The Creative Struggle for Authenticity

I’ve got a struggle on my hands

I’ve been at an epic creative standstill with myself.

I want to create. I know what I want to create. But I don’t create it. I won’t rather.

There are outside factors to this standstill, but none more prominent than the quiet understanding that if I do what I want, what I feel is within me, then I will loose something. Whether that something is important to me or not, I’m not really sure. That uncertainty alone probably leans me more towards it not being that important….but I guess I can figure that out later.

I crave authenticity.

I so desperately want nothing more than to live a life of transparency and vulnerability. I want people to be able to have conversation with me where I am open about things I’ve over come or things that I am currently in the process of overcoming and I want to bond with others over our mutual triumphs and glory. But in order to do that, I need to be authentic. And I’m not.

I, like many others as I have recently discovered, hide behind the general. Behind the vague. Once in a while I may post something that hints to the fact that I am learning some deep things about life, but never do I dive into the depths of my thoughts and observations. Why? Because the more honest you are, the more likely it is for someone to actually reject YOU. Not the you you put out, but the actual YOU. The you that’s tucked away inside for no one else to see, that you. The moment you become a real person to those around you, people who you may have never thought would reject you, will do just that. And it will hurt. Badly. Because they’re not saying that they don’t like the bubble gum and rainbows version of you, no, they’re saying loudly and proudly that they dislike the real life, imperfect, flawed you. That hurts.

That hurt can come from close friends who are going to decide that you’re way too emo, opinionated or chatty for them. It can come from family who aren’t going to enjoy the light you paint them in…even if it’s the truth. Bosses and co workers who may talk down about your art and make suggestive comments about young adults being too dependent on social media as an outlet, minimizing everything that you are trying to do on your chosen form of media. These hurts can initially be paralyzing. They can stop you in your tracks and make you question everything that you are as a blogger, videographer, vlogger, photographer, song writer, singer or any other form of creative. It can tempt you to throw it all away and just do what everyone else is doing and settle into that gentle rhythm of working from 9-5, no more or no less. BUT. I’ve recently learned something. That initial hurt is just that, initial. Once the pain subsides something else can come if you let it. It’s kind of like anger, but I’d rather call it passion. Purpose. Drive. That comes out of that rejection as well and it can be the driving force behind whatever you choose to do next. How? Well, one thing about rejection is that after a while you kind of get used to it. Yes there are some forms of rejection that will always hurt, but there are others that should only be allowed to hurt once. If you get used to the fact that not everyone is going to like you or what you do, and get used to the fact that some people are actually going to make it their goal to watch & read everything you say and do just to comment on it later on. You kind of stop caring, which is beautiful, because there’s a unique freedom in that.

Once you get to that point you’re finally creating for YOU.
That’s where I want to be.
But that’s not where I am just yet.

I’ve had some really lovely conversations with some creatives recently who have all felt the same pressure lately. The pressure to float on the surface of authenticity but not fully dive in. I’ve also had conversations and read posts by those who have decided to no longer care about the opinions about their work and simply decided that they were going to create what spoke to them and made them feel free and happy and true to themselves. They also have the fear, they also have the insecurities, but they at least know that they can look at their work, their art and know that it is genuinely, unapologetically theirs.

I’m aspiring to be right there next to them.

Soon, I’ll be going on a road trip. I’m super excited. The purpose of the trip is to do a maternity shoot for a friend of mine. It’s going to be so dreamy and I absolutely cannot wait. We’re going to new Hampshire to the place where her husband proposed and that’s all I’m going to say for now because I’m sure I’ll write about it then. During this trip though, I’m planning on a creative rebirthing so to speak, so stay tuned for that as well…this has been processing in my mind for a while now and I’m just about ready to put Nicole out there.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see ya soon!

-Nicole Eva