As creatives it can be so hard to define why we do what we do. People don’t understand why we would want to pursue a career in something that is so undefinable. One that is not cut & dry or black & white. One that looks so different from person to person. It is not as steady as your typical day job and let me tell you, it can be a lot more challenging to put yourself out there in this way. For me, my “day job” (I typically work evenings/nights) is safe, it is filled with protocols and facts. It has become like riding a bicycle. Sure, there are critical thinking challenges and every day is different, but my creativity is not on display to be judged. Trust me, I have my fair share of blonde moments or embarrassing work stories, BUT that is so different. I am not transparent, vulnerable or able to exercise creativity in that space.
To be honest it is hard for me to define my why, BUT I think it is one of the most important things I will do for my creative business. So in this post I am brainstorming to help define my why. Also, I’m not sure how we get away with this, but somehow we have turned the question “Why?” into a noun that we can possess. Surely, we are violating the English language in more ways than one, but we’re doing it left and right (i.e. calling ourselves creatives) so at least we are consistent right?! Ha! Now this list is super raw and somewhat of a jumble of thoughts, so bear with me. Trust that this process is worth it, no matter what “why” you are attempting to define. I mean that to say, I don’t think you have to be a creative to ask yourself this question. Why do you do what you do?
- I want to encourage and empower women. Specifically mamas. There is so much advice out there on the definition of a “good” mom. I want to bridge the gap. I want to share what real life parenting is all about. I want to share that my kids eat boxed mac n cheese on occasion and we have sick days when all the doing seems impossible, so we park our butts on the couch and spend the day watching TV. I want to share that I am both a registered nurse with respect for man-made medicines and a [crunchy] essential oil user. I want to share that I have to separate myself from my kids sometimes multiple times per days, so that I can come back to the reality that they are needy little people and really aren’t out to make my life miserable with their uneducated decisions. Life is actually very much not pinterest perfect and what works with one child does not work with others. What standards for your home and foods are possible in one season of life may not be possible in another. There is grace for all of this, mama-friend. We need to give ourselves [and each other] a break.
- I feel called to write/share creatively. It’s safe to admit at this point in my life that God made me a creative being. I may not have recognized or embraced this fully in my life until now, partially because I’ve always been somewhat ashamed or defensive of it. I love styling outfits, playing with beauty and makeup, decorating spaces, creating gifts, and figuring out ways to make this homemaker/wife/mom thing easier. These things bring me great joy, and though they have been idols in my life at times, I think denying them for a “safe” or traditional job can be an idol as well. This is a part of me and I am ready to stop apologizing for it.
- I want to offer you hope. Feeling like you failed as a wife/mama/homemaker today? There is grace for that. Threw (figuratively) the children at your husband and said “THEY’RE YOURS” as he walked in the door? There is grace for that. You and your hubby argued for 15 minutes only to realize you were saying the SAME EXACT thing that got lost in translation between the male and female language? There is grace for that too. In fact it is all grace. When your hubby comes home to the kids playing quietly, you showered/dressed/with makeup on, and dinner on the table…that is grace too. When we live in the knowledge that all is grace, we are freed from the guilt and shame of our “failure” and can recognize that even our “success” is because God has given us the grace to do so. We can learn from our “failures” and praise Him for the grace to recognize our weakness and limitations.
- If nothing else, I want to entertain you. When my sister and I are together, we laugh and laugh and laugh. There is something in us that comes out whenever we are around each other. I see it in my writing as well. Maybe it is the boldness to speak things in writing (or behind a camera) that I couldn’t put words to in the moment (or in person). Laughter really is some of the best medicine. It’s no fun to laugh alone about the joys/struggles of parenting/womanhood, so why don’t we laugh together? Also, my babes are pretty cute. Likely not as cute to you as they are to me, but hopefully they will help to put a smile on your face.
To be honest, when I finished this list I felt like my mind was racing but I didn’t feel any closer to a succinct definition of why I do what I do. A few hours later, however, I sat down to write again and I had a breakthrough that I literally CANNOT wait to share with you guys!! Defining your why (regardless of if you are a creative or not) can breed contentment, clarity, and direction for the future. What are you doing in this season of life, how do you want it to look different than it does, where do you go from here? It all starts with defining your why! What exercises have you done to define your “WHY” in whatever God has called you to right now? Please share below!