Imagine finding something that truly makes you happy and spending the rest of your life with it. Whether its a thing or an idea or even a somebody. Now imagine that went away for a number of years. How would you feel? How would you cope? How would your attitude change, Your whole demeanor? Would you feel like a piece of your soul was missing? For me it was my creativity. Creativity to me is something I was born with yes, but I’ve come to view it as my own personal rose garden. I must tend and nurture it, in order for it to bloom into this wonderful garden of mystery and wonder.
However for a time my creativity was stifled. I believe honestly at the tender young age of eighteen, a combination of being married young during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and joining the army against every screaming fiber in my soul, placed my creativity in a long lost Pandora’s box deep in the recesses of my mind. I believe from that point on I tried to build this sense fo self that everyone else needed me to be. Throw in a few traumatic events, and I had become a hardened carbon copy of my former self. No sense of life, no sense of direction or purpose; Just aimlessly wandering through my life, robotically logging in the motions of daily activity that required me to function. When I tell you I reached a dark place without my creativity, dark would be an understatement. More like the abysmal pitch black depths of a bottomless soul-crushing black hole, where “nothing” seemed imminent.
In bits and pieces I would grasp onto my creativity only to lose it again, like trying to light a cigarette during a windy day. I would taste the sweet release of pent up negative energy through expression only to lose it in the mundane of blind existence yet again. Until on that fateful day I answered an Indeed job posting.
It didn’t come back all at once, not at first. At first I had to survive the gladiator-style flight attendant training. And after that it was a matter of working a few flights in an entirely new industry (for me) that I had to get used to. And then there were the agonizing days where I just sat on reserve, not traveling anywhere. But I believe it was my trip to Poland last year that prompted me to wipe off the dust from my trusty Nikon D3200 camera and assorted lenses, and bring it one my trip with me.
I remember the first shutter click like it was yesterday. The finality of the click sounding as if the entire world had just slid into place and made sense. The sound of the lens zooming and refocusing in on my intended subject, the whining and whiring of the internal mechanisms as some sort of calming call to prayer. I had captured a turquoise green roof attached to some interesting Polish architecture.
But it was the gold and white Lion Crest I was attracted to. So I snapped another picture of that.
And then it was the white marbled lady statue holding a gold staff,
and then it was the Cathedral tower.
Pretty soon we had ended our day trip at a restaurant laughing, eating, and drinking to our hearts content. (Literally to our hearts content. Poland has yet to switch the euro and uses the Zloty. It was amazingly cheap there. I believe I only spent about 18$ that night for some goose stuffed dumplings and six beers). But during that entire time, my heart had skipped a beat, was racing, I was filled with a sense of excitement, had begun to develop different postures and angles for my captures; but in all honesty the most exhilarating experience, was the way the world began to change. It was as if a great filter had lifted and I finally began to see the world and all its beauty in color. Like someone had placed a mundane monochrome filter across my world titled mundane existence.
Since then my camera has gone with me on every trip. But its not just my love of photography that has been awoken since my traveling walkabout. I remember in December, after experiencing so much angst, anxiety, and lets be honest pure emotional agony for being so long without flying, that I picked a pen and an old stationary kit up, began to write, and on the spot came up with the letters project. For the last few days of December I can remember writing to myself and giving myself encouragement to make it to the new year, but then I took it one step further and said, “Why don’t I try to write myself a lesson every day for the next year, and then read them all at the end of the year. If I learned something great, If I didn’t oh well, guess those lessons will be repeated for next year.”
Between writing again and using photography to capture beautiful images of the world, I began to venture out even further by experimenting with photo editing apps and graphic art techniques. Everyday has been an adventure and an important lesson learned through creativity. Some times there are down days, especially when I’m not traveling, but the most important part is that I have found a creative outlet for my emotions, stress, and overall extra energy.
Whether I end up staying a flight attendant, head into the creative arts industry or head back into medicine I do not know. But what I do know and what I will Always hold onto, is my creativity and the ability to travel and gather inspiration. The World is too big not to explore. It is my belief that as an essence other than my human body, it is my duty to travel, experience, create, and share as much of my human existence/condition as possible before I move on. Thanks again for Reading. Until Next time. Stay Creative My friends!