Reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic hasn’t been prolifically profound for me, but more of a reaffirmation of what I have been feeling as I return to the creative being I was before having my individuality swallowed up by the man I was attached to for 25 years (and now still in the process of divorcing). Creative living is possible for everyone. I have a creative life because now I do what I choose. As Ms. Gilbert wrote, “…the golden rule in my family is this: If you’re supporting yourself financially and you’re not bothering anyone else, then you’re free to do whatever you want with your life.”
Of course, society has placed its boundaries that we must live within. Don’t break the law, follow the commandments, etc., however there is still much room for flexibility and creative life. I have my career, but once I put in my time, the rest of my day is up to me and how I choose to live it. So, what do I do?
Some days, not much. Some days are filled with road trips and photography, hiking and wanderlust. Other days are spent crocheting little characters for my kids. Some are spent writing or drawing or painting. Rarely is time wasted on television. In fact, all I have is Netflix for those particular times when all I want is to fall asleep with something mindnumbing in the background that I know I will never pay attention to full through to the end. We all have those days, right?
Creativity was a way of life for me when I was younger. I lost that when my exhusband chose to be lame and depend on my working like a workhorse, spending countless hours working overtime simply for him to be able to sit on his ass and play computer games for two decades. I lost my creativity because I lost me.
I suppose that begs the question “what have I done to facilitate creative living?” Well, a good part of that is clearing space. Physical space, mental space, emotional space. I’ve been working on the emotional space issue for a while. It’s better, but like anything, there is still work to be done. Clearing mental space and physical space to me are fairly synonymous. As I deep clean and go through boxes of things, those things that have a negative memory or feeling attached to it have to go. I don’t care what it is. A vase that I loved dearly for years gets donated because all I remember when I look at it was how my soon-to-be exhusband complained how I wasted money on useless things like that. Christmas decorations that signified events in my former life, like getting married or moving to a new home…gone. Anything that does not bring joy to my mental space has to go. As I work through this task, my physical space clears up too. And while I’m at it, the basement needs a new coat of paint to cover the god-awful brown that my entire house was painted with when I bought it nearly three years ago.
What is being created is a new space in that freshly painted and repurposed basement. A creative space with an easel for painting, a table for drawing and other creative projects like polymer clay and whatever else comes to mind. An area for my computer desk so it no longer occupies space in my bedroom. Maybe some chalkboard paint on the wall, framed, just for fun.
I am certain there will be more to do. It’s always a work in progress, isn’t it?