When a death occurs, I look at how the spirit and living of the deceased inspires a need to improve the quality of our everyday lives beyond mere existing. For example, what can we learn by how others have been impacted by a life that has been well lived? How can we ensure that we are living our lives in such a way that inspires others to break beyond the can’ts, shouldn’ts, or other social or self-imposed restrictions?
There are no easy answers to those questions. However, we can take a moment to become inspired by an illustration of the life led by David Bowie. If David Bowie has taught us anything, he showed us that we can make space to change, grow, create despite the natural fear or hesitation to go to places we may not have imagined.
We can break-up with can’t and shouldn’t. We can add apology for our authentic ourselves to the bonfire while expanding beyond personal or social limitations.
His life extends an invitation to be comfortable in our own skin without explanation or apology. He encouraged us to live as ourselves and become audacious cartographers of our own beautifully complicated maps for others to enjoy.
May you rest in peace and thank you for all of the ways you encouraged us all to just be.
While we are in the midst of thinking about the newness of 2016 here at Wildly Creative, we have also been talking a lot about taking new calculated risks and pushing boundaries in both quiet and explosive ways.
Inevitably this also includes thinking about rebellion. How can you explore or live in ways that seduce you away from whatever you have established as your norm? What is going on right now in THE world or within your community, home, and/or life that you want to rebel against?
As you read this, perhaps you might think about your own letter to 2015 that you want to craft. Perhaps your “letter” is in the form of a simple resolution. Maybe it is a theme or name you want to give it that encapsulates all of the lessons, adventures, or living that you have gained from 2015.
Whatever and however you are wishing to mark the transition, do it in a way that allows you to nurture or plant the seed for that wild, untamed creative space that you’ve been wanting to come out. Sometimes, it is as simple as starting with a list of your intentions.
Good luck to creating and remaining open to the wild inspiration, adventures and musings that await you in the New Year!
Open Letter to 2015:
I started with you as I do every year as a hopeful child
now I leave you some parts disillusioned,
and yet still hopeful
Your hours and days included many relationships
and some worth revisiting
All not quite what they seemed
There were the adventures you gave me that were not planned or expected
and, let’s face it,
there were adventures that happened that I did not sign up for,
the ones that I wanted to forget but they will provide a good story or two in old age
You whose name was “Things are things” and in many ways you defied all categories
encouraging and daring me to be a wilder,
livelier version of myself
You pushed me into taking chances
and you didn’t just thrust me out of my comfort zone,
you openly challenged me to live within all of the places that were uncomfortable
While I am happy to see you go
ome parts of me will miss some of your surprises
As you leave,
I will now be whispering to myself, What of you do I want to keep?
What parts of you am I happy to see go?
Perhaps these and other questions
can remain in the web of the rhetorical as I look forward to 2016
Reminding myself that it was you, 2015, who gave me permission to spin a web of intentions with everything,
every person met,
every place seen,
and every experience had within your 12-month womb
In many ways,
you prepared me for many endings and beginnings
reminding me of the gift of being open
reminding me of the many ways to gracefully break the rules
crash the mold
forever daring me to set fire to the idea of what is
As I approach your end and begin again
you remind me to remember all of the ways of being creative
showed me the topography of my wild
while reminding me to keep a book of matches,
an open mind,
and an open heart to the unknown that awaits in the new year
you and I once started in a place where you were new
and unknown to me
Sometimes wild creativity and living is just continuing to be your path. This quote was inspired by a conversation between WildlyCreative.World co-founder Shanta Lee and a woman while standing in line at a store. After asking, “How do you do it all?” there was so much wisdom within the simple answer provided during this chance encounter.
Just being or continuing to be the path does not always feel radical or rebellious…but does it have to be? Sometimes, wild living and inspiration exists as we live and do in our everyday.
*A piece by Widly Creative contributor Bailey Mezan. Bailey is originally from San Diego, California and now living in Tel Aviv. She is also the content producer for Dreame, and the Editor and Chief of Dreame Diaries. I love reading abstract fiction novels, swimming in the gorgeous Mediterranean and playing the piano. *
Since reaching my mid-20’s, I’ve felt a personal responsibility to align myself with one lifestyle and pledge my allegiance to one chosen path with its specific discipline, mentality and aesthetic. To march within one of two camps while spouting their long and proud legacy to anyone who will listen. I am speaking, of course, of the free-spirit and the suit.
The free-spirit may be found in cozy coffee shops, hugging steaming mugs of Brazilian coffee, passionately discussing the failures of our university system – ‘It doesn’t teach, it stifles.’ They argue rigorously that seeing the world is the ONLY way to learn. A spirit works for a few months in a bar, a restaurant or doing chores for their parents around the house for cold cash. They save $7,000 or so, suffer slightly while living at their childhood home and then, following a long farewell Facebook post, they pick up and leave again.
I know what your thinking, to reduce an entire species of 20-something-year-olds to two camps is a gross over-generalization. And I’m with you. Take my personal story for example. While my life has admittedly been sullied by capitalism, my story is not so straight forward. After traveling for a number of months, I met a guy and settled in Tel Aviv – the city where I currently work and live. I have friends here, family and a life – yet it is not home. Take the practice of making a bank transfer. To complete the simple task of sending my roommate rent money, I sit with Google Translate open in one tab and my bank information in another, translating each detail line for line. In other words, I have to transcribe a language, just to send my roommate the rent. I am living in a perpetual state of ‘tourist’ while still maintaining an entire existence and livelihood.
Yet, I too experience intense pangs brought on my fear of missing out (FOMO) when I scroll across a heavily bearded man and his sun kissed girlfriend or his crusty comrades on their trek across Europe. Their hair perfectly matted and falling across their grungy faces – they look totally and unabashedly free. When I see these pictures, I begin to worry: ‘I’m in my peak years. Yet, I have already conformed.’ I feel guilt over my ‘corporate’ job and my older-than-me boyfriend. I have surrendered to the hum-drumness of adulthood and I am living the quintessential post-grad life. My childhood friends would call me a free-spirit, but I know that I am surviving as a suit.
The truth is that the free-spirit and the suit live to make each other feel the sting of the choices they’ve made in their lives thus far. The 20’s are a specific moment in which everyone divides and fractures and this causes our hyper-paranoid sense of darwinism to kick in: who will survive and who will perish? Who is living the ‘right’ way? Social media is the unrelenting catalyst to all of this friction. Instagram was invented by a sadist who wanted everyone’s idea of ‘living,’ to be filtered in Juno and then quantified and heavily weighed against the masses. With constant reminders of each landmark seen and every promotion awarded by every person between the ages of 18 and 30, how can anyone relax and just live? How do you prevent the pangs of dread when scrolling through sunny photos of Vietnamese beaches or company bus rides to the Hampton’s?
While the differences are outstanding, the important thing to remember about these two distinct camps is that they are each just being born. We, in our early 20’s, are all confused, unsure of our choices and constantly grappling with the decisions we have made or will have to make one day. Will I be happy spending the rest of my life with one person? Will I regret not being more spontaneous? Am I meant for this career? I would argue that the 20’s are for nothing more than feeling as though you’ve done everything wrong. That you will spend the next 60-80 years on this earth repenting for all of the majors you mis-chose, or the job opportunities you let go, or the bridges you burned – all of the imagined obstacles preventing you from doing what you should be doing or being where you could be thriving.
This is, of course, the part where I offer a solution, or my idea of one. The truth is, I have never heard of a cure for FOMO, or a way of turning off the crippling pangs of guilt. What I do know is that I am privileged to have these problems, to be able to struggle though my options and I know that they are right (for the most part). I am young – I still have time.