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Nothing is wasted

If you’re reading this magazine, then it’s safe to assume that on some level, you’re interested in the creative process. Maybe you fully identify as a Creative already, or maybe you’re reading this more as someone on the outside looking in, timidly curious about the creative life but certainly not existing in that realm yourself.

Or maybe you’re more like me- new to the party and still figuring out how to fit in.

Nothing is wasted
Amber Salhus

For most of my life, I genuinely believed that I wasn’t a creative person. I wasn’t even mad about it, really, I just always put “art” into a box, and when I didn’t see myself fitting into that box, I assumed I had no place in the Creative Club.

I can’t paint or draw or write a song. I don’t craft or invent or collect artsy things. I can’t even dance, unless you count car-dancing (which I do) because it only requires me to utilize half of my body at once: The upper half, which everyone knows is the easiest part. It’s the footwork that will trip you up (pun intended.)

Other than my inability to dance, I never minded much that I wasn’t “the creative type”. I have other passions. I love words on a page, interior design, gathering and encouraging women, I love to make people laugh and to look for the humor in every situation.

It wasn’t until a few years ago as I began noticing the things that make me come alive and intentionally moving towards them that it dawned on me that I was actually being creative.

I started blogging and realized that I could connect with women, encourage them, and even make them laugh, all through words on a page.

After 10 addresses in 12 years, my husband and I developed a passion and a skill for renovating and designing homes, and we quietly started a house-flipping business on the side.

These things had always come naturally to me but for the first time ever, I actually recognized them as my creative work.

With a sudden rush of panic and delight, I realized that I’d somehow snuck into the party, but I still wasn’t sure if I belonged.

The moment I found the courage to name my talents, dreams, and creative offerings, the voice of my inner critic grew loud, plaguing me with questions of,

“Who do I think I am?”

“Do I belong into this space?”

“Is there room for me here?”

You see, it’s much easier to do your creative work when you’re not aware that you’re doing it. But the fact of the matter is that if you’re a living breathing human, you’re creative. And odds are, you’re already doing your creative work, whether you realize it or not.

That might look like tying on apron strings and making beautiful food, like bringing order to chaos within your home or on a spreadsheet, like the innate ability to make people feel welcome not just in your home but in your life, or a million other things.

Your art can be anything or nothing you expected, but it will always be what makes you come alive.

So often we overlook those things that come naturally to us because they come naturally to us.

But the second we name those things and get intentional with them is the second that Resistance will push back.

For some Resistance might look like comparison and insecurity.

You bravely try something new and you’re immediately reminded of all the people who could do it better or who’ve already done it better.

For others still, Resistance might look like circumstance and timing.

Maybe you’re in a season where your work feels more practical than creative. Maybe it looks like a day job that pays the bills, full time parenting, or both at the same time, and you find yourself in a limiting circumstance where “exploring your creativity” feels like a pipe dream. You secretly worry that the dreams and talents tucked away in your heart are forgotten on a shelf somewhere, collecting dust and losing relevance.

For others still, Resistance might look like confusion and uncertainty.

Maybe you haven’t fully realized your gifts yet, or what your creative work looks like, much less how it fits into the middle of your right-now life. Maybe you’re the type who needs to know exactly where you’re going and precisely how you’ll get there before you’ll ever take one step.

The good news is that whatever Resistance looks like for you, it does not have to win.

If you find yourself in a season of limited time and opportunity, of confusion, or of feeling unqualified, take heart, because the thing about seasons is they always change.

Whatever work you happen to be doing, trust that none of it is wasted and know there is always art you can make because you are always you.

 

Amber Salhus

Amber Salhus is a wife, mom, blogger, house-flipper, comedy lover, and burgeoning farmer. She lives in the Oregon countryside with her husband, their two kids, and their ever-growing list of animals. She openly shares the adventures of dreaming big in the middle of motherhood, navigating the creative process, and finding the humor in all of it at ambersalhus.com.