Dream Big. I recently played harp for a friend’s wedding and as a gift, they gave me a framed map with the words scrawled in gold, “Dream Big.” It is very meaningful to me since I have always been, and always will be, a dreamer. I also love turning dreams into realities and I truly believe that if you can dream it, there must be a way to do it. Sometimes it requires creativity or planning something a little differently than you originally anticipated. I feel for the practical minds, I must include that of course if you dream you can fly off the top of the Empire State building, this does not mean you should just jump off without a flying device. It does mean that you can learn to skydive, research parachutes and flying devices. Look into viable options and figure out how to accomplish your goal of flying through the air.
I’m a very creative person. I enjoy collecting things and figuring out new and beautiful ways to use and display them. I still have collections of rocks, shells, coins and stamps that I started as a child. I keep things like old magazines, clothes or broken jewelry, looking for an opportunity to create something new from them in the future. I believe that this creativity is somewhat in the make-up of who I am, but is also heavily influenced by my childhood.
Growing up, my mom taught us to draw and paint, to make Christmas ornaments and to decorate cookies. She displayed our lovely art pieces on the fridge and around the house. She encouraged us to take piano lessons and to stick with them. She enrolled us in drama classes in the children’s theater of Charlotte. We were in small skits and musicals.
Both my parents allowed us to use scrap wood to build communities and houses in the woods. They allowed us to build forts from couch cushions and to spread our stuffed animals all over the hall upstairs. Now, they would not just allow their house to become a disaster and it was a constant battle for them trying to teach us to clean and allowing us to be creative. I remember my mom asking us one time to clean the stuffed animals off the couch and I replied, “But Mom, you’re making them move from their homes.”
Overall, I was taught that art, music and creativity are very important. I dreamed of becoming a famous musician. I started taking piano lessons when I was six. At that young age, I enjoyed the music, but did not enjoy practicing. I remember yelling sometimes (yes I was a bit strong-willed, to put it nicely for my young self) at my mom that all I wanted to do was quit. I remember her telling me that it was my choice, but I would regret it later. She also had a rule that we had to start out on piano and get to a certain level before we could move to another instrument. I stuck with it because I wanted to play something unique and beautiful. I drew a picture one time of me playing the harp in heaven. Of course I portrayed myself as an angel and my desire was to be beautiful, special and play music for God. That dream of playing harp turned into reality when my parents surprised me with harp lessons for my 10th birthday. Without them, I would not play today.
My parents were both artistic. I remember my Dad painting sailboats on their bathroom wall (which of course prompted us to request painting our bathroom wall and we were allowed with supervision). My mom enjoyed artwork of various types and would teach us what she knew. She enrolled us in an acrylic painting class, which spurred on my interest in painting. I then went on to take an oil painting class in college. I learned to love photography, definitely influenced by the amount of photographs my mom took. She wanted to capture every event- every recital, every trip, a new pet, family time and of course group family photos. She also loved taking photographs of sunsets, mountains and beautiful scenery. It also became important to me to capture moments and scenes with a camera.
I enjoy fulfilling my dreams through creative expression. It’s why I listen to music on planes, journal on vacation and take photographs of new experiences. While I do not have kids currently, if I do in the future, my goal is to raise them with a love for creativity and artistic expression. I want them to have the experiences I had. I wish that every child could grow up with a belief that they can dream and be provided with the skills necessary to live their dreams.
Anyone can create and it is never too late to learn an instrument or pick up a paintbrush. I believe that creativity is good for the soul. Maybe you don’t enjoy fine arts or music. Do you enjoy cooking? Creating new dishes or displayed your food in a fun, colorful way is also a form of creative expression. Do you enjoy dancing? That is certainly a form of creativity and expression. Figure out what you enjoy and teach yourself something new. If you want ideas on how to become more creative, how to teach your children to be creative or suggestions for projects, feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you figure out how to live your dreams through creative expression. Don’t forget to dream big!