The spare room that I've turned into a guest room/study is pretty much painted and moved into. I love it! The shade of turquoise blue that's on two of the walls, the cheery wedding ring quilt that I rebought off the clearance aisle, saving myself a chunk of change, and the fact that all the books I own are keeping me company. Some art cards that I bought while studying abroad in England during college are framed and add a whimsical touch. The technology is happening, too: extra speakers are set up so I can turn on Pandora and listen to "Spa Radio" while I type. Who knows? I may even bring up my sewing stuff to take advantage of the fun energy and great light that streams into my eastern window.

I learned something about myself during this process. Not only is it nice to have a space for creativity, I need space to BE creative. Turns out that there's a part of me that tends to be rather impatient with the part of me that tries to be aesthetically creative.  Starting the room's makeover, my energy level was on low - almost like I was dragging my feet, which seemed rather odd.  This should be a fun project, I thought. It's one over which I have complete freedom - any color I want, any way I want to organize, a place to keep track of my stuff and hopefully get to some more writing - and I was not enthusiastic at all.

The next day I figured out what was going on in the community that hangs out in my head. The part of me that likes to be efficient and productive was a little annoyed that the part of me that likes to be creative was taking the point on the room. Mostly because that part of me isn't so competent and confident in what she's doing. And tends to do a lot of second-guessing, which takes even more time. As far as productive me was concerned, this whole endeavor was going to be a waste of time and money, and we were never going to get to the part where we actually used the room, forget about being happy with the result.

It takes space for me to be creative. And that's just the way it is. It can't be rushed. I do a little something, and then sit and wait for the next piece to come along. I start and stop, and then redo. I wish it were more linear - that's why I always preferred sewing from patterns than designing my own dress. With the pattern I knew ahead of time what I was going to get when I was done, and I could zip along and finish in no time at all. Great for productivity, not so much for innovation.

It's always helpful to understand the parts of your self that are in conflict, and try to get them to work together in a more constructive way. And if you want to develop new competencies, to give yourself the space to try new things, and to exercise patience and kindness in the process.



Leave a Reply.