The year is almost a third of the way over and I haven’t been where I wanted to be creatively for the last month or two. I haven’t even kept up with this blog like I intended. When I started the year I had intended that I would be looking for my passion again. My will to create, but it’s been harder than I thought. My depression and anxiety have fought me every step of the way and I’ve let myself fall into the trap of work and letting my job drain me so much that I can’t think when I get home.
These last couple of weeks I’ve been trying something. I’ve been trying to say no to my bosses, not taking on the burden of everything at work. There are ten other people in the department now. They have responsibilities too. They can take care of things. It’s not completely on me if things don’t get done. I’ve been beating myself up for months about things not getting done. I didn’t take breaks, I came back early from my lunches. I got frustrated and angry to the point that it was leaking into my personal life and I was snapping at people that had nothing to do with any of that. I let myself get so drained by the stress at work that I forgot to have a life outside my job.
I stopped writing. I stopped drawing. I didn’t really even read or watch T.V.; I spent hours and days surfing the internet and Facebook. When I did read anything or get into a T.V. show I got so lost in it I forgot what the real world was.
On the bright side, I’m starting to recognize the symptoms of my spirals quicker. I’m fighting to get out of it again. I’m trying to be more faithful in my devotions, and in my creativity. I’m forcing myself to keep going, to keep improving, and to let it all go. I’m forcing myself to let go of the world and cling to my God and the gifts He’s given me.
I’m searching for me again. I’m searching for my creative spark. The one I’ve had since I was a kid. I’m not going to let the daily life of my job and the world to beat me down. I’m not going to be some complacent cog in the machine.
I’ve started teaching myself to play the piano. My grandma has an old upright in the living room that almost never gets played anymore, but I’ve been practicing whenever I’m the only one in the house because I’m still shy about playing around other people.
The last few days I’ve been drawing again. I’ve been getting myself reacquainted with Clara Summers, the character that inspired me to start drawing so that I could see her face outside my head. I’ve even started working with my art on a digital level to see what I can do with these tools. I’ve been trying to do it without using too many functions beyond a charcoal pencil, just because I want to master drawing before I master the tech, but it’s proving to be fun.
I can honestly say that not letting my job, my anxieties, and my frustrations control my life has been the best choice I could make for my creativity. Sometimes it’s harder than I would like to be able to set it all aside and leave work at work, but I keep telling myself that it’s not my circus. I have no authority at work, and I am not the only one there so I am not responsible for picking up everyone else’s slack. I can pick up some of it, but I have my own tasks to accomplish and I can’t push myself to the breaking point anymore for people that won’t do the same for me if I’m sick or hurt.
My back has started hurting again and getting worse. I’m moving a little slower, refusing to do things that I know will hurt me. My boss had an issue with that because he thought I was telling people I was back on a weight limit, but I haven’t been doing that, just saying that I can’t lift it on my own and that I need help. I’m not going to beat myself up anymore. this is my day job. It’s just temporary and I’m not going to lose everything else for it.
I am a storyteller. I tell stories through writing and art. I’m learning to play the piano and eventually I will tell stories through music too.
I am not just some grunt laborer at Lowe’s. I have to keep telling myself that. I am going to be so much more, but only if I focus on my creativity. Only if I strive outside of work to achieve my goals. I can’t let it kill me, it’s just temporary.
Like a side quest in a video game, it isn’t part of the main story. It develops me as a person and it will build something in me. What, I don’t know. But it will help me on the long journey as long as the main story, the big journey, is what I keep on my mind because I’m better than that. My side quest, my day job, doesn’t deserve to kill me. If anything is going to get me, it better be a monster on the main storyline, not some side fight.