The Pinkie Promise
As of this moment, I guess I didn’t know how to spell ‘pinkie.’ I assumed it was with a ‘y’ — still not sure about that…
Anyways, I’m writing this article because of a pinkie promise I made to my fiance last night. And my weird reaction to it…
“Pinkie promise you’ll do something creative tomorrow?” he asked with an enthusiastic smile. “Ah, okay…” I muttered back…and my response genuinely surprised me. I sounded just like Eeyore!
The truth is, I’m realizing that for quite a few years now I’ve viewed creativity as a chore and I don’t know exactly when or where that started. I have always taken academic and business pursuits very seriously. It sounds weird, but I believe I’ve taken these more seriously than creative ones. This sounds weird because I’ve always been tagged as the ‘musical’ one – the choir and performance arts kid in high school who spent her time creating YouTube videos and singing everywhere from church to basketball games and karaoke competitions. I’ve even put out an album (mostly the work of my dad pushing me…thanks, Dad!)
Although creativity has been very important to me, I have always been a stickler about working towards a better future – whether it be through practically living at my college library studying – or meticulously working on my resume. I love the motto “Be kind to your future self.” And I always attached this to career and financial security. I feel I am a master of delayed gratification. Of saving up for someday. And that’s brilliant. But, in everything, there must be balance. You must take advantage of the time you have now. Fully relish it, appreciate it, and foster eternal things. Money fades away. Security is a concept. Art, relationship, connection? That’s the stuff that lasts. That matters.
My general cycle has always been to work very hard at things that will give me monetary reward and then focus my downtime wholeheartedly on working ahead to create more ease for myself when I am on the clock – or by recharging my batteries by doing nothing at all on my time off. I do also spend time relishing my family and close relationships. But mention creative pursuits in a way other than ‘maybe someday’ and I can get super squirrelly (another word I just learned how to spell today). Just ask me how long I’ve talked about maybe starting to write a book sometime soon…and get ready for some nervous laughter… I think I can have this guttural Gollum-like reaction to any work – even creative work – that I don’t need to do. It’s like the 2-year-old part of my soul is saying “Don’t steal the precious!” Meaning the valuable downtime I fight so hard for.
I am aware that my personality requires wayy more downtime than others (I’m a 9 if you’re into Enneagram personality stuff) and even physically, I just get exhausted way more easily than most people. There’s nothing wrong with protecting the time you need to relax. But something I’m processing and still trying to fully understand is that rest doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of work. It can actually be life-giving to do things, too, and not just avoid doing them.
Honestly, it doesn’t come naturally for me to link rest with anything other than being a complete slug. Writing an article or a song, connecting with God, creating a gift for someone, or exercising? It’s harder than you might expect to motivate me to do any of those things. But when I push through my initial reservations, I find I actually enjoy doing these things (what a concept!).
Sometimes it just takes getting over that initial resistance to change. I hated most science classes I was ever forced to take – and especially Physics because it’s science and heavy math. But one concept I often use to understand human behavior is inertia. Basically, objects at rest stay at rest and objects in motion stay in motion. Technically… Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its velocity. This includes changes to the object’s speed, or direction of motion. An aspect of this property is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at a constant speed, when no forces act upon them. My mom and I always mutter “oh, inertia” when we stay on the couch too long watching TV together. But I also notice that it becomes easy to just keep walking the treadmill instead of getting off, too (yeah, that’s the extent of what I do at the gym…don’t judge). Sometimes we just need a nudge to get us going.
I feel as if, in the next few years, I will be in a new season of inspiration and accountability for fresh goals. Already, my fiance inspires me to keep up with writing. Over the years, I believe we will create, not only a beautiful life together, but also contribute to our creative aspirations – whether that’s writing, filming, creating music, designing, etc etc – and my “creative sista”, Manda and I are planning to be more intentional with our music and creative pursuits together as well.
To fully flourish, a flower must have adequate time to grow…to be planted, to sprout, to bud, and to blossom. There is a purpose for each stage. In each of our lives, we are planting seeds in some areas, and blooming in others. May each step of the process be glorious. I’m excited for what has been, what is, and all that will be created in my lifetime. Even if it’s only in the midst of my catharsis and processing of life. That still totally counts as creation! So, there you go. I’m gonna say I fulfilled my pinkie promise, Ry. 😉