I have to admit…I’m a slow starter.
Creative self-discovery was always something that was just slightly out of reach for me.
I could blame it on a lack of creative inspiration. Or maybe even the fact that my youthful compadre’s weren’t ones to hold creativity in high esteem. But neither of those holds true.
Instead, I have come to realize that my yearning to achieve the American Dream is the more likely culprit.
Ideals vs. Inspiration
Having the ideal job, the ideal house, the ideal car, the ideal bank account…the ideal ideals…is, well…ideal.
The inherent tragedy in having these kinds of ideals is that they often come at the cost of inspiration. If and when they are achieved, a gaping hollow is still present. The drive to get there was fueled on the speculation that the outcome would be satisfying. And, maybe it is…for a time.
However, the fading nature of status and position reveal that the purpose is more flawed than the outcome.
Instead of creative inspiration, there is a sense of conquer and achieve. The end result is a lifestyle that seems substantial, but forms more of a shell instead of a foundation.
For me, it resulted in the provision for a family, while leaving little room for flexibility.
Bridging the Gap
If this is an experience that you share, then you know that creative transformation does not mean your responsibilities simply disappear. In fact, they are probably compounding with every passing day.
What it does mean, however, is that you have a responsibility to your creativity. This also means that your creativity is not your own, but something that should be shared with your kids as well.
So, let’s say that you find yourself with the responsibility of supporting a family and your creativity. You know that you can’t make radical choices without detriment to one or the other. What do you do?
- Take stock of your current possibilities. Does your work provide you with a way to exercise your passions? Maybe you can engage your creativity right where you are.
- Start developing relationships that open doors. It’s very likely that you have held more than one job because of who you knew…not what you knew. Why not develop these kinds of relationships with those that share your passions?
- Engage in something that will hone your skills. If you’re a writer, then start a blog or join a writer’s group. If your passion is marketing, then look for events that you can attend. Most importantly, read until your eyes fall out!
- Get the family involved. There is no greater encouragement than when your family participates right alongside of you. If they can appreciate your creativity, then sacrifice becomes a lot less difficult.
- Be courageous enough to be critiqued. Make sure that you are exposing yourself to people that can give you some honest feedback. It is great to be creative, but raw honesty can tell you whether your passion should become a profession or remain a hobby.
Having the responsibility of being a husband and a dad does not mean that we have to abandon our creative dreams. It just means that we have to become strategic about our creativity.
With some support, some hard work, and the right relationships, our creative pursuits may become more than just a hobby!