Creativity is a funny thing. You can’t plan the time to be creative, but you can help set yourself up for creative moments. There are moments when I am gushing with creative ideas and other times where I feel unexplainably stagnant.
Obviously, no one wants to feel stagnant. As a young adult I want to constantly feel like I am moving and growing and becoming better- but at the same time being content in that season of growth.
In college, I was lucky enough to be in a lot of classes that were outside of my biology degree. In those classes I had the opportunity to read SO MANY (seriously, like 100) books, stare at incredible works of art, and I even got to take a two week Study Abroad trip to Spain. Because these were things that I was not used to studying I felt like I had grown in my ideas and self-awareness. After graduating with my Bachelor’s degree I realized that I was no longer being stretched like I was during college, and I knew that needed to change.
The first several months after graduation were rough. I felt sad and depressed, in a lot of different areas of my life. In my job, my physical and mental health (hello weight gain and anxiety), my marriage, my spiritual life, even my food felt sad.
Fast forward one year after graduation and the skies are much sunnier. There are a lot of things that have changed in the last year. I am so much happier now. My job is going great, my physical and mental health are better than ever, my marriage is incredible, I’m growing spiritually, and you guessed it, my food taste great! I have new found creativity that has helped mend these different aspects of my life.
Here are 5 things that I have incorporated into my post-college life to help with creativity:
1. Believe you can literally achieve anything.
This is easier to say than to do. I struggled with this concept so long because I was constantly living in self-doubt. I never thought I was good enough, did not think I had the skills to achieve my goals. My self-doubt kept me from pursuing my dreams. I wish I could tell you when I flipped the switch. I don’t think it was microwave change, but more of a crockpot change. Luckily, from a young age my mom always made me believe that she believed I could do anything. I lost that a little bit as I got older, but that feeling slowly started to return and when I started trying all these new things that I was not qualified to do- it was exhilarating. If you have unwavering faith in yourself then most likely the outcome will be better than what you could have initially produced. Even if you do fail, you are still getting further than what you would have done living in self-doubt.
2. Fail a little.
I used to hate failure, the art of failing, whatever you want to call it. I hated that feeling and did everything in my power to avoid it. After graduating the failure stopped -peace out biology degree classes and honors program- and at first I loved it. But, I soon realized that the feeling of not failing was harder than the failure feeling. I had become stagnant, and it left an icky taste in my mouth. If you are not failing then most likely you are not putting yourself, your ideas, etc. on the line. So go fail. Make a bad recipe, mess up that painting, experience that bad workout routine- do it all, because at least you are doing something. One thing worth mentioning, don’t tie the feeling of failing to your personal identity. Do something new, fail at it, learn from it, and move on. I can’t even begin to name the times that I have failed trying to get healthier. I tried so many different things and just couldn’t find what worked for me. I could have given up, but I kept moving forward and now after losing 40 pounds I’ve realized all my failures are what led me to success.
3. Sharpen yourself
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17.
I have heard this phrase my entire life. Circle yourself with other positive and creative people. They will inspire you to do more and try more. They will make you better. It’s true though, I love getting together with my friends Zoe, Katie, and Aubrey- they make me better and make me want to try more things. Katie has inspired my painting and piano hobbies, Zoe has ignited my photography with the help of a blog, challenges me to become a better person, and helps me get outside of my own head, and Aubrey makes me think harder on social issues and always has the best book recommendations. I love these girls and their friendship. They got me through college and have done more for me post-graduation than they might realize.
4. Never stop trying new things
Get a new hobby, and don’t ever stop getting new hobbies. Since graduating I have found that I have A LOT of free time. At first I wasted the majority of time binge watching shows on Netflix when I would get home from work. At first that was a blast. I caught up on everything and then I was stuck. What is life?! Is there anything outside of being caught up on Grey’s Anatomy? Que all my new hobbies: painting, modern calligraphy, learning to play the piano, baking, working out, and most recently photography (see below). It is so neat getting to learn these new skills and just having fun with them.
5. Go somewhere new
My first big adventure was getting to travel throughout Spain for two weeks on a Study Abroad trip with several classmates and two of our professors. This trip changed me a lot, especially my outlook on life. I will never forget that experience and how it made me feel. Now when I say go somewhere new, I don’t mean that you have to go out of the country to become inspired (but if you have the opportunity take it), I mainly mean, get out of your comfort zone. Go somewhere you haven’t gone before, whether that is trying out a new restaurant with your friends or a new weekend hangout spot with your spouse. Go somewhere, relax, get inspired, and let your passion be reignited.
I hope I, in some way, helped you see some new possibilities when it comes to your creativity. If you are a recent graduate or feel that you are just stuck, leave a comment and I would love to connect with you so that we can encourage and uplift each other.
Until next time,
*Check Kaitlyn’s blog out at http://www.waterandblossoms.wordpress.com*