There are two things that help me keep myself sane: running and writing. Lately it feels like I don’t have time for either.
Not taking the time to run is something that’s been easy to work on. I force myself to put on some running shoes, some workout clothes, and throw in some headphones; the second I walk outside I feel ready to run. And I haven’t lost so much stamina, just speed most of the time.
Writing is different. I prefer to write short stories, I’m working on a novel, and poetry used to flow from my soul effortlessly but lately I sit down to write and I feel numb. Like I’ve hit a wall that’s too high to climb, too wide to go around. I feel stuck and I just stare at the wall, thinking if I stare at it long enough it’ll move and I’ll find the river where my creativity used to flow so freely. Except it doesn’t.
I’ve started tying other avenues. I’ve found that reading again has helped me to want to write more and I’ve allowed myself to daydream; instead of staring at the wall so intently hoping my gaze will break it, I’ve sat down, leaned against it, and closed my eyes facing the sun and clouds. letting my dreams and thoughts go where they may and sometimes opening a door to a new idea or reopening an old one.
It does feel like the less that I use my creativity and the less I read, write, or daydream, the harder it becomes to do those things. My nine-to-five job of being a data-entry and customer service drone definitely bullies my creativity into a corner to a point that even when I’m out, it’s too scared or hurt to come back out. But coaxing it back out by reading, doodling, and just allowing myself to daydream even if none comes seems to make my creativity exponentially more comfortable each time I try to coax it back out.
It’s sad and scary feeling like something that used to come so easily is now requiring so much effort, but requiring less effort each time gives me hope. I’ve felt lost and anxious and slowly creeping closer to being not okay with who and how I am.
So yes, by not using it, I had begun to experience the loss of something that was such a big part of me, and feeling like I was losing not just my creativity but also my marbles. I’m working diligently to bring it back and to bring me back to being myself.