Monday, March 2, 2009
My friend Melinda over at PelMel posted a blog today that struck me clear to the soul. You can read her post here. It was humorous and fun and got me thinking about my own journey of creativity.
I tend to be a creative person by nature. I've always been that way. I've always been drawn to color, whether it was with crayon upon a page or the shades of fabric I can't help run my fingers across. I've always loved music, whether singing, playing, writing, or listening. I've been able to draw, paint, sculpt, cut, and build whatever I chose, though not always with as grand a result as I'd hope. The point is, it came easy for some reason, and being raised by the mother I was, I always believed I could do anything I set my mind to because that's what I'd been taught.
The problem came when I had to choose which paths to pursue. First I had to choose whether to chase my dreams of music or art. I chose music because I'd put the most work into it with private lessons and such, but also because I knew if I was going to get to college it was the only way I'd be able to afford to get there. Mom always said she'd pay for missions but not college, even though she wanted us to go. There just wasn't enough money to stretch.
I remember at the age of 17 taking aptitude tests that spread across the board, but tended to lean more toward the arts and teaching than anything else. I sat on my bed in frustrated to tears because I knew I had to choose a path for my life and the opportunities seemed endless. Everyone was told to choose something they were good at and pursue it, but what could I do when I seemed to be good at everything I tried? (Well, everything but math. I knew that would forever be a closed door.) I finally decided I wanted to be a teacher and narrowed it down to music and english, but still hadn't made up my mind while away at school. I went back and forth until finally my health made the decision for me.
I got sick. I got really sick and the doctor told me to pack my bags and go home because I'd be wasting my time at school for months if I chose to stay. I listened and went home and my dreams of playing with the Utah Symphony evaporated. Over the six months it took me to recover I still played with my options for the future and eventually chose to serve a mission. One day in Connecticut I woke up with a dream playing through my head, a dream with a girl playing a magical flute that called a white wolf. They sat under the moon and communicated with music and I wrote it down. I captured the picture in three short pages that spoke to my soul like nothing but music ever had.
I discovered the music in words and there was no turning back. The passion that filled me then has ebbed and flowed over the years, but somehow it has continued on and I have found that writing is my call. It speaks the voice of my soul much better than my mouth ever could and that is what brings me the greatest joy. I've found my muse through writing. Writing brought me back home to the self I thought I'd lost when my music faded.
This final bit of Melinda's post sang to me. I've watched it four times already and will do so again and again until I can recite it. The message of Elder Uchtdorf was just what I needed to hear today: hope.
The more you trust and rely upon the spirit, the greater your capacity to create. I love that, and I have found it to be so true in my creative efforts. May we all ever remember to rely upon the creator's spirit as we give birth to our own creations.