Following Your Fascinations
It takes courage to follow your fascinations, wherever they may lead. Yet, creativity demands that you trust and stay on the path despite obstacles. The good news is that it’s possible.” –Gail McMeekin
That’s the chapter opener, and it is very wise and very true.
What is also true is that I have recently been playing the Cowardly Lion role in my life rather than Queen of the Forest, up until this past week, anyway, which I’ve spent trying to get back on track in this pursuit and others. I am sorry, Fearless Leader and fellow participants, that I’ve been reading quietly in stolen moments and hiding my fragile little light under a bushel.
That said, this particular chapter hit home in a big way for me. It’s all about being fearless and following your creative instincts and gut feelings, taking calculated risks and, in doing so, growing.
I have quite the tendency to get stuck. Not just in my creative life, but in other aspects as well. I let myself get swallowed by circumstances beyond my control. I allow myself to be batted about like a badminton birdie, or paralyzed by Fear in all its various guises.
But, then, I get sick of it. I call or IM friends, I write in my journal, I read inspiring books, I pray, I meditate and practice yoga, I wail and figuratively pound my fists, and I dig my heels into the metaphorical ground until I am standing on my own feet again, oftentimes with friends holding my hands.
Truly, my friends, both those I’ve met online and those I met in person along the way who are now scattered all over, are the best resource I have for bolstering my courage. This is especially true when I’m stuck in the mud and can’t see a way out. One of them will say something that totally brings me up short with its wisdom, a hand to help pull me out of the muck.
I’ve also drawn inspiration and strength from the group. Though I haven’t been keeping up as I should, it’s staggering to see how many talented women there are who are willing to get together and support each other in their endeavors. All of the create such beautiful things and share them. I sit back and say to myself, “I want to be like that!” I am learning to be like that.
As for taking steps forward in following fascinations and making calculated risks, I’ve made some progress in that in recent days.
One of my goals for this year was to finally move out of my parents’ house and my hometown. (I graduated from university with less than $200.00 in the bank, so I had to come home. There was no choice.) In doing so, I would be fulfilling a nearly lifelong ambition of creating a life that was and is mine, in which I could be authentically myself 24/7 without the ever-presence of my well-meaning parents’ expectations and judgments on my choices. (Also, in the local economy, my choice of methods of earning money is severely limited, so that I must play a role I am not particularly fond of 40 hours per week.)
I’ve been waffling about where to go and what to do next, however. Part of me wants the safest route possible, which, with the national economy the way it is, is nonexistent. Part of me wants the risk of tackling the unknown and seeing what happens…Not at the risk of life, limb, or finite financial ruin, of course, but without having every single little detail mapped out and by not ignoring my intuition in favor of hard, cold logic. As is stressed in the chapter, this would be a calculated risk.
Before I disclose the step, however, a little background:
Since I was a child, off and on I have dreamed about moving West, like within driving distance of the Pacific Coast. Every now and then, I would reconsider and dream of moving to New York City (publishing capital of the U.S., befitting a book addict such as myself) or overseas in various spots, mainly for the adventure and chance of living in an entirely different culture. Eventually, however, it always goes back to the same thing…A hum in my blood, a chant, “Go west. Go west. Go west.”
So, I think I’ve found a hospitable city for me to begin: Portland, Oregon. I’ve been pricing flights and hotels for an exploratory trip and am awaiting a good time to discuss taking a few days off with my employer to make that trip.
In the meantime, I’ve thrown myself into research, both intuitive and logical. Intuitive meaning making mental note of how often it crops up in dreams, conversations, books I’m reading, etc., and asking my intuition if it’s sure, all the while trying to trust. Logical meaning I’ve researched online and am going to take an expedition into the next county, and thereby the nearest bookstore, to find travel guides and maps for Oregon and Portland in particular.
In regards to creative work other than creating my own independent life, I’ve recently been writing things other than emails and blog entries. I even finished the rough draft of a short fictional piece earlier this week in one sitting.
I’m bursting with ideas, though I’m short on time, for drawings and paintings.
I suppose I shall have to see where those ideas take me.