Lately I’ve been living my life as a consumer, especially when it comes to the internet. I’ve been feeling the exhaustion from all this consuming and only a few days ago did it hit me as to why. I’ve been watching and invested and curious about the awesomeness of other people’s lives and art, but completely forgot about creating something awesome for my own.
I’ve become someone who only consumes. And as a creative person, consuming so much of other people’s art, life, and content has had a negative effect on my own creative process. I haven’t truly created anything I am super proud of for a very long time. I’ve been so consumed with consuming that my own self expression & my own creative process has been at a standstill.
That ain’t healthy!
There is value in consuming for inspiration, yes. There is inspiration in seeing how other people live, how other people create. But there is a time when it becomes a distraction and an overload, or straight up overwhelming. There is such thing as too inspired. There is also such thing as too MUCH.
My point is! I’m taking a step back from some of my social media accounts, from some of the websites and blogs I read. I am taking a minute to myself, to create a life I want, instead of wishing my life looked like that person’s. I’m planning to create some things that suck, but also some things that are really good. Things that matter to me.
I suggest you evaluate how much you consume versus how much you create and take a step back from the ‘inspiration’ if you need to!
Last year I did an in-depth blog post of cute/important things Nate and I learned during our third year of marriage. This year I barely posted about our anniversary on social media at all. Not because I wasn’t excited to be married for another year, but because this year was hard. I was hesitant to be super lovey-gushy-dovey about it, like anniversary posts usually are, because I wanted to be really real about it.
I wanted to post something like “every year gets better and better!”, but I had to get real. Year four wasn’t all roses and love notes. It honestly was a big kick in the “welcome to the non-honeymoon stage of marriage” butt. Maybe we had it really easy the first three years, or maybe this is what marriage is really like. Even though it was tough, year four was also an incredible adventure to Italy together. We joined a church planting team together, and celebrated birthdays and promotions together. And together is the only way I ever want to do it. So here’s to year five – and the rest of life together – and all the crazy adventures it will bring!
P.S. We spent our anniversary driving 5 hours up to Syracuse for a college friend reunion (more on that soon). I was cool with that plan, because we don’t do anything over the top for our anniversary anyways. But! When we got to our hotel room, there were pretty flowers waiting for (I thought) us, but really for me! N had ordered them and had them delivered to our room to surprise me. Sweetest ever. <3
There’s a phrase I repeat over and over to myself whenever I’m either A) being judgmental towards other people or B) being really hard on myself. That phrase is “We’re all trying to do our best.” It is never meant to be a way out of trying hard (in the “hey, at least you’re trying” vein). Instead it’s a firm reminder that everyone is fighting a different battle, everyone has their own way of doing things, and that we have to trust that every person really is trying their best in life. When I say it to myself, it’s a reminder that I am not ‘them’. I am me. If I am truly trying as best as I can, then I can’t be mad at myself. Try saying this phrase to yourself the next time you’re feeling judge-y or putting yourself through the comparison trap. It definitely helps me get my head back in the right space.
image by stephen grigoriou
I had a moment the other day, while I was messing with my calligraphy tools, when I realized how fresh and freeing it is to make stuff that you have no intention of sharing with the Internet. This design really wasn’t something I was going to share, but I wanted it to accompany this thought I had. I was simply having fun on a Saturday afternoon, feeling the joy and freedom of experimenting and learning and making something with my hands.
The lesson here is: There is freedom in creating for yourself.
Enjoy the art of making (calligraphy, muffins, scrapbook pages, baskets, anything you love!) for yourself and only yourself. Make, do, create … all while knowing that you are not obligated to share every single thing you make, do, create on social media or with anyone, even in real life. Art is for you, so get messy, experiment, have a grand old time without the fear of “who is going to like this”.
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