This summer I think that I finally understood a conversation I had with a previous co-worker. We were talking about what to do the following summer, and I said I would probably travel a lot since I got my friends and family are scattered all across the Nordic countries. I have four (!) summer houses within the family that needs to be attended if not every year, but at least every second year. Stuff like checking that the roof is still there and that no tree as fallen over the sauna. It’s like going on a tour every summer to be able to visit all my relatives and perhaps if I’m lucky get some relaxing time by the sea. I’ve grown up with this, so I don’t find this traveling that exhausting, but to other people it may seem stressing, but for me it’s natural.
So anyways, I was talking about summer plans with my co-worker, and he said “damn, that sounds like my worst nightmare”. He told me that he used to lock himself into his room for days and work on his small projects, both as a boy and now as an adult. He hated when he had to get out of his bubble and go visit some old aunt or something. This guy is also one of those people who are kickass at almost every aspect of crating video games and have been playing in a semi-famous band AND started two companies etc.
This summer I had a very nice experience when I sat in the garden, in the orangery of boyfriend’s parents. I spent all my nights there, when visiting. I sat there all by myself, just reading, writing, sketching and listening to the sound of the nature. The little greenhouse got both reading lamps and a heather, and when the darkness fell you could see all the starts above you, and the forest surrounding you. It was very, very nice. And it sparked my creativity!
It’s very important to be left alone sometimes if you want to use your creativity. Actually it’s one of the most important parts of creativity. You need to have some space and time when you know no one will come and bother you. I think that this summer I finally understood why writers are notorious for locking themselves up in cottages by the sea and houses in the mountains. You need a place to create and concentrate on your own inner world. If you are constantly distracted by the outside world it’s hard to stay creative. What has become clear to me is that you only have so much cognitive stamina each 24 hours. You can spend it on different things, but once you reached the limit you need to wait and re-charge by sleeping. Unless you cheat a little bit and drink some coffee or take drugs (coffee OK – drugs not OK, bee cool stay in school kidz!). But eventually you need to re-charge.
Maybe next summer I will take a trip to one of the family summer houses and just stay there for three weeks and write, or paint or draw. I actually really appreciate when life is very simple and just about eating, sleeping, creating and perhaps doing some work around the house.
This is one of the reasons I yesterday decided I will no longer participate in endless discussions about “troll-topics*” online. I just get too angry and it eats away all my energy to read and article where 600 people applaud the online haters that drove Sarkeesian out of her home last week. I get all angry and distracted from what’s really important in life when I read a FB-post about if it’s OK to vote on a racist party or not. I feel like I don’t gain ANYTHING at all in the end. And have you ever seen someone say “hey, I think you are right, I must be wrong, you have convinced me” in the comments on YouTube? I surely haven’t. I just feel like I want to spend all that time and energy on what’s important to me. And that is creating stuff, family, friends and my job. It feels a bit like giving up, like if I don’t participate in these heated discussions I may wake up one day and Sweden will be a fascist country run by a Nazi-party just because I didn’t have the time and energy to engage in important online discussions. I feel like that is a risk I’m taking, and I need to do it.
* Certain topics seem to attract the lowlife on the Interwebz, like articles about feminism, anti-racism, alternative medicine etc.