You need to go and read this list. Seriously.
How true is this list? For me, it’s hit-or-miss, but I know many other creative people for whom this list is spot-on. (The numbers are based on the list).
The items that are true about me:
2. I don’t have a normal job. Being a physical therapist seems fairly bland to most people, but I do travel PT, which means I get to go anywhere in the country my little heart desires. That is definitely not ‘normal.’ Traveling allows me to explore places I’d never have a chance to with a ‘normal’ job.
3. I see inspiration in everything. This is SO true! I’ve had so many random creative thoughts while driving along the road, or when someone at the coffee shop talks a bit too loud, or just be seeing an interesting turn-of-phrase on a billboard or bumper sticker. And nature?? Oh, yeah, baby! Nature inspires me more than anything.
4. I never stop questioning. Yep. I always have a question in my head and I love to learn, and asking questions is one of the best ways to learn.
6. I am a very independent person. Um… I think this is accurately portrayed in the fact that I travel alone for my job. Yep. Independence and I are close buddies.
8. I use my pain to fuel my passion. Yes. My best writing is almost always when I’m depressed, furious, excited, or shocked. I never limit myself at these times and write anything that comes to mind. It’s almost always my most inspired bits of writing.
9. I practice self-development. Since I’m a lifelong learner at heart, and a gigantic nerd, this is insanely true. I love change and finding out new things about myself. For instance, I just learned how much I dislike baths. I’ve never been a bath-taker, much preferring the shower. I don’t like the idea of soaking in my own dirt, but recently I took a bath that I thought would be glorious because the tub had jets. But it just ended up being uncomfortable and boring. My brain doesn’t do well with stagnation, so lying around in a tub drove me nuts. I feel the same about laying out at beaches. BORING!
10. I daydream. Far too much, I’m sure. Even when I’m treating patients, my mind will wander. Some of my treatments are incredibly boring or just so easy that I let my mind float around in space and dream up new books and characters and dialogue. I can’t seem to help it. Nor do I want to.
11. I enjoy spending time alone. That is for true! I lived alone for seven years, and now I travel the country alone. While I do appreciate having people to talk to, I treasure my alone time almost more than anything else. I’m such an introvert, if I don’t have alone time, I go nuts.
12. I’m not afraid of being different. I’ve been different my whole life, swimming against the tide of the ‘popular way’ and going my own way. Life is so much more interesting that way.
14. I often act before I think. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth because I didn’t stop to think first. Or, I simply didn’t know the connotations or implications of my words because I’m a bit of an innocent. Even after working in Detroit. I know I’ve accidentally offended a good many people by my impulsive speech. Oops.
15. I do things most people aren’t willing to do. Probably. I remember in school, some of my classmates would be afraid to ask the teacher questions (this was middle school), so they’d have me do it, instead. What did I care if it was a dumb question? Also, traveling all over by myself isn’t probably that high on most peoples’ list of fun things to do.
16. I have a “yes” mentality. I wish this wasn’t true about me, but it is. I really wish I had more of a “no” mentality sometimes, or at least a balance between the two, but I have a tendency to say “yes” to far too many things, especially if it will help someone else out.
17. I have a strong work ethic. Seeing as how I average 50-60 hour work weeks and would work between 2 and 4 jobs at a time, I’d say this is true.
19. I get bored with the same old routine. YES!!! Gah! I think I’m one of the rare people who actually enjoys change. Most people fight it, but I embrace it. Which is probably why I can’t stay in any one job for more than a few years. Traveling negates that now, thankfully, but I have such a low BS tolerance for poor behavior, laziness, disrespect, and futility in my jobs/bosses/management, that I can’t stay if I feel like I’m not making a difference. What’s the point?
20. I move around a lot. Again, already answered above.
21. I am a highly emotional, intuitive person. I’ve never been much of a crier, but I do feel things deeply and can easily dip into despair when something in my life or my friends’ lives go wrong.
22. I have a hard time falling asleep. It takes me at least 30 minutes to fall asleep. I have to try my best to quiet my mind enough to drift off, though it rarely works. I survive on much less sleep than you’d think.
The items I’m on the fence about:
1. I work when the work comes to me. This is both true and false. While I do believe the best work comes when inspired, sometimes inspiration is so rare, if I did nothing in between those periods, I’d never get anything done. Often, when I sit down to write as if sitting down to work, I become inspired and I get more done.
5. I’m not afraid to fail. WRONG-O!!! Failure is one of my biggest fears. I abhor it. In grad school, I had to sit alone and do deep breathing exercises to calm myself before a practical because I’d be so afraid I’d fail.
7.I’m a risk-taker. Not in the conventional sense, no. My biggest risk-taking venture is traveling for my job. Otherwise, I’m not. I won’t skydive, or bungee jump, or even downhill ski. I’m all about safety in that way.
13. I only want friends who uplift and inspire me. While I do wish this, I seem to draw in friends that are conflicted and depressing and who drain my energy. I don’t know why, but I have a fair amount of these people in my life.
18. I am a complex person. I don’t think this is true. I think I’m pretty simple.
23. I take care of myself. Actually… I’m not always the best at this. I *mostly* eat healthy, but my exercise is inconsistent at best. While I do pray frequently (they say meditate here), I have a tendency to work too much, exercise too little, and indulge my sweet tooth too often.
24. Life means nothing to me if I don’t follow my heart. I agree with this in principal, however, I’ve had to make many an ‘adult’ decision that my heart did not like, but that was the best logical option all around. Sometimes being an adult really stinks.
25. I live life on the edge. Um…no. I like change and I love to travel, but I wouldn’t exactly call that the edge, would you?
What about you? Do these items apply to your creative self? Would you add anything to this list?
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
― Walt Disney Company
“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.”
― Pablo Picasso