If I would publish a book it would probably be inspired by the works of Nick Bantock and Barbara Hodgson. In my creative life period I made volumes of journals with collages, illustrations, drawings and lots and lots of writing. I also did crafts, mostly recycling and re-purposing. I also love cooking and baking. I took a lot after my grandmother.
Then I got promoted in my corporate job (I was doing strategy and research in an ad agency) and then the work started to eat me alive. I had less time for creative hobbies or creative anything. When I got home I would be too tired to do anything else. Sometimes I skipped dinner so I could just sleep. I hardly had weekends and when I took vacations I mostly slept. I splurged on many things I never really needed because I could no longer create things for myself. For a (long) while, retail therapy substituted for creative expression.
More than a decade later I was starting to burn out. I took a 2 month leave from work to rest because I thought that was all I needed. When I came back it was okay for a while then I started feeling a hunger in my heart and my spirit. Nothing would satisfy it. Not a very fat paycheck or a high position in the management committee. I felt restless, lackluster, almost like a ghost. Less than two years after, I decided to quit my job, to the surprise (and not a few disappointments) of many people.
The first 6-8 months after quitting was a period of recovery – just resting and releasing all the toxins and stress from all those years. Then I started a business on research – much like what I used to do but with a bit more creativity put in and on my own terms. But it wasn't enough, I was still looking for something. I was beginning to feel that familiar restlessness again and it bothered me and made me panic a bit. I had very little to show or claim to be mine even after all those years of hard work. Basically, all I had was a nice list of impressive sounding descriptions in my CV. But I wanted something to hold in my hands -- maybe a published book, or a magazine that featured an article I wrote, or the key to a shop or a cafe that I own, or a whole range of created objects.
Then I started to rediscover my old creative hobbies, unearthed my old journals, found my old poetry. Then I knew what I wanted.
I want to go back to my writing and illustrated journals and crafting– I want to work with my hands and my heart again. I have also lately been growing fonder and fonder of vintage so I want that in too. Even when I do my research work I want to inject as much creativity and heart into it.
Life has been challenging since I gave up a paycheck. I have learned to simplify my life even further. It is sometimes disheartening how people or companies will try to deny you what you deserve but I learn every day how to move forward. More than those who discourage are those who do encourage and support me. My gratitude extends to every one of them.