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Pink Flowers from The Life Creative

Why you need to do something Creative for yourself – right now!

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.

Be Creative Lightbox Quote from Koskela

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.

Pink Flowers from The Life Creative

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.

Follow Your Path - Quote from kikki K StationeryIn the weeks and months following David’s passing, I thought about (as many in grief do) how short life is and about how it can be ripped away at any moment.

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.

The Best is Yet to Come quote art from BrainspirationI 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.

Stationery from The Reject Shop

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.

xxx Chris

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Comments (42)

  • I’m sorry to read about your brother Chris. What a devastating time for you and your family. This post is a timely one for all of us to read. Life is fleeting and much too short not to do what you love. Well done on creating a fabulous blog and chasing after your dreams. The world needs to see people like yourself taking a leap of faith and successfully landing on their feet.

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  • Charmaine Campbell

    Sorry to hear that Chris, suicide is such an awful thing for those left behind. xxxx

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  • Natasha Andrews

    So sorry to hear about your brother Chris – I lost my mother to suicide when I was 25. Like you I learnt to really LOOK at my life – I changed career and changed how I approach everything. We only get one shot at this thing called life – so do what makes you happy and find your joy in those little things that make you smile. It is why I have so many cushions, candles and pretty things in my home – they make me smile and I endeavour to surround myself with things and people who make me smile.

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  • Jaki

    Oh Chris, thanks for sharing something so emotionally personal. I read this with tears but also a wry smile. I have been there before and yes while there is nothing good that comes out of it, there is a definite “light bulb” moment. I agree focus on something that you love, whether it be creative or anything else that stimulates the endorphins.

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  • Thank you for sharing this, Chris. There are some beautiful thoughts on creativity here, expressed so eloquently. I always love Elizabeth Gilbert’s musings on creativity also and its connection to our essential selves, and your writing reminds me of the sentiment and importance of nurturing and fostering that side of ourselves, particularly when times are tough.

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  • Marti

    Thankyou for sharing CC – you are such an inspiration and I am so happy for your success xxx

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  • Rach

    Your Post is inspiring. It’s also heartbreaking. I will personally take your words on board, thank you!

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  • designlady94

    Chris,

    This is absolutely beautiful and heart wrenching…I am so very sorry about your the loss of your dear brother.:(

    I can relate somewhat as I never really enjoyed my jobs….I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now I am older and want to do what I really enjoy with the rest of my life I have here on earth…Thirty years ago I had thought about interior design but never followed through because I had “stable” work.

    Now I am writing about design and decor (both blog and articles), and hopefully will be doing more field work soon. I just started my blog recently and your story has instilled hope in me. Thank you for opening your heart to all of us and for your encouragement.

    May I share your story on my blog? With full credit of course. Will probably just write a couple of paragraphs and share the link.

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    • designlady94

      Forgot to mention, you are the one that inspired me to do full-fledged decor blog to begin with. Thank you. 🙂

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  • Gail

    I’ve always thought you seemed like a man on a mission. This very personal story gives me some insight into what drives you. Thank you for sharing.

    My husband and I have been talking about investing in a property for the last 12 months. I just made an apt with the bank and booked us into a free ‘investing in property’ course. Thanks for the motivation. You’re so right. We are all sometimes guilty of being asleep in our lives. And I want to make sure I am the driver behind the wheel of my life. Without the horrific experience that you had.

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  • Beautifully written Chris. I am so glad you are living your best life now – your blogs are always beautifully written, they are beautifully styled and you have such an eye for great design and the next big thing. Can’t wait to see your book – I will be one of the first in line for a signed copy.
    Jacky

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  • Jo

    Thanks for sharing, Chris. Everything you said is so true.
    I’m not normally a big fan of inspirational quotes, but regardless, a note I always have stuck to my wall at work says this: “When people create, they feel good about themselves”. It’s great to remember not only for oneself but others around – I’m always making people do crazy courses for a bit of creative outlet.

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  • Thank you for sharing your story Chris. Every word you wrote is utterly true. I had a death in my family recently and it’s made me more brave with my decisions and approach to life. You’re brave for sharing your story and even more so for using it to fuel your passion.

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  • Claire

    Hi Chris
    It’s funny how we can be so complex and often appear not so . I have a real and lasting relationship with depression and a real fear that one day my love will not be enough to keep someone I love on this planet …I swing between thinking the answer lies ‘ in making a difference by doing something profound ‘ and loving homewares and other non essentials 🙂 the answer for me is by balancing both – by sharing your family story and your love of beauty daily – you have done just that

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  • Thank you for sharing such a personal story which I can take inspiration from. I feel I am trying to achieve exactly what you’re trying to get across with your story. I have come from a total non artist background until early 2014 when I spotted a surface pattern design course and decided that is what I wanted to do……..I have spent 12 months taking online courses and although I still can’t draw I have made a lot of progress with my digital design skills. I feel I have come a long way but at the same time keep fighting those feelings of doubt on whether my designs will ever appear on a product and ‘should I give up’….’am I wasting my time’.
    The answer is NO……..I just need to keep marching and grow the confidence and drive to get my work out there 🙂

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  • Thankyou for sharing your story with us Chris it was so inspiring,I too have had my share of tradgedys its almost as though you know how Im feeling at this present moment. I have been staring at this writing course for the past 2ys unsure whether to take the plunge I don’t think you realize from the day you featured my home on your blog (beachyvibehouse ) you had given me the encouragement and I felt maybe I had something I would love to write about interior design and my own diys or maybe even have my own blog but am so scared of failing. .thankyou again I truly think you are amazing ..Cathy xx

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    • Ooops lesson 1 dont rely on spellcheck spelt tragedies wrong lol

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  • Sharyn

    Oh Chris, I had a little tear when reading this blog post. Believe me after seeing these replies, you do,and have,made a difference to many. P.s can’t wait for the book next year!

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  • Thankyou for sharing Chris …. i was crying reading it. Last year my husband and father of our three beautiful children came close to ending his life as the medication he was on for his mental illness wasn’t the right balance. It was the second scariest moment of my life (first being a near death experience) and although he is much more stable now i feel that he and my children constantly need my attention and support. My dreams are put on hold, but it’s in my control to chase them. After reading your post I’m excited and determined to just start the blog I’ve been constantly thinking about for the last 6 months.
    Thanks again… Love your blog and personality xx

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  • Thank you for sharing such a personal story Chris. So many powerful and positive messages in here and it’s wonderful to hear that all your dreams are now coming true. You’re a real inspiration!

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  • Miranda

    Thank you. Just thank you for sharing and getting me thinking 🙂

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  • Thank you so very much for sharing your story. I have been feeling lately like I need to, for the very first time, really tap into some kind of creative outlet for myself. And looking up some DIY projects so I can do just that lead me to your blog – and to this post! Your words really rang true. Thanks again

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  • Melissa

    I’m sorry to hear about your brother. This was a very inspiring post. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, and well done for pursuing your dreams and feeding your soul! I don’t think many people are brave enough to drop the mundane 9-5 and follow their passions.
    Thanks again for the inspiration. The message I am taking away from this is: Am I living my best life?

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  • Christina

    Thank you for sharing such a tough and intimate tine in your life x so pleased that it pushed you the way it did as I enjoy what you have created x

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  • Such an inspiring post thank you Chris for sharing such personal thoughts. Leaving the 9-5 ‘comfortable’ rat race to do something creative that you love is such a big decision, been there done that and have the t-shirt! Although still pretty early days… Sometimes it’s hard to keep focused! Such a nice read very happy I’ve stumbled upon you! Wishing you the very best.. Will be checking in regularly x may 2016 be your best yet!

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