The Creative Life.
When I was younger, I believed goals to be something very concrete. A life goal was something outside of yourself that you ‘achieved’ – an education, a qualification, a certain amount of money, a physical destination, a job, a career – ‘success’ based on society’s criteria. A goal was a quantitative achievement that could be completed and ticked off. And so I set about creating a life where I could tick off those boxes one by one. And I worked hard, and I achieved them one by one. Tick, tick, tick.
But after a while – and it was a long while actually – I began to realise somewhere deep inside, that ticking goals off that list? Just wasn’t enough.
I’m a Capricorn. Queen of the plodders. And so I think it took me longer than most who realise that life’s milestones aren’t necessarily always their milestones – for me to realise it. It wasn’t achieving life’s outside goals that was truly important to me – it was creating a better version of myself, and being true to myself , that counted. In this context? Some of those outside goals were relevant, and some just weren’t. Who cared if I did things a certain way or jumped through particular hoops – if it held no meaning for me?
And so my journey switched from being focussed on the external, to being true to the internal. My focus switched from being someone I was supposed to be, to developing who I actually was and sharing what I had to share, to the best of my ability. And suddenly I found that the sky was the limit, and my achievements were real and worth something. I discovered that I was a genuinely creative person, with something unique to offer. My journey became the goal.
Fortunately, there is no age limit to living a creative life. Living a creative life is not about confirming to what a particular number supposedly defines about you. It’s a cliche – but your age truly is just a number – it’s not what’s in your heart or what your spirit has to offer or the person that you are as whole.
I do believe that age is one of the last great barriers to freedom – one that needs to be smashed to the ground. What people ‘expect’ from you because you have reached such-and-such a number – it’s never boxed me in. And it never will.
To live this life
To be alive
And not sleep away
The days and nights.
There’s no age restriction on that.
Creativity is not defined by anything, except creativity itself.
[Linda Memphis, April 2017]
© 2017 Linda Memphis
You can visit Blue Daisies, my creative online journal, here.