Let’s find some answers (iii)

When did the drive to be creative stop? When did you get so comfortable? You’ve never been keen on getting out of your comfort zone, but what caused you to genuinely fear taking risks?

I am aware of the irony of the title of this post versus the first three sentences, yet there has to be some dramatic irony involved to create a steady pace of writing. So, you’re in? Good.

I very recently (literally in the last hour) realised that I have become so complacent with my lot in life over the last five or six years that I’ve actually stopped being creative. I used to harbour an ambition and drive to write. That feeling is something that is now so alien to me that I think that that may be a key to my happiness. The very idea that I am able to write something substantial is an impressive thought that kept me going for years on end. That feeling has eluded me now for a number of years. I’m not saying that I was full of awe-inspiring ideas day in day out, but the small amount of hope that dwelled within me was a small propeller, flying me ever closer to happiness.

I think sometime around 2013, this feeling faded. On the off-hand chance someone who knows me intimately is reading this, I want to emphasize that meeting my partner around this time has had nothing to do with my creative stasis – she has been a source of joy and inspiration since we first met. 2013, however, was the first time, to paraphrase David Foster Wallace, I understood want the term ‘day in, day out’ meant. I was in a job that didn’t particularly mean anything to me; I was only working to repay a loan, and to pay my bills. After each day, I would cook dinner for two, and go to sleep. That’s what I did for the next two years. These years were interspersed with some of my fondest memories with people that I still talk to on a weekly or even daily basis. Yet, there was an element of comfort there that in retrospect makes me uncomfortable. Today, I want to travel, hike, run, jump, climb, and explore. Back then, I was even too scared to spend money. I now realise that money is renewable.

Money has little to do with my creative stasis, it was about fear. Fear of failure, fear of mockery, fear of being told I’m not good enough. These are all things that I still fear, but I know that the point in fearing them is a good thing, it gives me an edge. I’ll talk more about the fear thing later.

This afternoon I wrote my values on a piece of paper, they are as follows: happiness; relationships; creativity. For me, creativity and happiness are like two railroad tracks, they don’t come in contact very often, but when they do, they give you a new perspective.