Throughout my life, I’ve gravitated toward things that I tend to naturally do well at and avoided things that I didn’t think I was good at. I think that’s what most of us do. I can cook, run long distances, and write, so those are things I like. Go figure 😉
And I’m equally, if not much more, aware of the things I “can’t” do. That list includes understanding anything scientific, reading maps or graphs (honestly, my eyes glaze over every time I see a bunch of lines and dots), driving well, and making any type of art.
Cooking and creating recipes is my favorite form of creative expression (I’m convinced anyone can be a great cook with some practice!). In general, though, I’ve always classified myself as “not artistic.”
I can’t sing, play music, or carry a tune. I can’t draw, make pottery, or paint. Not because I haven’t tried those things, but because I tried and they were a bust 😉 I went to a canvas-painting event during my freshman year of college and actually tossed the mini canvas in the dumpster on my way back to my room because it was a train wreck.
So, I’ve spent most of my time in high school and college doing the non-artistic things that I naturally gravitate toward, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But I’ve realized that I’ve been putting myself in a box by telling myself I’m a logical thinker, not a free spirit, an artist, or someone creative. I’ve always told myself I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, and I’ve come to realize that’s not completely true.
In days filled with lecture note-scribbling, paper writing, and LSAT studying that leave me mentally exhausted, I’ve found a creative (and dare I even say, artistic) outlet not just through cooking, but also through photography.
I first began working on my photography when I started this blog because I loved cooking and wanted my recipes to look edible. Taking iPhone snapshots of my dinner in a dimly lit room wasn’t going to cut it. Even as my food photography improved, I still didn’t consider myself creative or artsy in any way.
Now, I’ve realized I love people photography, not just food photography. Am I even allowed to enjoy photography if I’m not artsy? I don’t know (and I have a ton to learn!), but taking pictures of people is seriously so much fun for me.
I started out by photographing friends & family, and now I have some “real” portrait sessions booked. I’m even photographing a wedding this summer (super low-budget, but still so cool!)
Something I’ve realized is that by putting myself in a box, I’d hold myself back from trying out things I might enjoy just because they didn’t fit my mental picture of what I’d be able to do well. I’ve become convinced it’s very possible to be a thinker and also a creative. Or a science whiz and a great writer. Or a fantastic artist and a careful planner.
I’m sharing this because I’m willing to bet you put yourself in a box sometimes, too. Maybe you avoid things you don’t think you could do very well because they don’t seem like they go with your personality, your college major, or what everyone else in your family does. I’m also willing to bet that, like me, you haven’t discovered all of your facets yet.
Sometimes, doing the opposite of what you think you’d be good at is a great idea because either a) you get to discover a new talent or b) you get to tackle a new challenge and develop new skills. Just my thoughts– tell me what you think!
So tell me…
What are some boxes you’ve put yourself in?
Have you ever surprised yourself by doing well/enjoying something you didn’t think you’d be able to do well?