If You Want To Be Happier, Stop Over-Scheduling Your Life
Creativity needs space to blossom.
If your mind is constantly whirring or you’re endlessly scrolling, you aren’t giving yourself that space. Just like relaxation doesn’t come on the inhale, when we are drawing air into our lungs, but happens on the exhale when we can let go, inspiration doesn’t usually hit when we are busy or engaged. We need almost to be bored. We need to take a break and have downtime in between paying bills and running from one event to the next, spending time filled with peopling.
Before the pandemic (and before the personal apocalypse that was my 2020), I used socializing the way other people use drugs or alcohol; it was a crutch, a coping mechanism, a way to make it through the dreary days. At the time, I had a beautiful home that I loved, and a business I did not. Add in a husband to who I wanted to feel connected, but who wasn’t able (or perhaps just wasn’t willing?) to put forth any effort into our relationship. I felt adrift, caught in limbo.
When I wasn’t spending 16 hours a day at work, I gave myself a little space to do low-level creative projects (designing T-shirts, making jewelry, and I even tried my hand at painting exactly twice) but I needed something more. I have been a dancer my whole life, beginning with kiddie ballet at 4 years old, and trying on different styles to see what suited best, and so I decided to learn West Coast Swing. It wasn’t long before I caught the bug and began competing and traveling to conventions to learn more. And though I felt like my best self — my most dazzling, freest, happiest version of me — on the dance floor, it highlighted how differently I felt off the dance floor. And because I was so invested in the community, most of my friends were those of circumstance and shared interest.
I mistakenly thought that was the same as a real friend.
When the pandemic first settled in, when socializing and dancing were not a thing, and then I quickly realized that neither was my marriage, I was once again adrift. Over the course of the following two years, I moved a handful of times, finally settling in another state, and began…