April A2Z, Life

Being My Own Creative Yardstick

I have loved writing poems, drawing and painting since I was a child. I knew the joy of creating from a very young age and creative high was real for me even before I knew what the feeling was called. At some point, it went out of control. I am someone who beats myself up if I am not productive. I just cannot sit and watch movies through the weekend and be happy about it. Come Sunday night, I’ll be depressed about the wasted weekend. It is a habit I am trying to break.

If I do something, I cannot put it out there unless I achieve a certain level of perfection. I wouldn’t even acknowledge that I am reasonably good at it. During this lock-down, I am trying to judge myself less, talk about myself more positively and exhibit my creativity more confidently. Once I began to aim at this change, I’ve seen a lot of positivity in myself.

I am trying to be happy about the things I do for my pleasure and to not judge myself for just being. So before I go any further, I’d like to let you, my readers, know that if you haven’t created or learnt anything during the lock-down, it is okay. You only have to make sure that you are content and happy.

Here are some satisfying things I have been doing during the lock-down. The aim is to create, improve lifestyle and feel good about all of it:

    1. April A2Z Challenge – I have been writing almost every day of April and today is the last day of the challenge. Here is my 26th post to end the challenge. I started blogging in 2010. I did blog regularly during my CA final, but there were years when I wrote less than 5 posts all year. I have been wanting to get back to blogging for a long time. So when April A2z challenge coincided with the lock-down, I decided to make the best use of it. I have not only successfully completed the challenge, I also intend to write one post every week.
    2. Baking – Banana cake and Chocolate Cake – I baked for the first time in my life. I have always wanted to learn baking. But it is now, while I moved to Bangalore, that we got an oven at home. Since I could spent over a month at home during the lock-down, I made up my mind to try my hands at baking. The banana cake came out amazing! But the chocolate cake needs improvement.
    3. Painting – I remember a friend telling me to just invest a few hours a month and paint something gorgeous. That at the end of the year I’ll have 12 grand paintings. Put that way, it sounded amazing. I’m inching towards it. But first I’m trying to get some footing in the world of paintings. Here are the ones I tried during lock-down; all acrylic:

      Acrylic Painting
    4. Yoga – This is one other area I want to excel in. However, I am far behind. I have managed to practice yoga at least every alternate days during the month and I can feel my flexibility getting better. I use the track yoga app as it makes it easy for a beginner.
    5. Reading – My reading habits have taken a huge dip over the past few years. I am trying to read every night before sleeping. I successfully finished a book during lock-down which is a big deal because I barely read 3-4 books last year. This year, I am aiming at ten.WhatsApp Image 2020-04-27 at 10.14.03 PM (2)
    6. Videos – I have always wanted to start a youtube channel. Something entertaining. So I have been trying to come up with videos occasionally. During the lock-down, my sister and I made a couple of good videos. However we shared just one. The latest one will be out by the end of this week once I am done with the editing. I am super excited about it.
    7. Music – I started learning carnatic music since I was 4 years old but stopped after I was 14. I have been on and off with singing. I have had so much of stage fear, lack of confidence and a certain prejudice towards my own voice that I barely sang all these years. Now I am beginning to pay more attention to music. I am practicing more, singing more and I feel that I am improving.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKahli7sz-Q&w=560&h=315]

The world has so much beauty in it and there is so much you can do if you pay attention. As opposed to what some people believe, in some cases you don’t have to be born with a talent in order to create. You can always learn how to draw if you really want it and you can get good at it with practice. You can learn how to cook. How hard is it to measure a substance and add it to a vessel at the right time if you have a recipe? When people say they ‘can’t’ make food, it always means that they aren’t interested or they haven’t done it the right way.

Again, it is okay to not be interested in creativity as long as you’re happy. But saying that you have no skills as though you weren’t ‘given’ any is like complaining that you weren’t born knowing how to swim. If you can learn swimming, you have plenty of skills you can learn with effort. If there’s something you have been wanting to learn, now is the time to do it. In the end, you need to compete only with the old you.