Cultural, Enrichment, Featured, Inspirational, Lifestyle, Social

Feed your individuality, creativity

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] little while ago I posted on Facebook asking for assistance with brainstorming new ideas for blog posts. Since I made that post, my mind has been flooding with endless topics to write about.

I have always been overwhelmed with thoughts as I move and shift throughout my every day activities and responsibilities. I tend to be an over-thinker, and I am always catching my mind on the loose, running away from the ordinary.

(This fact will continue to be proven throughout my posts, as it often seems that I go back and forth between my point and others. You may be thinking I’m doing this right now, which I kind of am, but stick with me here – I promise I have a point.)

I think all of us experience this change, and a lot of it has to do with society silently training us on what we SHOULD be focusing on and doing, differentiating (for us) right from wrong, good from bad, better from worse.

So, anyway, these crazy thoughts that are consistently engulfing my brain have never taken that next step and transitioned into topics to write about. It just never really crossed my mind; the light bulb never went off.

Why was I not able to think of blog post topics before this? Why, all the sudden, am I going through my every day motions and these ideas are now randomly flying at me and hitting me head-on in a full force collision?

There is one main reason: My creative switch has been flicked back on, and I’m starting to embrace it.

There is a sizeable difference between the creative me as a child and the me that has developed as a product of particular life experiences, specific education and our culture as a whole.

I think all of us experience this change, and a lot of it has to do with society silently training us on what we SHOULD be focusing on and doing, differentiating (for us) right from wrong, good from bad, better from worse.

Following these rules and overthinking about what I “should” and “shouldn’t” be doing based on what society wants me to do has completely CLOUDED my creativity and individuality.

Our society has provided us with a list of priorities that has created a hierarchy of life goals and different levels of importance. If you follow these rules to a T, you’ll be viewed as successful.

Just imagine us as these little dolls attached to strings. If you want to move forward, you have to make the right decision. If you make that “right” decision, the string will move with you, allowing you to take a step forward in “life.”

If you make the wrong decision according to these standards, the string will instead become tangled around you and prevent you from moving anywhere but backward.

So what in the world does this have to do with your so-called creative switch having been turned off all this time, McKenzie?

Following these rules and overthinking about what I “should” and “shouldn’t” be doing based on what society wants me to do has completely CLOUDED my creativity and individuality.

I was afraid to make blog posts that weren’t entirely educational or were too personal because of future employers. I was afraid to expose too many of my thoughts because of the way I might appear to potential readers.

What we don’t often see, though, is that whether we go along with the norms or reject the norms, we have still been conditioned to see these norms. This means that our daily lives are full of continuous REACTIONS to the norms we have been taught relentlessly since birth.

I wasn’t taking the time to just write my thoughts down on paper and write for ME. I was focusing solely on writing in the way that would advance my career; writing only in the way I was “supposed” to be writing.

How many of you don’t take the time to draw anymore because it’s considered time wasted and isn’t necessarily advancing you in any way?

Have you ever decided against purchasing a hat or shirt for fear of humiliation because it’s totally not in style (even though it’s YOUR style)?

What about choosing not to get a tattoo because it may impact your chances of being hired? It’s tacky, a fad, it expresses rebellious behavior, they say. It means you’re like this [enter completely false judgment] or that [enter another equally ridiculous stereotype].

But what I really want to soak in (picture one of those Bounty commercials) is much greater than my difficulties thinking of creative blog post topics or you not getting something you love because it’s deemed tacky.

Whether we realize it or not, almost all our actions in life are made AFTER reflecting on how this decision will appear and seem to others. We may choose to do one thing because it’s exactly what society says we should do, and we may choose to do something else because it’s exactly the opposite of what’s “in.”

Start feeding your individuality and creativity and let them both grow. Embrace you, be you, and show you off to everyone in sight – without a care in the world for the judgment you may receive.

What we don’t often see, though, is that whether we go along with the norms or reject the norms, we have still been conditioned to see these norms. This means that our daily lives are full of continuous REACTIONS to the norms we have been taught relentlessly since birth. This has an impact on our creativity, our forms of self-expression, our interests, the way we see the world, our actions, our behavior, our attitude, our likes, our dislikes, etc.

By molding your actions, decisions, and behaviors solely around the society and culture of which you have been habituated, you are burying little pieces of yourself that are extremely important and significant to you.

I want you to reveal those pieces of you (cue Ashley Simpson) that you have concealed simply because you were told it’s not what you’re SUPPOSED to be doing, or how you are SUPPOSED to be acting, or what you’re SUPPOSED to be wearing.

Start feeding your individuality and creativity and let them both grow. Embrace you, be you, and show you off to everyone in sight – without a care in the world for the judgment you may receive.

No one could possibly be better at being you than YOU.

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