The Creative Roller Coaster & the Sturdy Rock

Jana's Sketchbook No. 8

Jana’s Sketchbook No. 8

Being an artist can be difficult. We artists endure a wider range of expression and experience than many. Our ups are higher than words can express, and our downs go deeper than we would ever wish for others. Add in a few loops and spiral turns and we just want the ride to stop.

Does this sound dramatic? It is. As is the life of a creative person.

Unfortunately, many sects of society, especially some living here in Southern California—I can attest—outwardly disapprove. Therefore, we learn to conform. We conform for the people at the grocery store, the other moms and dads picking their children up from school, and our coworkers and our bosses.

We conform and creativity slowly slips away almost unnoticeably. Until one day, we look up and it is gone. This conformity is the grease upon the slippery slope toward suicidal thought and action for creatives.

Those living a non-artistic life have the option to get on and off the roller coaster ride at any time. When adjusting to a new job, moving to a new apartment, or having a baby, non-creative-living folks can elegantly ride the ups and downs. These people have the ability to adjust without all of the exaggerated emotion artists’ endure. These people are the rocks upon which we artists can stand. My husband is a rock. Peter the Apostle was a rock.

This is not a speech of them or us. It is not to blame others, choose sides, or pick fights. It is about embracing who we are, creatives, and who they are, rocks. It is about working together, the yin with the yang so-to-speak. The perfect balance of left and right, light and dark, expression and focus, standing and dancing.

The truth is, I confess to envy, as I often want to step off the roller coaster to stand. I want to be an unshakable rock in the center of it all. However, standing tall in the center is a fleeting experience for me. I try repeatedly until I am too tired to create. Conforming away from what I am not. When I feel this way I am slipping, and I need my rock.

I will no longer try to be the rock. I will no longer attempt to be both. I will lean on and dance around the rocks in my life. Perhaps then, there will be joy unspeakable.

Just a thought…