Monday, September 26, 2016

Creativity Cravings and the Case of the Accidental Millenial

(Disclaimer: I promise not to drone on and on in most of the posts on this blog, but occasionally one needs to let off steam and write a few stream-of-consciousness pieces!)

With completion of my undergraduate degree and my hiatus between under grad and graduate, I learned something about myself. I am a classic millennial…sort of.

Having that downtime, using it to simply work to save money for school, explore my creative interests – areas that my mother always fostered willingly and was a wealth of knowledge in (a true jack of all trades and master of most!) - open Sugar’Stache, and become a creative like so many of my generation let me find what I now know to be my passion. How am I classically a millennial? I have an undergraduate degree in a field that I’m not necessarily my happiest in, and even given its potential for prestige and a sturdy career, with the dizzy economy and job scarcity even in the scientific arena, my Bachelor’s has barely done me any good in application to ‘stepping-stone’-type job opportunities. Now being back in school and under the pressure - not of deadlines for assignments or due dates for assessment - but the expectation to re-join the scientific community as a contributing, thoughtful member, I find myself yearning desperately for a bag of Sharpies and a blank slate; a glue gun, a bag of broken jewelry, and a handful of barrettes, sunglasses, and other adorn-ables; a paint brush and a thrifted old clock or chair to breathe a second, beautiful, creative life into.

Only when we are on the other side is the grass such a vibrant shade of emerald that it can tear at our passionate heartstrings and, in fact, teach us things about ourselves and our world that we never would have realized otherwise.

All of that time on my break I thought I was bored. Certainly, more could have been done to spice life up, but now I find myself desperate for another day in that life, not with the lazy nights spent half-asleep on the couch, half-involved in Pinterest or on a blog admiring brilliant ideas and noting inspiration for another project, but for the ability to just go into my craftroom on any occasion and yank out some old findings to turn into new treasures. In the face of piles of research papers to be read and notated and the stomach-churning knowledge that the next day, and the next day, and the next day I will be expected to raise my voice in only a scientific manner, I find that I have found my true passion, and must now come to terms with having to put it on the back burner.

I tell myself that I can use that passion as a stress relief from the scientific static, and I will. Frustrated with an experiment, a calculation gone astray, a bad peer review? Here’s a brush pen and a blank sheet of paper, have at it. And that will be my recourse. But I know that while it may satisfy a temporary need to let off steam, it will always yank harder at the desperate desire to spend day in and day out being a creative, DIY-ing til I drop, baking and recipe testing and learning new crafting skills via youtube video, blasting from my iPhone whilst my mother clumsily fiddles with new tools, new mediums.

I hope it sparks small joy for me and brings me focus to finish my academic foray as fast as possible. I hope it brings me the lucrative future it was always promised to before reality sunk in and standards for hiring soared while the economy and the job market plunged. I hope the creative cravings never leave me. Because when I complete me degree and am secure in a career that will allow me the funding to forget the science and follow my heart, you’d better watch for this accidentally classic millennial. She’ll be a crafting, chocolatier spitfire with more ideas than one blog can contain, more passion than one craftroom can cradle, and more life than one can ever imagine.

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