We all have creativity in us. Whether we allow ourselves to let it come through or not depends on if we can be brave enough to not only think outside of the box, but to completely get rid of the box.
As adults, most of our lives are lived within a box. At work, we follow the rules in order to keep our jobs and make good impressions. In life there are laws we adhere to in order to avoid getting into legal trouble. In society, there are guidelines that we follow to fit in and avoid being outcasted. We become used to “coloring inside the lines” and sometimes it is easier to not push ourselves out of that comfort zone. Some of us prefer to stay inside the lines, some of us tight-walk along that line flowing back and forth just on one side or the other, while others act as if the line doesn’t exist for them at all.
Perhaps you believe you are not creative. If so, I have one question for you to ponder: Have you ever been doing a daily task, i.e. brushing your teeth, combing your hair, taking out the garbage, cooking dinner, etc., and thought, “What if I change things up a little?” Perhaps I will use a different toothpaste, part my hair in the other direction, use a different garbage bag, or add a new spice to my food. It might not seem like much, but in a world where so much of our daily routine is set in stone, that little difference is your creativity trying to break through the box.
Perhaps your medium for creativity is not pen and paper, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Creativity can appear in many facets of our lives. I have seen it used when fixing a car, I have seen it used when cleaning a house, I have seen it used when doing research, and many other situations.
Writing has been a part of who I am since elementary school and art has followed right behind it. Both are a passion of mine and both take a certain amount of creativity and courage. To take a blank piece of paper and write that first word, draw that first line, paint that first stroke, is not as simple as it sounds. To share what we create with the world is even more daunting. I remember in high school art class, while the other students were working in their sketchpads, I was on the computer learning how to create digital artwork and all about mixed media artwork. When it came to creative endeavors where the rules were meant to be challenged, pushed, and broken, I looked to take things one more step out of that box. My teachers were very supportive of my desire to do more and oftentimes guided me in new directions to keep that drive going. Even so, sharing the results was always very nerve-wracking. As my schooling progressed and I grew older, I found that straying outside of the box became more difficult, took more courage. It wasn’t always encouraged but the end product always taught me something.
Creativity and what results from it is very personal. It is one of the things in this world that cannot be duplicated. So the next time you notice your creativity trying to break through, take notice, for that is something that you should be proud of, that is something that is uniquely you.
SARAH CAMERON, of Ottawa, who grew up in Seneca, is a working mother by day, passionate writer by night, saving the world one word at a time.