Life has been stressful lately.
The new year has brought on a spurt of creative energy and at first I was enthused- motivated! I sewed, I drew, I collaborated! And yet now, weeks after, that energy persists and my mind has grown weary. I have overwhelmed myself with the idea that I “must” be creative, “must” utilize this energy before it leaves me- essentially fear of the future! I am bogged down, crumbling under the weight.
Fearful belief: I can’t possibly generate this much energy and not experience burnout.
But I realized that the burnout I’m now experiencing is an internal burning inside. As soon as I fear this energy it becomes overwhelming. I create my own struggle. As soon as I allow myself to breathe with that energy, allow it VIP access to creative adventures, it becomes my best friend, awakening me.
I recently bought a trampoline.
I heard once that revisiting your childhood, and the people+places+things you held dear at that time, can fill you up with vitality now, whilst Adulting. So, to respect that concept, I bought a mini trampoline.
I grew up in my Central PA neighborhood jumping on trampolines. It was such a staple in my life that I once drew a sunny trampoline day with my neighborhood friends for a chalk drawing contest, the theme being “how I want to spend my summer vacation”. Three of the houses in the neighborhood owned giant trampolines, and we were always getting high off of them (as in… jumping high. Duh, Guys, come on now.)
It was fitting I found this mini trampoline when I did. I’m 27, and I was in a store called ‘Once Upon a Child”, socializing with my crafty-gal-pal, Sarah of http://www.bennetttrails.com, and right before the store was closing, right before we were leaving, I saw a mini trampoline by the door.
The sign read, “Gently used”, $18
Some may say I’m impulsive, some may say I am ADHD,
but to me, that sign read:
“Buy me. I’m magnificient and the answer to your prayers. Come be a child again. Come, find happiness.”
I bought it. Couldn’t transport it- but I bought it! I had to phone my boyfriend, who thankfully was nearby, to come help me tie it down in my car, super awkwardly.
“Hey Jake, I bought a trampoline and it won’t fit in my car… can I haz helpful boyfriend?”
I jump on that trampoline every morning and it lifts me up (HAH! See what i did there?) That rush of the wind (however slight) is enough to throw me back in time and remind me of those carefree days.
I don’t need to struggle, I just need a trampoline.
The oil pastels were stage two of this development. Now that I had gotten back in touch with my childlike spirit, it was time to unleash the fury I was holding in me via…
You know when you are completely, staggeringly overwhelmed with life and you want to slam your head into a wall, scream, stomp, and cry? You need to release that chaotic energy, but your mind is telling you to Adult, and so you obediently Adult. That energy that was created by those thoughts still exists and is now ravaging your body. That’s what happens to me. I Adult too well sometimes. I adult to the point of feeling like I am physically falling apart and tearing at the seams. My heart pounds and crunches in pain, my neck seizes up, I become nauseous. I develop migraines, muscle spasms.
All that pain, held within my body.
I had that pain just last night and this morning. Stressful life, stressful freelance job. For a measly $4 I bought some oil pastels thinking “I love oil paints, but there’s no ventilation in my little apartment- what a perfect solution!” I also remembered a gorgeous oil pastel drawing I had done back in high school. Oil pastels are basically crayons made for adults anyway. Why not indulge?
Recently, I’ve had insomnia. All that creative energy I’ve generated and now become fearful of was keeping me awake, pleading to be vented, used, released. I’ve become mindful of when I was building up all that energy and have tuned into what would help release it. I got out of bed, went into my studio, turned on the light on my desk and saw a clean, white sheet of paper from my new sketchbook, waiting for me.
As if it knew I was coming. It knew before I did that I needed this.
… God I love the universe.
I sat down and unwrapped my new pastels. The color in and of itself was soothing, bright, stimulating. The tactile movements of hand on paper made it even more so. I circled, I scribbled.
“Fuck this shit!” my mind would yell,
“God this is beautiful…” it would sign afterward.
Up and down my emotions waved. I found myself sometimes fearing what line I would draw next. Will it connect? Will this color look good overtop this? My mind told me to quiet down, it was trying to do it’s thing.
Just let it do it’s thing.
My mind wants to destroy the secret, analyze what these drawings could be. I’ve lovingly named them Heart Attack (top) and Tumor (bottom) and honestly they both get to the matter at hand. Both were made out of stress which could bring on tumors and heart attacks. Stress stinks, color works.
Oh, and trampolines= Lyfe.