All my life, I’ve had a drive to create.
It has showed itself in different ways at different times. When I was a child, it often showed itself in play. Hours upon hours of story telling went on inside my head as I played outside, or inside with toys. The stories weren’t usually voiced, but they were always there.
Even when I wasn’t playing, when I was doing chores, or walking to school, or doing any other task, my mind was usually not on what was going on right then, it was somewhere else. In some other place, telling the story of some fictional person and their life and adventures. Or, if I was focused on what was happening to me, my mind would play out the possibilities of how things might turn out.
Sometimes my creativity showed itself in writing, those stories I told in my head would sometimes spill out on the paper. Other times they would show in arts and crafts, clay, playdough, paper mache, finger painting, or even mud pies.
Trips to the beach yielded sand castles, and a vacation to Utah, provided the opportunity to cave designs in pieces of sandstone. Hiking near my own California home, I discovered a shrub that when the bark was peeled back, yielded a soft, spongy middle that could easily be carved with a twig or stone. It wasn’t long before I had a whole collection of miniature “totem poles” to call my own.
As an adult, for many years it might have seemed as if my creativity was put behind me, but really, it was there all along, showing itself in more practical ways. I sewed clothes for my first child, I crocheted blankets and booties for all my babies. As a homeschooling mom I almost always made my own visual aids, and created some for sunday school as well. I decorated birthday cakes, made pinatas, and sometimes wrote my own homeschool curriculum.
Then, one day I picked up a paint brush. It was as if I’d finally found the perfect outlet for that drive to create. I longed to paint every day. I looked forward to it. I waited for the chance.
I haven’t stopped since then.
I may never be famous or rich. I may never see my paintings sell for enough to even “pay myself” minimum wage for my efforts. But that doesn’t matter, that isn’t why I paint. That isn’t why I create.
I paint because I love it. I create because its who I am, and I cannot do otherwise.