I look up from my desk and notice one of my students, Karly is not herself. Her normally happy and bubbly personality seems to have lost its fizzle. She seems on the brink of tears. I am curious to know what has taken the wind out of sails on this particular ordinary Thursday morning.
Karly is a creative. I understand creative people because I am one. I have seen that look of being miserable too many times over the years in the faces of people alongside me and in the man in the mirror as well. So, Karly shares her story of having one of those weeks.
“It’s feels like a weak, week, right?” She nods her head.“Talk about having a Monday that never goes away.”
I close my eyes and nod right back. I think it’s human nature to run from sadness and embrace happy, happy, joy, joy moments. When you have five senses and only feed on sugar, you are missing out on what you other sensations have to share. I told her that creative people have those high-high, and low-low moments in their lives. It’s a natural part of the creative experience. I think it’s easy to think that you are the only person going through low times and depression is a singular experience. But that’a not true.
“I think many people try to mask sadness or stuff emotions and that causes depression. But what if we are meant to feel that emotion in order to deepen us as a person?”
When I said that she sat up a little straighter and I think really digested that. I also share that my daughter and I both agree that listening to sad songs has an amazing effect on emotional, mental and spiritual health. The sweet things in life become sweeter when we have sampled, the bitter end of jealousy and neglect, the spicy and fiery moments of anger, the challenging moments that border on sour, and the tearful salty tears of loss, regret, or loneliness.
How else do we connect with people. As we all know creatives feel deeply, love fiercely, connect tightly, and walk beside others faithfully. They are people who aren’t comfortable with wading in the shallow waters when it comes to people. They are aren’t surface people only. They brave the waves, the sharks, and will swim into places where their feet don’t touch the bottom, and get in over their head. Creatives are deep people who are very real with others. That scares some people who function in the shallow warm and comfortable waters of life. They see creatives as odd, strange, and hard to categorize, classify, or tame. Creative live life and that scares some people. It’s no wonder why creative people often feel left out and even pushed aside. When they do find other like-minded people, they cling to them and feel like they belong.
I don’t tell her at the time, but I know that some of my lowest moments have been ones that have made me feel empty and hollow, but ready to be filled with something better. I have my faith in the Lord that I hope to have more room for now that other things have been dislodged or removed from my character. I have heard it said recently that God is a big God and He needs room to work in our lives. Maybe that’s why as a creative we have the high moments to stretch us and the low times to deepen us?
The truth is without these one-of-a-kind original thinkers the world would go on its merry way and never ever change. But life is all about healthy growth and change. Right? The truth is creative people need the grounded, organized, and happily consistent in the box people as much as they need them. We all balance out each other in order to do what we are called to do. Creative Walt Disney needed his down to earth brother Roy to find ways to bring a dream like Disneyland into the real world.
If you are a creative or know someone that is, be a little patient with them. You may not think like them, feel like them, or be moved by things to the extent that they are, and that’s okay. It takes all sorts of folks to make the world go around. That takes a lot of dreaming and practical ideas working together. Maybe seeing how those low moments that cause you such sadness and sorrow can benefit your life can turn your WAAAAAA into more moments of awareness where you say. AAAAAWWWWW.