When I was a kid I would spend every summer the same way. Three weeks with my mum's parents, three weeks with my dad's parents, and three weeks with my mum and dad. It wasn't always the same order, but it was always lots of fun. With my mum's parents we'd pick mirabelles and watch The Young and the Restless. With my parents we'd enjoy being around our home and would spend some time by the seaside. I think what I have the most memories of, though, is holidays with my dad's parents. We always did so many things, visited parks and museums, went to the zoo or to climb trees, played video games and learned to bike.
I remember one summer... being really bored — sometimes the best ideas grow out of utter boredom!
That summer I managed the loveliest exploitation of my family has ever succumbed to. I set up my own little business. I cut up cards and painted them and stuck little sea shells on them. I picked up pebbles from our seaside walks that I painted too with what I remember were inspirational messages and sunshines. I even persuaded myself (and others) that "grating" the crumbly shiny rocks I found would make really valuable "gold powder."
Mostly, I sold all this to my family.
The little sweet pies, they bought pebbles off me. Free pebbles from the beach! Isn't that the greatest display of encouragement ever? Either that or they really pitied me, but I choose to pick the first interpretation.
These days being creative is different. Although I've moved on from painting pebbles, I now have glitter balls and painting my nails and a three-year-old blog and the occasional video blog and multiple cameras... But being creative now feels restricted. Changed; sometimes a bit wrong. Often a part of me thinks: "Hmm... Should you really be writing another blog post? Do you have time for that? Don't you have things to do? What use is this anyway? Painting your nails won't get you anywhere. Nor will a silly little Polaroid shot. And what about what this will cost you? Shouldn't you be saving for your Masters/first flat/hypothetical future mortgage?" Etc, etc.
I'm not a kid anymore, so being creative for fun seems like a long gone privilege. But when I let myself take a breather and do a little thing for my own pleasure and happiness, instead of dedicating all to my degree + future career, things are good. And I don't think it's only from being creative (although I do really love paint/glitter/fabric); there's also all the support that comes from it.
No one pays me for painted pebbles anymore, but I have encouragement. For reading my blog, for my little homemade tree decorations, for my painted bedside stool-table, and for the handmade hand warmers I proudly gave my family for Christmas, I get smiles and sounds of 'well done!' and 'you could sell these', Facebook likes and yes, even the odd blog comment.
I wouldn't be half the person I am if it weren't for the people who believe in my painted pebbles and keep believing in me every day. So here's a little thank you. Just because.