A few years back, I recall struggling massively with any form of creative writing. I preferred to take on a third-person role in my writing, succinctly ejecting myself out of the very words I was crafting. In a sense, I thought that this was what good writing was all about — getting straight to the facts and leaving nothing to chance. While I was content with writing page-long essays on any given subject, I felt stifled by the formalities that they seemed to necessitate. I mean, sure, it got the message across but what does that amount to when the story came from a disembodied writer, vastly disconnected from the story?
It is only when I discovered my passion for design that I learned how to create from within. What I mean by this is, instead of internalizing my external realities, I chose to externalize my internal world. This, of course, came with feeling confident in expressing the good, the bad, and the ugly — the very nature of the human experience. I shifted from trying so desperately hard to produce work that was objective, which, as a matter of fact, is never possible, considering the subjective biases and experiences that we all possess. I decided to let loose, in a way. To relay and transmute the experiences and emotions of my personhood into a work that may have, otherwise, been dead, bereft of any inkling of life.
In the processing of doing so, I’ve noticed a transformation in myself. I started to see how my own experiences were never meant to be secured tightly into a crevice of my own little world, never to be seen by the outside world. Owning my own experiences and injecting life into my creative work has become ever more satisfying in the last couple of months. I’ve been able to identify myself with the work that I create. And, while I realize that it may not fit everyone’s taste, it has never resonated so profoundly with me, which is what matters most, at the end of the day.
It has also made me realize the cage that I’ve locked myself in for such a long time. Out of fear of disavowal. Out of fear of being marked a failure. For most of my life, seeking some sort of validation from others drove me to extinguish the very aspects of my self that were burning to shine through. My sensitivity. My empathetic nature. And my child-like essence. The parts of me that made me who I am. And the parts of me that sought to challenge people’s expectations.
So, today, as I write this, I am immensely grateful for being able to find my ‘home’ so to speak, in the creative fields of design and writing. I join forces with millions who are seeking to express themselves in whichever medium suits them, so that their story, their voice is seen and heard by others. And if that makes some people uncomfortable, so be it. At least, it’s real. And I’m no longer carrying the heavy burden of hiding my authentic self.
I’m no longer repressing what truly wants to come out whenever I am inspired to create. Those strict standards dictated by society are no longer able to confine me. My spirit breaks through as I craft my own path in a world that so eagerly wants to homogenize the great expansiveness of the human experience. And to me that is what the work of creatives is all about — representing the human experience in all its glory.