This is one of my mantras in life. It explains a lot about how I got into the things I now love.
When I first started crafting, it was my teenage rebellion. The American public school system, amidst its many flaws, just doesn’t value creativity the way it should. There are so many studies out there pointing out how creativity fosters greater achievement in academics and, of course, mental health as well as personal development. Still, it too often falls on the shoulders of the student to incorporate it into their lives. That’s fine, I won’t complain about it forever, I have a free will so I’ll just pick up where the system fails.
I didn’t have any of this mentality at first. I just didn’t want to spend all of my time at home doing homework. I also fancied myself the creative type since I adored poetry and art. As I delved further into the hobby, I began noticing changes in my style of thinking. Namely, it wasn’t as constricted. (Creativity fosters out-of-the-box thinking, shocking, I know.) This boundless mentality was exactly what I needed to heal because I had to attain this level of self-awareness where I could go “OK, ___ is triggering me because of ____ and I can do ____ because ____ shouldn’t dictate my life. If I can allow something to bother me, I can allow it to not bother me as well.”
I read this book about writing once called “Bird by Bird” by Anne Larnott, I highly recommend it to all aspiring writers, and there was this one quote that really hit home for me. I don’t have the exact wording but it was along the lines of this:
Don’t write to get published. Write because you love to write.
Admittedly, as a middle schooler, I used to do this. My head was in the clouds, mmkay? But now I write because I love it and I’m always going to write even if my readership is only one person. I tell people this all the time “I live to write” and I mean it. There’s nothing more fulfilling in my life than writing. Ever since grade school, when I first started writing for school projects, I kind of knew but I lost sight of it for a while. Then it came back to me in sophomore year when I wrote a poem every day as a part of my healing process. I just love playing with words and shaping sentences in brand new ways to give them meaning. Also, I’m obsessed with grammar; the Stanford comma brings me joy. That’s why, if you don’t use the Stanford comma, I’m epically destroying you in my head or verbally.
Another thing I thought I was going to do when I was a middle schooler was become a singer.
Looking back on it, my head was even further in the clouds than I thought… I used to get in trouble for humming all the time — that’s what I did before I was brave enough to sing in front of people — until it progressed to me not giving a shit since I’d be performing in front of people anyway 😉
Overtime, I realized that I wanted more meaning out of my life. Writing songs would be cool, having concerts would be cool, having fans would be cool, but I don’t think it would be that meaningful for me. (Side note: I am still singing but it’s because I love music and I have way too many amazing jams on my phone to not sing along.) Like this one…
My life goal is to destroy the stigmas around mental health and, admittedly, maybe I could do that as a singer, but I want to fight them head-on. That and I’m totally a nerd for psychology. I think the human brain is amazing and beautiful and, if we all knew how it worked a little better, I think we could prevent a lot of mental illnesses and misunderstandings in general. Men complaining that they don’t understand women and vice versa. News flash: We all have the same brain. However we’re socialized, that’s brought up, differently and there are a whole lot of other factors that define a person other than gender. The biopsychosocial approach, it’s one of the methodologies used in treating folks with mental illnesses, recognizes these factors in people’s lives.
Bio – We all have our own unique biology and genetics.
Psycho – We all have our own mindset and experiences.
Social – We all have our own living situation.
- If one or more of these factors is in disarray, say you’re gay and your parents are homophobic, the psychologist should be attentive enough to notice that.
- Not all mental illnesses stem from chemical imbalances, they’re not all in your head despite the name, sometimes an individual’s life can bring about these problems. The answer isn’t always a bottle of pills. That’s why the biopsychosocial approach is so important.
But, I digress. Or do I? I actually really enjoyed sharing my psychology knowledge. I can’t promise that it’ll be a regular occurrence because I’m a college freshman and, at this point, I’ve only studied the very first General Psychology courses: PSYC 1 and 2 (which are very similar FYI. AP credit policy is just annoying.) As I progress, though, I’ll definitely share more with you guys. That’s one way to defeat stigmas around mental health, right? Right?
P.S. Any fellow Leona Lewis fans here? Grammar fangirls/boys? Psychology nerds? Crafters? Talk to me in the comments below! 🙂