You need to do something creative for yourself and you need to do it now.
Whether you’re a full time 9 to 5-er, a busy mum or simply find yourself in moments where you’re unsure of where your life is heading, finding a creative outlet is going to change everything. I know this with complete certainty because I’ve gone on this journey myself. It’s going to change the way you feel about yourself, the way you feel about others and the way you approach your everyday life. It has the potential to completely transform your world altogether, actually.
You need to do something creative for yourself and you need to do it now. What that exact something is, I can’t tell you. But I think each and every one of us can identify a passion that we may have left behind. And I think it’s time that you tap into that. Awaken that sleeping beast, make the first steps toward getting immersed in something creative and unlock potential in you that you may not have known existed.
I want to share my very real and very personal story with you. It’s a little off track in terms of what I normally write about on the blog, but in the spirit of being more open with you and giving you insight into my life, I want you to understand why I think being creative and tapping into your passion is so important. And why you can’t afford to wait.
I started this blog on November 4, 2012. Three weeks later, my brother committed suicide.
Every time I get asked about the early days of the blog, I think about David. The two events (the blog’s creation and his passing) will always be intertwined. Who I was before he passed and who I am after are two different people. It’s inevitable. I remember saying that to my mother in the early days of the grieving process; that we’ll never be the same people again. That we’re changed, that we’re different, that we’ll view life differently. And we do now.
Thinking about David (and anyone, for that matter) taking their life is still beyond my comprehension. I’m not a religious person, so to think that someone is in such pain – and feeling so helpless – that they’re forced to choose eternal darkness over living brings me to tears. It’s possibly the most heartbreaking of situations to try and reconcile; that anyone feels they have no other option but to choose the finality of death.
I won’t go into the reason’s for my brother’s suicide, because they are far too complex and I respect that it is his story, not mine. And like anyone who has lost a family member or friend to suicide, it’s often a question you still can’t answer with complete certainty.
Before too long, I unconsciously set out to do all of the things I wanted to do in life. It took me a while to realise that I was doing it with such gusto because I was afraid of dying – and I worried constantly about what my life might look like looking back on it. Would I feel I wasted too much time? Would I feel I could have achieved more? Would I feel proud of myself?
Was I really living my best life? That’s the biggest question I kept asking myself.
The blog started to grow rapidly about six months after I started it, and I put it down to my dogged determination to feel I had ‘made it’. I stalked the interiors mags until they featured me in their issues, I started a course in design at ISCD and went on to study interior styling with them too. I also asked my friend (who was a producer at Sunrise) to give me tips on how I could get myself on TV, and I told myself that I would get a book deal within five years. I was on a mission to do everything I dreamed of doing and I wanted it all to happen really quickly. It probably wasn’t entirely healthy to operate in such a way; out of fear that I wouldn’t achieve everything I wanted to before I died. But it was what fuelled me to keep going. And it worked.
I did eventually deal with the emotional issues I had surrounding my brother’s suicide and I did get to a place where I was no longer operating out of fear. I did things because they fed my soul, because they made me happy and because I could see they were impacting others in a positive way.
My brother’s passing helped me see life for what it is, though; wonderful but fleeting. I never like to say that anything good has come from his passing, but I do know that the determination I have to live my best life was not there previously.
This brings me back to the original point of this post. The biggest message I want you to take from this is that you only have one life. This is not a rehearsal. You deserve to be the happiest version of yourself that you can be, and I want you to realise that not investing in endeavours that make your spirit soar does effect you mentally and emotionally (and it impacts the people around you too).
I don’t want you to operate out of fear. I don’t want a horrific event to move you to make a change in your life. I want you to realise that the time is now.
You matter enough to invest in yourself, and you’re deserving of doing amazing things. So please, if there is a course you want to do, if there’s a workshop you want to take, if there’s something you want to create or if there’s a blog you want to start… do it! The time is now and it is ticking quickly. Your partner will understand, your kids will benefit from a parent who is happy and YOU will start to see life differently too.
Before I started the blog – and before my brother passed – I worked a boring 9 to 5. I fantasised about what life could be like as a stylist or being on TV or having a book deal or having a successful blog. It only took 2.5 years and I have all of those things now. And trust me, I am no more talented, smarter or luckier than anyone else. I just took a chance and worked really, really hard at it.
It’s not until someone passes that you come to understand just how precious life is. So please do something for yourself… do it now and embrace every challenge it throws your way.
Thanks for reading and stay positive.