How Creating Saved My Life.
The other night, I went to the Notes app in my phone to see what I had saved from my high school years. There were funny quotes from my friends and sisters, notes from church services, and to-do lists that I probably never finished. And then, sprinkled throughout, there were snippets of poems I had written.
I wrote poems about everything from marrying my high school sweetheart to longing to escape depression but feeling like I was trapped. I wrote about learning someone I loved was addicted to porn, and about not believing that a friend of mine was really dead.
I wrote poems about shattered hopes, wanting to get better, and not knowing where to start.
As I was reading through these poems, I realized that not only was high school just as rough as I remember, but writing my way through it probably saved my life.
People say that humans were made to be creative beings. That we create in order to have beauty, life, love, and all things joyous in the world.
But I also think we create so that we can move forward.
Forming something where there was once nothing can only be done through taking a piece of what is inside of us and putting it in the outside world. And to take things out of us, we have to process the way they affect us.
We have to hold them in our hands and look at them from every angle before we can form them into words, songs, dances, sculptures, images, and so on.
We don’t have to be extraordinarily talented in order to create powerful things. We just have to be real. (Tweet this!)
I don’t know how I would have processed shattered hopes, getting better, and finding a starting place if I didn’t have writing. I don’t know if creating would have helped if I hadn’t been willing to be honest about my emotional and mental states.
If I hadn’t created space to process, life would have been too much. Honestly, sometimes it still felt like too much. But because I was taking pieces of my pain out of myself and putting them into a piece of creation, I had just enough space inside to keep moving forward.
I don’t know if you relate to this. I’m not even sure it makes sense. But I know that creating is a large reason I could process who I was and become who I am today.
I am free. I am happy. I am healthy.
I am so many things I never thought I would be.
All because the act of creating created enough space for me to keep going.