On Being Crazy

Crazy = Creative

Follow along.

-Being creative is seeing things from a unique perspective that is instantly interesting simply because it is new and different.

-“Crazy people” do crazy looking things because the world is different for them and they are reacting to it, which results in strange behavior.

-“Creative people” control the reaction and hone in their craziness by contemplating and embracing the differences they see. Those titled “artists” take the next step and share the results of their contemplations with others in whatever way they know how (painting, writing, new accounting methods; seriously, any and all forms of expression).

Point number one: Creative people are all inherently crazy people, they just think about what makes their world different and instead of an immediate reaction to the oddities they regularly experience, they add contemplation to the mix.  These creative folk must first be crazy people, because otherwise there would be nothing unique, new, and interesting about their work.

To be inclusive, but really just to speak my truth, I will extend the definition of “creative people” to include all humans. Every single one.

Point number two: Humans, as a species, are creative. It’s within us. It’s what sets human animals apart from other animals. It’s the creative power. It’s the god quality. In His Image, right? Whatever you believe, it’s obvious that humans have some sort of potential that all other life on earth does not. Human potential. I’ll call it creativity. (Imagination, perhaps, is a better word.)

If all creative people are crazy, and all humans are creative, it follows that all humans are inherently crazy.

We’re all crazy.

Duh.

And anyway, crazy isn’t crazy at all. In fact, being normal is! Being normal—being like everyone else, being like rules, like culture, like things you aren’t because you’re supposed to—feels to me like a waste of human potential. If you don’t know who you are and you aren’t trying to find out, your creative potential sits dormant. If you do go on a search to figure yourself out I guarantee you that as you go, you’ll find out that you’re endlessly creative, too. You are human, creative is just what you are. A unique blend of genetic code that filters what’s “out there” with what’s inside and spits out something incredible and interesting and very, very true.

Personal Anecdote – Why I Am Crazy

I decided I wanted to get a job. I’m starting to feel like sitting at home meditating and writing and doing whatever it is that I do with my time just isn’t working for me anymore, primarily because I decided to extend my stay in Portland, or otherwise in one spot, for another 7-8 months. Don’t get me wrong, being still is a big part of what it is that I do. Or, rather, being quiet and idle and clearing my mind (i.e. meditation, writing).  But all this “do what I do” stuff aside, if I choose to stay here for another 7-8 months and I still want to travel I need to have money for both. The options, with my current financial standing (or financial falling, depending on your perspective), are mutually exclusive. Anyway, I’m sitting here thinking about this whole tradeoff I have to make and eventually I set off on the money hunt. Baby girl is gonna get herself a j-o-b.

So here I am getting dressed, trying to both be myself stylistically and also get a job. Bear in mind “getting a job” has meant, in my history, donning a black suit and being Business Professional Quinn, complete with leather resume “padfolio” and rehearsed stories as to why it is I am a bad ass and how much I want to work at your company, all of which are bullshit. Once again, don’t get me wrong. I am a bad ass. But stating why on a resume in business speak so that I could get a job that I have to manufacture reasons for wanting is not my jam. So anyway, I’m getting dressed in one of the outfits I wear all the time (clearly, not a suit), make a fresh print of my updated resume that now includes my “alternate life” (which reads so weird in business format), and I head out the door.  In the car, I’m driving to drop off this application and I miss my exit because I am speeding along faster than normal and my head is in the “I want to be away” clouds and dodging the fact the I’m in the middle of a very symbolic episode of my life—the “going back to work after semi-retirement at 25” episode. Does not sound fun on the surface. At this point, I’m still subconsciously avoiding it.  That is, the apparent anxiety was not terribly apparent to me in my state of denial.

Missing my exit gives me even more time to sit on this feeling, this anxious turned panicky feeling I’m having as I drive to drop off my application. In an anticlimactic resume drop, I spend a total of 3 minutes sliding papers across a table to a busy manager who apparently is not in the mood to strike up a “first impression” conversation, I bid my adieu, and head back in the car. I pull out of the parking lot and immediately realize that even now that the deed has been done, I am not relieved of any of the anxiety. No, no, I am even more worked up than before the drop off.  I’m trying some 1:2 breathing now, as self-treatment is pertinent in such a panic, and now I’m feeling physically uncomfortable, which is becoming debilitating. Anxiety has now knocked hard enough on my entire body for my conscious brain to finally pay it heed.

Deep inhale. Longer exhale. Deep inhale. Longer exhale. Insight: “stop operating a motor vehicle, you crazy lady.”

I pull over and stop my car. I sit still for a few minutes. I reach down and without thinking, my hands pull out my laptop to start reading what I’ve written this morning. It was automatic, the action. Once I pulled over and made myself still, my body, which was previously obeying my commands to apply for this job, was now instinctively reaching for my writing.  No commands involved, no effort, it’s just what happened.

Immediately I am feeling better and this rapid change from high anxiety to “rightness” brings the simple revelation that today I want to write. That’s where the energy is for me. I just feel like writing. And what I’m doing instead is driving across town to drop off an application to start working just to make money again. I have caught myself operating under the assumption that I must compromise in some way in order to make money. That I have to do something I just don’t want to do right now to make money to do what it is I want to do at some point in the future.

But hello, me! Hello! That’s the whole point! To challenge that assumption. 

If you read my About page, you’ll see I am on this journey to do what it is I want to do and make it work. That’s my life’s goal at the moment. To do what I actually want to do and not do things I do not want to do. Challenging? Extremely. Risky? Absolutely. Ambiguous? You bet. Reasonable? Arguably, yes. Possible? To be determined.

BUT NOT IF I CAVE!

I have decided to take a year off and I am only at month seven. Granted, the biggest chunk of the year is behind me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have plenty of space ahead of me to make great things happen. And, if I go against the energy (i.e. drop off an application at a job I am not ready to take yet), I am going to detract from the potential success of this whole thing. And since I’ve still got time on my timeline and savings to responsibly burn through, I should continue following this through. No use in half-assing my massive mid twenties life experiment.

 

Onward through the fog.

 

Hey Reader! It’s no use writing to you if you can’t follow it because I am a tangential and crazy human being. Feedback is so very much appreciated, as are all commiserations and story shares of your own. Talk to me!

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