I know what it feels like to let too many years go by without fully honoring that creative voice we all have inside of us. For far too long I let life get in the way of my need for regular self-expression. Over time, this manifested itself in feelings of unhappiness, discontent, and sometimes even depression.
I’ve learned that self-expression, much like physical exercise, is like a pressure release valve that needs to be activated regularly. My life changes when I’m able to commit to a daily creative practice. I become happier and more fulfilled. Drawing, writing, and taking pictures are the primary ways that I like to activate this pressure release valve. These activities form the foundation of what I like to call “my creative workout.”
The Road to Self-Discovery
I’ve spent most of my working life as a creative services manager. This role has allowed me to use my skills as a graphic designer and photographer. While I’ve certainly been able to be creative in this role over the years, I came to realize that something was definitely missing. I wasn’t making art for myself, at least not on a regular basis.
Whenever I did make time to do something creative for myself, it would usually be short-lived. Stress brought on by some life event would grind my creative practice to a halt. Weeks, months, or sometimes even longer would go by before I would feel good about doing something creative for myself again. I would convince myself that there would be time after I tackled whatever life challenge I was dealing with.
My daughter Chloe recognized what was going on with me at an early age. She wrote some of the most touching birthday and Father’s Day cards that expressed how painful it was for her to watch me repress my need to be creative. She even went so far as to call Chase Jarvis and ask for his advice. Listen to the first half of this episode to hear her call.
An Opportunity for a Rebirth
I was laid off from my job as a creative services manager at the company I worked at for almost thirty years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the blink of an eye, that feeling of security that I associated with my job and held on to so tightly, just vanished.
After getting over the emotional shock of this event, I’ve now come to realize that I’ve been given an incredible opportunity to reinvent myself. I’m not going to lie. After going to work for the same company for almost thirty years, this level of uncertainty scares the hell out of me. But at the same time, I’m becoming more and more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.
My goal is to explore all kinds of new paths for creative expression while finding new ways to create a sustainable life for my family. I have no idea where this journey will take me. But I do know that a whole new level of creativity and hard work will be required to make it possible. My Creative Workout is where I hope to share my experiences along the way.
If you’ve been struggling to bring creative expression back into your life, it’s my sincere hope that something you find here will provide a little spark that sets you on a path towards building and sustaining your own creative workout.