The more I get lost in life, the more I realise that the act of creating helps me to discover my truth and gives me the courage to live my life.
Many people relate creativity to subjects such as art and music, and they certainly don’t see themselves as ‘creative’ people.
I get that. I grew up excelling in memorizing facts and scoring A’s in all kind of assessments. In college, I played with figures, derivatives and calculus, even though I had no idea how they relate to my day to day life.
When I wrote my first blog post, it was the first time I felt that I can create something out of nothing. I was an auditor in a Big 4 accounting firm.
Looking back, I can see my life path by connecting all the things that I have created.
Creativity and expression
I went through the ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ in writing because I started with the intention to express my ideas and show off my wittiness. Without the recognition from people who liked, recommended and commented on my articles, I might have stopped writing.
I was lucky that people were kind.
As time goes on, writing becomes a process of carving a piece of myself into the fabric of words in a way that gets more and more honest– what is the message that I want to tell? Why does it matter? How do I learn it? How can I say it in a way that relates to people?
Eventually, I stopped caring about what people think.
Creativity and connection
As an introvert, being able to express myself in words is an invaluable channel to connect with people and make sense of my world.
With the help of internet, I knew that I wasn’t the only one who struggled about finding my place in this world. My eyes welled when my dad replied to my newsletter saying that ‘I believe in you’. I never knew my mum is my biggest fan until she read my book manuscript and suggested the content that she thought was important.
I never knew how much love I have in life or how kind people are until these connections are formed.
Creativity and depression
It took me two years to realize that I had a minor depression when I went through a period I called ‘existential crisis’. I was alone drowning in hopelessness and strangling with the dark force that was pulling me down.
During that period, writing transforms the energy of hurt, lost, panic, hopelessness and helplessness into the energy of life.
When I wrote to give myself hope, I was healing myself without knowing it. Words gave me the clarity and strength to give up a ‘good life’ that didn’t serve my inner being.
Creativity and direction
That lead me onto an interesting spiritual journey of finding myself, leaping into the flow of life and surrendering to the events that come my way.
I made the least income in my entire working life but I created many things that I am proud of — a book, a podcast, a community, many articles and transformative experiences that changed me from inside out.
When I let go of control and pay attention to the flow of life, the next step, the next person to meet and the next thing to create always happen naturally.
Creativity and becoming who I am
I never thought that I am a creative person for the first three quarters of my life.
From feeling depressed when I had everything to finding the joy of living when I gave up everything, the sharp turn in life becomes my truth. It’s more interesting to live not knowing than adopting an answer that might be wrong.
I learned that creativity is not about making things. It is the courage to face my inner-self and express the truest version of me in a medium I am comfortable with. It comes from a deep connection and compassion for myself, that I could make peace with all the joy and hurt in me and honour them equally.
Being able to create gives me a voice to speak my truth so that I can invite others to speak their truths.
At the intersection of intense fear and the deep desire to create what I truly believe in, I experience the rapture of being alive.
Isabelle Thye is a coffee enthusiast based in Malaysia. She co-founded a café consultancy business and started her own coffee label CHNO. Besides building her coffee business, Isabelle enjoys writing and backpacking around the world. Her first book ‘The Art of Owning Your Story’ is available for pre-order. Download a chapter for free!
Image courtesy of Nathan Dumlao.