Rediscovering My Creativity

When my friend texted me asking if I wanted to act in a short her boyfriend’s brother was filming, I couldn’t be more excited.

“I know you’re super involved in the ~corporate world~ now, but…” she said.

She’s not wrong – my 9-5 lifestyle has completely taken over. For the past 6 months, everything in my life has revolved around my career in public relations. I have been so obsessed with work that I almost forgot about my love for acting.

Yeah, right. I didn’t frickin’ forget. I just pretended to forget so that I wouldn’t be upset that I didn’t have time pursue theatre. This is how you can tell that I am a good ACTOR.

Anyways, we filmed this weekend and it was a lot of fun. I was worried that I was a little rusty because I hadn’t acted in about a year, but it turns out I am incredibly talented and basically the next Meryl Streep. When I wasn’t too busy being a flawless actress, I just focused on having a good time doing something that wasn’t media trackers or monitoring reports.

For the past six months, I’ve had it in my mind that Chicago actors do nothing but act. I was convinced that everyone I would meet this past weekend were career actors. That couldn’t be further from the truth. All of the other girls in the film also had a side job. I realized that my lack of time was not due to my job – EVERYONE has a job – but rather due to my commute (because not everyone has to commute three hours a day). This made me feel much better about my life, seeing as I’m hoping to move into the city come September.

My other creative outlet that I sometimes come to forget is creative writing. I usually tell people that I majored in English in college because I don’t want people to get intimidated by the fact that I have one of the most prestigious degrees attainable – Creative Writing. The truth of the matter is that my literature classes were about as excruciating as a dentist appointment. I felt like I truly thrived in my writing classes, except when I had the professor who hated me for no reason. (The reason is because I refused to take her critiques.)

Do you ever randomly scroll through all of your notes in your Notepad app? Me neither. Except for today. I found myself looking through my ideas for The Odyssey articles and lists of concerts I would attend in 2015. One of my favorites was my “To-Do” list for Summer 2016:

  • Get teeth whitened
  • Make a bubba keg
  • Learn calligraphy

Clearly, I was very ambitious. I would also like to add that I completed exactly zero of those things. I also found a note that I typed up in January 2015. I was juggling 20 credit hours as well as a part-time internship in Miami. Even though I wrote this about a year and a half ago, it reminded me of how I feel right now.

It’s 12pm. For most people, they’ve woken up, showered, brewed a pot of coffee, had a nice breakfast, drove to work, and are probably on their lunch break right now. 

Not me. 

Me? I’ve already woken up, ran to the gym, worked out, ran home, showered and pampered until I looked office appropriate, made myself some oatmeal (fix-ins included), and took a walk, metro, and a trolley to work. I am on break, but I don’t get to eat because I get off work in merely an hour in order to start my commute back home and attend two classes and rehearsal until 10.

Now I write. 

Yuppie professionals in button down shirts and boat shoes chat at the coffee machine about the new Mediterranean restaurant that opened in Midtown. My boss walks by pushing a cart of boxes and yelling into her phone about content schedules and analysis reports. All of this bustle is going on and I am just trying to focus on Jack and Chad, the two characters in the screenplay I am writing. 

I wish I had specific time to allot to writing in my life, but I simply do not. Between 20 credit hours, two majors, an internship, and leadsership responsibilities in my sorority, an hour to spare comes only once in a while. I barely have time to eat, let alone write the next Great American Novel.

But I guess there’s good in that, because I have found that I write better when I’m under a time constraint. It forces me to get things out instead of over-analyzing them. I know that sounds like an excuse, but it forces me to see stories in the world around me instead of just fabricating one on the page in front of me. I found Jack at Chad at my university’s Wellness Center, who knows where I’ll find new characters next. 

If you read that whole thing either you’re super bored or you’re my mom. I guess the reason why I’m sharing this is that it made me realize that my current situation isn’t the first time I’ve experienced a lack of time to do the things I love.  (The part about going to the gym before work is a total lie, who did I think I was trying to impress?)

Yet I don’t find myself writing for pleasure anymore. Apart from my blog (which I update maybe every two weeks), I never feel the urge to be creative. I wrote the above excerpt because I was in the creative mindset. Even though I was busy, I was busy with creative writing classes and choreography and copywriting. Right now, I’m busy with trying to fall asleep on the train ride into the city every morning.

I took this as a reminder to flex my creative muscles. If I’m not exercising my talents, I might lose them. I might already be losing them — Like have you seen this blog??? Total garbage. Hopefully, I will be able to create more once I don’t have to commute 3 hours daily, but until then, I will attempt to find inspiration in my everyday life.