If you’re anything like me, nothing has ever sounded as dull as simply “being normal”. Having a normal job and doing normal things like normal people. It turns you off because, deep down, you know you were made for more than that. You have a purpose, and “normalcy” is your enemy—or is it?
I just want to take a minute to say something that should be pretty obvious, but for some reason isn’t: People are not normal. People are complex, vibrant, mysterious, and deep—sometimes even beyond their own realization. You are one of those people. But unique people like you and I sometimes end up doing “normal things”—and we beat ourselves up for it.
Life in the Perilous Realm is hard. It’s easy to dream of being a hero—to read stories and watch movies and imagine you’re in them, but when it comes down to it, we often respond like Frodo: that our own adventure has turned out quite different.
On the outside, we see glamor. Success. Triumph. All around us, people seem to be winning at life: the co-worker who just got promoted, the young couple who recently got engaged, or the college graduate who landed their first career job. And then there’s us, in the dust—struggling.
Our society is obsessed with being busy. So obsessed, in fact that we often feel guilty when we’re not running at top speed to keep up with everything and everyone. And what’s crazier—after all of this, we demand even more of ourselves. It’s no wonder we’re never satisfied, because, perhaps, what we need is not more, but less.
Everywhere you look, people are busy; busy with work, school, errands—necessities. But we’re also busy with other, more trivial things, like keeping up with the latest trends on Twitter and Facebook. Endless scrolling fills our days, eating up our time and eventually overwhelming us. We’re drowning in a world of TMI and a need to keep up 24/7. Such a fast pace eventually drags even the best of us into exhaustion and sometimes even depression.
As humans, we often have a hard time embracing our creative identity. In fact, we sometimes believe we aren’t creative at all, and that such talents only belong to other people.
We’re quick to form a picture of what makes someone “creative”. We put lables on people who live creative lifestyles; sometimes positive, sometimes negative, and then we limit ourselves to believing they are the only ones capable of living that way. If we want to break into the realm of Wonder, these myths about creativity need to die.
“What are you going to do?”
If you’re a college student, that question is probably as familiar to you as the air you breathe. Even if you’re still in high school, you’ve likely heard the same thing. What direction are you going to take your life?
Let’s admit it: life is crazy. Downright unpredictable. We live in a wide, wondrous, dangerous world swirling with mysteries; spinning with possibilities, endless and pulsing with life. It draws us deeper, seeking adventure, and yet we fear to enter the Perilous Realm, because we want to be certain.
Every day, we tangle with mysteries; brush with the unexpected. And most days, we resist it. We cling to our plans and expectations, pushing away the hidden gems of possibility because we fear the unknown and hate the unexpected. And sometimes I wonder: What would happen if we embraced it?
I don’t know about you, but I’m a perfectionist. I’ll often spend more time analyzing my work than I do actually working. (Oh hey, I’m doing it right now with these opening sentences. What a great start.)
If you’re a perfectionist, don’t feel bad. You have great qualities, such as diligence, loyalty, and a desire for excellence. We need people like you and I in this world, but as perfectionists, we’ve got to learn how to manage our gifts, lest they become a hindrance.