On a rare, sunshine-filled November day my roommate and I set out on a walk in an attempt to seize the day. As we approached the two-mile mark, chattering away with ease, she described me as a “creative conversationalist,” a combination of words I had never heard before. And I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
I’ve never considered myself a particularly creative person. Despite a myriad of desperate efforts to unlock the inner artist I was convinced I had buried somewhere deep down inside me, I’ve never succeeded. My mom instructed art classes at my elementary school, but any painting ability I once possessed vanished the second I was left without rigid instructions. I took ballet classes my entire childhood but never progressed past the most basic level. I spent five months trying to teach myself to play the guitar when I was seventeen, making zero to minimal progress. Frequently, I lament that my personality would be more complete if I had the ability to dance, sing, play any instrument, or make any form of art.
My roommate’s offhand comment changed my perspective on the world.
Creativity is inherently unable to be limited to selective activities, such as painting and dancing. The very definition of the word includes, “the use of the imagination or original ideas.” Thus, creativity exists everywhere you look, as new ideas are continuously created in people’s minds.
I exercise my innate creativity when I pour hours into crafting extremely niche Spotify playlists. I shine when I close out of my computer tab for a recipe and go rogue. When I meet new people and ultimately forego painful small talk, instead choosing to pull from the inventive questions I have stored in the back of my head at any given time (hence my roommate’s comment).
Creativity shouldn’t be something that boxes you in, rather something that frees you. Creativity can be exhibited in the simplest ways possible, even if it just means taking a different route home than usual. Allowing yourself to express your creative side in small ways throughout your day allows for brain stimulation and personal growth.
I want to emphasize that being artistic is not the same quality as being creative, despite some obvious overlap. Not everyone is artistic, and that’s okay. However, everyone intrinsically contains creativity simply by being human and expressing their humanity in a different way than virtually every other person on the planet.