and forth but it will all be worth it in the end.