My new neighborhood is boring. There, I said it. I have moved to Raleigh and I am dying of sheer, unadulterated monotony.
We relocated to NC because we thought Gabriel and Bastian deserved to grow up in a place that is a little slower. And, boy, have we gotten more than we bargained for on that count. Have you ever heard that saying about the sidewalks rolling up after 6 p.m.? Well, I’m pretty sure that the person who coined that phrase was looking for something to do in Raleigh that doesn’t involve a pub, collegiate sports, or must-see TV. Sweet mother of all that is good and holy, I am bored.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love NC because it is where I grew up, where my family is, and home to some of the nicest people on the face of this planet. Where else do your neighbors actually bring you a cake when you move into your new house? Where else do complete strangers come running up to you in the parking lot, frantic to help you put your cart away when you’re struggling to get a toddler and an infant into your polar bear-murdering lug of an SUV? Nowhere, that’s where. But, I’m still bored. I just moved here from Orlando, for Pete’s sake. We had annual passes to Disney, Sea World and Universal Studios. Please forgive me while I tone my expectations back a notch.
However, there is hope. One day when I was kicking around my neighborhood trying to find some trouble to get into, I stumbled upon the most fabulous used bookstore. My geek gene started humming softly in my ear, and my wallet flew out of my pocket and ran away through the front door. I’ll spare you the armfuls of other books that I adopted that day, but I want to tell you about one really good one that has gotten me thinking about what other things I could be doing with my Mickey Mouseless hours.
“This I Believe” is a book of essays that is about exactly what it sounds like. The book takes it name from a radio series that began in 1951, and highlights the core beliefs of all kinds of Americans. The essays are really short–a page or two–and cover everything from the belief in barbecue to a fundamental faith in kindness. (If you would like to write your own essay, which may be featured on NPR, you can go to http://thisibelieve.org/.)
Anyway, the essay that I have been thinking about today focused on the secret creativity we all have inside us. Author Mel Rusnov is a civil engineer who, “makes a satisfying, comfortable living working quietly in my cubicle.” But, she is more than that. She is also an accomplished pianist, “bringing to life with my own hands, the genius of Bach, Mozart and Chopin.” Rusnov says that we are all narrowly defined by our predictable lives as worker bees and that we can be transformed by the beauty of the talents we allow to lie dormant within us. What should we do with these rich interior lives that cubicle nation has no use for? We should take them out, shine them up and reintegrate them into ourselves. In fact, I that I believe with all my heart.
I have seen friends, family members and clients remake their own lives into something more satisfying and real by giving themselves permission to participate in the creative pursuits that give them joy. This is meaningful to me these days because I have been contemplating picking up my cello again and getting back into music. Though NC isn’t filled with the kind of recreation I am used to, perhaps I can use this time to return to some parts of myself that have been neglected for too long.
What do you need to do to reclaim your secret creativity?
Your partner in healing,
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