Dear Creative: Your time is coming

It’s possible to live in the already, not yet of our creativity.

Dear Creative,

You might be feeling confused. Probably a little clueless. Definitely passionate, though. And, while those passionate feelings will come and go throughout your career, never forget that your work isn’t your life.

It may take up hours during the days, months, and years that make up your life, but your work is not where you should derive value.

Your value is in the sole fact that you have been created by the Ultimate Creator to serve Him with your gifts. And that you are already.

You may be fumbling, searching for the job that’s going to fulfill you. Longing for a job that isn’t making drinks or selling books or sitting at a desk in the wrong kind of office.

Your time is coming. It may be tomorrow, or it may be in five years. (Or both.) I can’t tell you when it will happen and I can’t guarantee it’s what you’re dreaming of right now, but God has your path.

In high school, I wanted to produce music. In college, I wanted something different every year. From producing film scores to working in radio to artist management, I thought each path was “the one”.

What I know now, though, is that there is no “one”. I’ve moved from barista and freelancer to managing an agency’s paid media strategy to helping scale a tech startup.

I still have dreams, just like you. We both have, Lord willing, many years left in our careers. It’s possible to live in the already, not yet of our creativity. Using it now won’t use it up for the future. Keep creating.

The twists and turns will continue to come, but to travel through them smoothly you can never forget three tenets:

  1. You are never your work product. It may be how our careers are measured, but it’s not how you, as a beloved child of God, are measured. Fight to keep your work separate from your value. It’s the only way you won’t burn out and continue to flourish in your creative life.
  2. Where you are now doesn’t have to dictate where you go in the future. My 21-year-old self could never have dreamed what I’m doing now and the goals I have today. And that’s the elegance of the creative life. You can glide between ideas, exploring what sets your soul on fire. Each decade can (and likely will) bring something different.
  3. Enjoy the stage you’re in. We go through life, always wanting something else, something greater. But, as someone who’s been through similar steps to where you likely are now, do as much as you can to enjoy where you are. Even in the hardships and lack of direction while you’re longing for more, there’s beauty.

Until next time,

A fellow creative