A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the article "Create more, consume less; A surefire way to feel more excited about life" by Lori Deschene and I have been pondering it ever since. It resonated with me — it discusses how our culture today revolves around consumption — consumption of news and posts on social media, TV shows, music, and other media. While this is good in moderation, it can take precedence to the point of ruling our lives. We wake up and scroll through social media, check it throughout the day, and scroll through before we sleep too. My dad comes home from work at 7 PM and the news is on the TV from then till he falls asleep around 12 AM. I read books and watch movies.
I kept being reminded of the article even more when I came home from spring break. My room is long overdue for a good cleaning, and as I pulled old notebooks from the closet I found countless drawings and scraps of stories, child's play but also — creation. I am a creative writing major for a reason — I love to write. But my couple of stories from last semester's fiction writing class are tiny in comparison to the collection of stories I used to pump prior to social media and the rigors of high school and college. While highly amused as I skimmed through the stories and sketches, I was also sad that I had stopped creating so much, with words and with color.
The article lists some of the benefits of and reasons to create for "memories." Obviously going through many notebooks and sketchbooks caused many memories to resurface, and the memory of actively creating something will stick longer than that meme that was popular for a week last month.
Over this break, I tried to be mindful and work towards creating something. As I was digging through my closet and sorting old clothes into piles, I set aside a pair of jeans I haven't worn in years. With the (somewhat dubious) guidance of Youtube DIY-ers, I cut slits in the jeans and meticulously pulled out the threads to create holes, and after washing and drying and cuffing (and this took about five hours total), I have a new pair of cute jeans! (Well I think they're cute at least, and I guess that's all that matters...) The whole process, besides a couple of hand cramps after tweezing for an hour, was satisfying and rewarding.
I think it's important to set aside time for projects such as these, whether tampering some jeans or plunking a couple of tunes on the piano. It's easy to lose yourself in the constant stream of information from our screens, and it's important to reground yourself in creating something that you will love, or at least love the process.