Find Your Focus

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I haven't written much in a while. While that's generally not good as far as consistency, it has allowed me to take care of a few things (as I wrote about here) and it has given me a chance to reflect on my creative focus. 

I want to start by acknowledging that the last year has been a really difficult time to be creative. I know I am not the only one who feels this way. In addition to not having much space to prioritize my creative endeavors in the midst of life, family, job, house, etc... the state of the world has generally had me in a place of not knowing what to make, say or do anyway. Nothing has felt like it's important or earth shattering enough to bother with (at least in terms of what I personally have had to offer the world). Call me old fashioned, but I feel like anything I sit down to make is supposed to help fix something, and there is a lot in the world to fix. I don't know exactly what I personally am supposed to work on so, I become paralyzed. I blame it on the the mom in me, but I feel a responsibility to help make things better. How can my tiny bit of self and creativity really fix anything? The problems of the world are So. Dang. Huge. 

So I've been very busy, but I've also been mostly creatively silent while I've been gathering my thoughts. 

When I started on this leg of my journey over a year ago, I really needed to take the cork out of the bottle for my own sanity and start creating. ANYTHING. I painted, I drew, I wrote...  I got some things out of my head and heart and put them out into the world. This is an enormous step for someone who has always been afraid of letting go of just about anything. It's been messy and unfocused and scary and sometimes horrifying, but I've been doing it anyway. But what now? How do you continue to create when the world is such a scary, dark place? 

Since I started down this path things have changed a lot. More and more awful things are surfacing every day. It's overwhelming and paralyzing. Negativity abounds. Hatred abounds. Misunderstandings are EVERYWHERE. Hatred and negativity have become the communication styles of choice for so many of us. 

For most of my life I've wondered what I am "supposed" to be doing. But I especially wonder what part do I play in all of this now? Does it even matter? Besides... as a 40+ woman I am old and essentially voiceless according to our youth-obsessed culture. Does anyone even CARE what I have to say about anything? What gives me the right to have THOUGHTS anyway? Who cares? I'd like to think I'm some sort of mid-life-artist-warrior, but the truth is I'm just one small person scraping by and trying to get through each day while doing the best that I can for my family. That much by itself is overwhelming most days.

In trying to process everything that is going on and my minuscule role in it all, two thoughts keep coming to me over and over: I'M NOT SPECIAL and CREATE COMMUNITY. On some level it sounds like my CIVS talking, but hear me out. I can't stop thinking that not being special is the reason I need to keep creating. Even when there isn't a spark and even when the world is ugly I just need to keep doing it. I think we need more people to NOT be special and just honestly and openly share so we can find each other in this crazy, crazy time. 

Everyone has been trying so hard to be special and SEEN in this wacky age we are living in and it's created these enormous vacuums. Levels of hypocrisy and insincerity are at a zenith. I think it's time to focus simply on sincerely creating and then sharing. Share. Find each other. Relate to each other. Fix some stuff.

One of the first posts I ever wrote was about adventures in normalcy. It's the story of just how NOT special my life has turned out. There isn't anything about anything I've done in my life that is any better than anyone else out there. In fact one of the biggest barriers to my creative consistency is that I am so "not special" that I have a tendency to lose interest in myself and my endeavors over time. It's not just that I assume the world doesn't care what I have to offer, it's that I honestly don't care either sometimes.

So after thinking it over for a long time (did I mention I've been working on this post for over 3 months?) I've boiled everything down to this: for whatever reason I am personally driven to create stuff, even if it is in inconsistent fits and starts. As much as I'd like everything I do to be easily, definably focused and earth shatteringly helpful (and honestly it would be nice to make some money every now and again), I'm still finding my way. So are a lot of people.  

I've unfortunately never been focused, but I think that is how I can help. That is what I have to share. My focus is that I am not focused or special at all and that I struggle with all of this stuff and the issues of the world and how to exist, be creative and make it all work just like everyone else.

So I guess my hope is that by not being special, but still putting it out there, I can help inspire a few other not-so-special feeling people to step up, keep creating and help make the world a little kinder and a little more creative in their own tiny corner. So I will continue on my very normal journey and I'll share it with whoever might have an interest. And I am fully aware that it is not earth shatteringly, life changingly, Oprah-worthy awesome and that I won't always have the time or be inspired to do it.

So my journey IS. Like we all ARE. And regardless of what is going on in the world, we each have something to say, share and do while we are here. So I'll try to keep honestly sharing and I hope that we can find each other.

And maybe we can fix some tiny corner of the world.

 

©2017 Krysta Bernhardt. All Rights Reserved.