A Facebook friend posted a link to this article (Is Loneliness a Natural Part of Creativity?) and I was immediately grabbed by that title. I read it and found myself reading open mouthed, thinking THIS IS SO ME. It's always fascinating to come across something that describes who you are so accurately. The parallels between the author's experiences and thought patterns and mine, really resinated with me.
To be clear, I've never thought of myself as a "lonely" person, at least not using that term. I've always had friends, but find I naturally gravitate towards quality people, and not necessarily quantity. I invest all of myself into all of my relationships, so that's probably part of the reason I have a few good ones, rather than a lot of so-so ones. But also because I truly have always been different. Not intentionally different, but different nonetheless. And I have always liked that. I like my uniqueness and differing opinions and hobbies and priorities. But after reading this article I realize that it does make things lonely at times.
Until reading this article I had never put into words any of the things that I do naturally, because I do them without thinking. They're not things I wake up in the morning hoping to accomplish or something I strive to do... ever. It's just what I do, like blinking or breathing. When driving anywhere, especially if I am being driven, I see hundreds of spots I would love to stop and take pictures of or put a model in front of to shoot. I do it without trying. I automatically look for the beauty in my surroundings. I look at nature and search out colors that aren't visible to the casual observer and want to shoot it or paint it or write about it. When I'm listening to music a line or phrase will stick, and I'll want to know more, to push it further. I'll stop what I'm doing and scribble it down in a notebook, or more likely, type it into my phone to go back to later. I always want to know more.
Being "a creative" as this article calls it, I feel that I have the ability to do the elaborating. I have so many stories and ideas floating around in my head that I have to write them down! It's not something that is easily explainable to someone who isn't a writer and/or doesn't have a creative drive. But I guess it's like having clips of movies running in your head, movies that you've never seen before but want to! A sound bite here, a character's face there. I pull on those bits, write them down, follow through with them and then somehow try to fit all the pieces together to create something new. That probably doesn't even make sense. "When words fail the writer..." (a random phrase that just came to mind that is beginning a life of it's own in my head, right as I type this).
It's actually exhausting when you think about it. Exhausting in a really good way. There is never a time that my brain isn't trying to find a way to see something differently or turn it into something else. Sometimes I think creative people are just kids who never grew up. Instead of losing our ability to play pretend and use our imaginations, we clung to those child-like abilities and nurtured them, instead of suppressing them. I am so incredibly thankful for my ability to see magic and beauty in things that other people would pass by without a care. I think I see the world more clearly and more animatedly, in that way.
With all that being said, I spend more time in my mind, talking to the characters I write and looking for things that others can't see, than I do interacting with people around me. I have a passion for expressing my view of the world and (ironically) sometimes that means living in my own little world. I used an analogy when talking to a friend the other day about another person in our life that I think fits here. It's like there's somehow a loss of communication between me and a lot of the people around me, but it's not a wall between them and me, it's more like a window. I see them, I know they're there, I know they're trying to communicate with me, but there's just not enough sound getting through for me to understand. I better understand my world, than the one everyone else lives in. So sometimes it's easier for me to just be in my world than to try to fit into theirs. Now I guess some might argue that we're all in our own little worlds, and maybe that's true. But because I created my world, I say I'm the only one with my own. ;)
For a writer, I wrote this post quite scattered and messy, but really I think that's appropriate in my scattered, exhausting, hectic, magical, beautiful, little world.
After having thought I just wrote the conclusion to this post, and could submit it with the knowledge it was complete, I was suddenly struck with a new idea. Perhaps That glass that separates me and the rest of the world is actually a glass case, around me, because I can't let anyone else into it, and the people on the other side are the ones that don't understand me! Like a wild animal caged, I roar and claw and try to communicate but it makes no sense to anyone... Or is everyone else caged and I'm the only one with free thought and vision and the ability to see outside the box (pun intended).
Interesting... and just a bit more insight into how my "creative" (insane) mind work to weave everything into a narrative.