So I have to come up with a story about a crazy wine drinking emotional but generous woman who babysits her teenage nieces and nephews, and not get embroiled into my own life story. Please imagine a literary pause here, a long one. It is in fact a long tired sigh. I'm tired at myself. Why oh why do I say I'll do these things? I am a victim of my own untiring enthusiasm. And to say that my untiring enthusiasm exhausts me is not a contradiction. At the time, it always seems like a good idea to write a brand new play for my students. I adore creative endeavour. It keeps me breathing steadily.
A creative human is a happy human. Why else do people hum to themselves when they're scribbling in those mindful colouring books? Creative people live longer and get away with murder. (For the most part; I've just thought 'Vincent Van Gogh' but he had other things going on). Do you resent time spent doing something creative? I doubt it. What's more, if you do something creative, do you spend time admiring your work and feeling all warm inside? You know you do. When you're being creative, do you ever think, 'I shouldn't be doing this, I should be hoovering'?
What happens to us when we paint or write, play the piano or arrange flowers? I believe we feel the joy because we are truly alone with ourselves; we go deep down to the purest part of us, with ease. When I'm being creative, it's just me and the page or the keyboard or the music or the flowers or the shape of the thing I've just made. And I have spent a lifetime inspiring creativity (so I should live long and prosper) I love to see my teachers get excited about the term ahead (this is occurring presently, there is a palpable buzz around Frangos in Dundrum Towncentre, hub of our meetings). When I see our students get together and animatedly discuss how they will approach some new challenge, I notice some wonderful things: everyone's face is open and interested; I see the moment a brilliant idea lands in their minds; there's laughter, excitement - one idea leads to another idea. A room full of people with eyes engaged on their vision. There is no room for negativity. Obstacles are just another chance to be creative; opportunities for the group to gather all their notions and sew them together.
I love this part of my life. I love that I can never predict what's going to happen in a class (unless we're rehearsing for a play and lines haven't been learnt - then I can predict with great accuracy that I'm going to get cranky - I'm looking at you, Youth Theatre) Even when there are rules to be followed, we still bring our own unique style to a production.
Personally, being a creative teacher has been a gift - I have had to relinquish control. Once upon a time, my way was the best way, but one day I decided to say "I don't know, what do you think?"And I learned that my way is only one way. There are countless ways and they are all beautiful.
People who think they're not creative? Desist! You go shopping for shoes you're not sure even exist, except in your mind. You crack a joke. When you see a flower in full bloom and time slows down for you. When you allow yourself to be lost in the sound of your child laughing. When you smile because that's your favourite song. Or your mum's favourite song. When you laugh at a joke. When you admire someone's eyebrows (it's a thing). When you read. When you anticipate the next chapter.
Thoughts that are creative make you feel good. And if you feel good, you emit positivity. And you draw others into your state of mind, and so you start a flowing chain of good feeling all around you. You create comradery, positivity, kindness, patience, understanding, tolerance, guidance, appreciation, acceptance and joy. And perhaps a picture or a song.
You create. You Rock.