Creativity & Surviving the 21'st Century

I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. As a child, my fantasies of make-believe places and possible futures could carry me through an entire week before a poor grade on a math test brought me back to reality. I was fortunate enough to have parents which both encouraged me while also maintaining a healthy Eastern European practicality that my head should indeed remain more firmly planted on my shoulders.

All the same, I glided blissfully through life inseparable from my pair of rose tinted glasses — a hopeful child and incessant optimist. I had an insatiable need for creative outlets to channel my thoughts & inspiration through — taking up countless mediums of art in all forms without the slightest worry of what sort of career I would pursue or what my adult life — chock full of responsibilities — would entail.

In University I studied anything & everything that interested me — greek mythology, communication, world literature, tourism, media & technology, the list goes on… I rejected the idea of a well planned out degree and was happy to wildly mix all subjects that peaked my curiosity.

It wasn’t until the disorientation of my post graduation mind that I lost my favourite pair of rose tinted glasses. The same pair I had worn my entire life & had allowed me to develop as a confident, relaxed, and generally well disposed individual.

The consequences of removing those child-like lenses crept up on me slowly in the months that passed after completing my undergraduate studies.

I began down a path that I had never walked before, asking myself questions like :

“ How can I find a creative career & survive as an artist in this world? Why didn’t I study more specific subjects? Why had I not thought of what I would do once I graduated?! ”

It was a horrible hollowing feeling.

I allowed the new thoughts of my own inadequacy to monopolize my mind to the point where I could think of nothing else. Internally, I had beaten myself down to the point where I felt like a shadow of my former self.

Humourless, dull, anxious. I was frantic about “beginning my career” and it led me to grab at straws, apply for jobs that I didn’t really want, contacting companies I didn’t care about. Worrying about things that didn’t have to matter..

I fell into a depression like nothing I had ever known before, I know now that the reason for this seemingly sudden change in my mental health was my new found self-doubt.

I had forgotten the girl I grew up with and replaced her with this strange individual that I believed had to be the “adult version” of myself. I was blind to the fact that all the potential lay within me, that all the creativity and individuality I had as a child was crucial to my success as an adult.

I discouraged myself from my blissful dream-state in order to focus on the real world & my potential career path — completely missing the fact that an inventive imagination is the key to building a career as a creative.

And the truth is that each and every single one of us is a creative beingwhether we regard ourselves as one or not.

Too often we are discouraged or distracted from the things that excite us and bring meaning to our lives. These distractions come in various forms such as media, mortgages, and mundane career paths that leave a nagging emptiness inside.

We become so complacent with our conditioning that we forget what it means to be happy & in tune with our external environment as well as our own mind, body, and spirit.

Each one of us is equipped with a myriad of talents, gifts that we can lovingly refine and share with others — this is a crucial element of a meaningful life..

The hyper connectivity of the information age can be overwhelming but it makes our possibilities endless — we all have the capacity of using our unique gifts for the benefit of both others & ourselves..

photograph by Sabina Hasanli

photograph by Sabina Hasanli

If you’re unemployed it’s not because there isn’t any work

Just look around: A housing shortage, crime, pollution; we need better schools and parks. Whatever our needs, they all require work. And as long as we have unsatisfied needs, there’s work to be done.
So ask yourself, what kind of world has work but no jobs. It’s a world where work is not related to satisfying our needs, a world where work is only related to satisfying the profit needs of business.
This country was not built by the huge corporations or government bureaucracies. It was built by people who work. And, it is working people who should control the work to be done. Yet, as long as employment is tied to somebody else’s profits, the work won’t get done.
The New American Movement (NAM)

So please stop wasting your creative energy on ways you can land those jobs you don’t want at the companies you don’t care about.

Stop deliberately stifling your creative potential at the cost of your happiness.

You’re not alone in your doubts, we all experience them, we all started somewhere — Don’t be discouraged to dream a little bit bigger.

All My Love,

Ana