I live in fear of my life becoming too simple. Uninspired. Average. A sugar cookie life with cookie cutter constraints. I’ve fought relentlessly against this kind of life, surrounding myself with people and hobbies that reveal secret passageways into my creativity. I’ve prioritized it because it’s always been my sure-fire ticket to happiness.
For the past few months I’ve been feeling very cookie cutter. Uninspired. Average. Demands are high. My favorite people and hobbies have been far away, and I haven’t allowed myself the time or space to seek new ones. This is why you haven’t heard from me in awhile. Each time I’ve tried to write, it seems silly and I quit. My creative spark is barely flickering.
Recently on my way to work, I stopped by McLain’s Bakery in the Waldo neighborhood of KC. This is a gorgeous, spacious bakery with lots of seating and way too many choices. In the morning, the pastry case is steamy and chock-full of pillowy danishes, rolls and croissants. They also have a case of cookies, and on this particular morning, I was powerless against my urge for a sprinkle sugar cookie. Sure, sugar cookies have the reputation of being plain, uninspired, average, but this one looked like the exciting aftermath of a 7-year-old’s birthday party. My day desperately needed a sprinkle cookie.
As I ate my cookie – equal parts crisp and buttery, soft and doughy – I had a realization. Sprinkles have the power to transform something seemingly plain into something fun and playful. My life needed more sprinkles!
Fortunately, I know how to do this. Connecting with my creativity drenches my sugar-cookie life with sprinkles. Writing adds sprinkles. Dancing adds sprinkles. Meandering walks, daydreaming, travel and old friends add sprinkles.
Is it a coincidence this realization emerged on the same day I started reading (aka listening to the audiobook) “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” by Elizabeth Gilbert? Probably not. As a cliche devotee of “Eat, Pray, Love,” I’ve developed an adoration of Ms. Gilbert, and listen hard when she speaks. She said something that really resonated that day…
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”
We each have a responsibility to create our own amplified life. Yes it can be hard, inconvenient or scary, but the alternative is worse. Each day is an opportunity for artistry and I’m up for the challenge. Does this mean I’ll be blogging more? Yes. Does this mean I will be eating more sprinkle sugar cookies? Probably.