Originally, I was on the good girl track of life. You know the one…go to college and get a good education, get a good job and make lots of money. I did all 3. I went to college (University of Missouri Columbia ’83), got a good job (at least 13 of them before the age of 32), and I made lots of money. Mission accomplished.
It wasn’t until I got off the good girl track of life that life got really messy. I gave my boss his pink slip and started my own business. I raised my own kids instead of farming them out to the day care center. I threw off my watch and started following my own destiny. I made lots more money working for myself than I’d ever made working for anyone else.
At the same time, I made alot of mistakes. Ones that cost my husband and I our entire life savings. At one point we were $2.4 million in debt with no stable income and we were both self-employed. My responsible hubby went back and got a good engineering job. I continued on with my free-spirit lifestyle.
We didn’t declare bankruptcy. We marched on with our heads down and our hearts heavy. We fought and blamed each other. We downsized 4 times in 4 years. We became vagabonds for 12 months. We made up and celebrated 30 years of marriage.
Our kids thrived. Our daughter’s both got married and our son became a US Army Special Forces combat diver. One daughter opened her own salon. The other daughter became a nurse and works in an eye surgery center. My grandson was born. My kids are all independent and kind. I want them to be happy but it’s not my #1 goal for them. I want them to contribute to the world, to create their own lives and decide what makes them happy.
During my darkest days, I began to write like my life depended on it. I created an entire product line called “EncouragementToGo”. I authored 5 blogs. I read more books than a fanatic librarian. I went deep instead of doing what I normally had done in the past, looking to others for guidance and answers. I quit pleasing other people and started pleasing myself.
I fired my therapist and said good-bye to my coach. I got off my Prozac and Adderall and started to own my own feelings. I fought impulsivity, repeated well-meaning suggestions to ‘get a job’ and 29 separate losses. I looked to God and examined my own soul. I validated what I already knew…that I’m a very wealthy woman. It doesn’t matter what my bank balance says, it matters what my heart and soul say.
People look at me and shake their head. I live in an apartment after I’ve owned a mega mansion house on 9.3 acres. I spend most of my time with my family and most of my days at the computer. I question the phrase ‘supposed to’ and forge on with my gifts and my divine destiny tugging at me constantly.
Creativity matters. Creativity counts. It’s as important to our world’s survival as brain surgery and water supply. Creativity is what puts the passion in our heart and the talent in our being. Creativity is more than art, it’s more than words, it’s more than simply the act of creating.
Creativity took me out of the good girl track and swirled me into a world full of chaos and questioning and personal growth. Creativity made me the woman I am and the woman I’m going to become.
Creativity matters. It’s one of the loveliest qualities you can ever unleash on your own life. It may not be the least rocky path, but it’s one filled with beauty and purpose.