Time to Root: The Future of Creativity in Context

TLDR: In a commitment to my well-being, I got a new job and am taking a pause from this blog.

I rarely make universal statements, but I have come to believe that your creativity should always serve your well-being. This doesn’t mean creativity isn’t hard, uncomfortable, or scary, but that your quest for creativity should never be more important than your well-being, and if you ever start to feel out of balance, it’s time to pause and reassess. This is what I’ve been doing the last few months and I’ve come to a decision. 

When I decided to prioritize my well-being, many things became clear: 1) I didn’t want to leave the Bay Area where my support network is; 2) Part-time work wasn’t providing the stability I need; 3) That I have to root before I reach for the stars. 

“…our power is in our ability to both be fiercely centered and grounded but also infinitely reaching towards our unique sources of energy, light, and growth.”

Morgan Mann Willis, quoted in Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown

Reading back through this blog, it’s evident that I’ve been feeling the effects of pursuing my ambition without being rooted in a strong sense of self. I became wrapped up in proving myself through my ability to manifest my vision, like climbing a rickety ladder and reaching beyond your arm’s length. These stakes without stability actually squashed my creativity; my daily mood journal revealed I’ve had very little capacity or desire for creativity for many months. Because the reverse is also true: your well-being always serves your creativity. 

And so I decided to let go of the vision of surviving on a part-time job while I built my business/developed myself as a writer, and look for full-time work. The hope was to turn my Creative Leadership class into a full-time position, and within that new aspiration, a pathway emerged. I have now accepted a position as the Creative Discovery Coordinator for UC Berkeley’s Center for Undergraduate Discovery! This position has such incredible alignment with my work (I literally shrieked when I saw that the job description mentioned creative agency!). The intention of this campus-wide initiative is “to transform undergraduate education, and support students on a journey of engaged creativity and self-actualization.” I will be assisting this initiative by building out a new Discovery student hub, highlighting creativity across campus, and developing resources and networks for supporting engaged creativity. I am beyond thrilled about this opportunity but more importantly, it feels in alignment with my needs. This job feels like the right balance of ambition and stability, providing me the financial support to stay in the Bay while allowing me to deepen my work on creative agency. Though this choice also means giving up time as I return to full-time work, which brings me to the pertinent announcement: 

I will be taking a break from Creativity in Context while I adjust to my new job. I don’t plan to abandon this blog, but to give myself space to breathe into what feels like the right balance. So stay turned for what emerges! The good news is I can already feel the positive impact of this shift; I had thought that I needed free time to have capacity for creativity but I now realize disengagement from the work actually quelled my creative fire. I’m very excited to see how this new endeavor will serve my creative well-being and share that with you. Till then, remember…

Living is a creative process,
Evelyn Thorne

Originally published October 3rd, 2021 on the Creativity in Context Blog by Evelyn Thorne.

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Living is creative act

Published by Evelyn Thorne

Evelyn is a writer, educator, and facilitator who helps people unlearn misconceptions and limiting beliefs about their creative identities.

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