I distinctly remember the first time I couldn’t find a way to create. I was in my twenties and had been propelling myself forward with creative energy of some form or another for my entire life. And then, it just stopped. At first, I was frustrated and after that, depressed. Later though, I became resigned. I think I assumed that I used it all up and I just wasn’t creative any more. I moved on (slowly) and looked for another way to fill myself up.
And then, one day, just as quickly as it had stopped, I felt the familiar pangs of inspiration.
And thus began a cycle that I’ve come to discover most Creatives are very familiar with. For years, every time it disappeared, I felt a little bit lost. My identity was intertwined with being able to make things. And when I couldn’t, I just wasn’t sure what to do. And then it would return, and the relief would set in.
It wasn’t until I was much older, and had experienced the cycle many times, that I began to embrace the whole thing. I envisioned the creativity as a wave. In-between times were quiet and useful—even necessary—for rest. That way, when the energy returned, I found myself renewed.
And so it went. Until March of 2020. I know people were cooking and crafting and making in their homes, but I was just spinning. This wasn’t the usual cycle, and it threw me hard. Depression took hold.
Sometime later that spring, though, I found an anonymous bouquet on my doorstep. I set them on my kitchen table and enjoyed their color and their gift for days. I watched as they wilted and dried and how the light at different times of day played off of their changing shapes.
And there it was!
It found me again, and I folded into a new, and still ongoing, project (that might also be categorized as a little bit of an obsession).