Hi, I'm Jennifer and I'm a...
Well...erm...I guess that's kind of the point - I don't really like labels! There's not one thing that really sums me up, I'm a blogger, a reader, a knitter, stitcher, baker, gardener, explorer, photographer, dreamer, chocoholic, businesswoman, procrastinator...
Let's see if I can explain a bit more...
I won't go into to too much back-story, you can read more about that in some of my blog posts starting here, but let's just say that I had a fairly conventional childhood with a loving family, I did well at school, and followed the traditional route to university and a series of retail management jobs. Then I hit some turbulence and struggled for a few years with difficult family and personal circumstances, stress in my job, and poor mental health.
I switched tack and went back to studying again, but then got sucked back on to the treadmill of corporate employment because it was 'normal' to get a 'proper' job that paid well and had progression opportunities and would allow me to eventually get on the property ladder. Frankly, I hated it. I hated commuting to London, I hated some of the corporate culture I encountered, and I especially hated feeling like I was wasting my time and energy by not really achieving anything satisfying by Friday afternoon, and getting to the weekends too exhausted to do any of the things I wanted to enjoy.
In 2016 I finally decided to concentrate on listening to myself. I took all sorts of online courses, worked with a coach, picked up some of the creative hobbies that I'd previously enjoyed or wanted to try, allowed myself time for just 'being', and by the summer I had left my job.
I would describe myself as multi-passionate - I have lots of different interests and hobbies, and sometimes they can seem contradictory, and they definitely sometimes cause tension when I feel like I want to try and fit everything in! There are a few other names for this approach to life - you might have seen or heard it referred to as a 'scanner' mentality (if you can get hold of this book it's worth a read), multi-potentialite (more info here), or a hummingbird personality (Elizabeth Gilbert's talk touches on this). Whatever label works for you, it just really means that you don't necessarily stick to one thing for too long, you probably switch and change between interests and projects, and it can leave you feeling frustrated, confused, and misunderstood. If you stick any of these terms in a search engine you'll find all sorts of articles and advice, but I really just want to say that it is absolutely OK to be like this. It doesn't make you weird, or flaky, or a drifter, it just means that your highly intelligent mind, and endlessly curious heart are constantly seeking new inspiration and stimulation, and wanting to learn everything you can about the world - and why wouldn't that be a good thing?! Of course, when you combine this with introversion or being a highly sensitive person (HSP) it can result in over-stimulation or burnout, and frustrated tears that there just aren't enough hours in the day to try everything you want to and have time to rest and absorb it all before moving on to the next thing.
What is creativity?
I've written more about what creativity means to me in a blog post, but ultimately it's about the choices we make in every aspect of our lives that let us express ourselves as individuals. It doesn't have to be grand artistic gestures, it can be as simple as the special pair of socks you decide to wear even though no-one else will see them, because you'll know and feel that extra spark with you throughout the day. My own creativity is expressed through knitting and sewing my own clothes, the things I choose to buy or make to decorate my personal space, the intention I have this year to shake up my eating habits and try new recipes, an interest in a huge range of different subjects and a voracious appetite for reading, taking photos of nearly everywhere I go and all the little, beautiful details that catch my eye, and the words I write and share with you here.
Where do we go from here?
I don't have all the answers to this complex dilemma, but I hope I can share some of the techniques and tactics that work for me, and let you know if I come up with any new ideas. I also want to help by giving you little things that you can try every day to introduce a little creativity into your life and reduce that feeling of being stuck because you don't know where to start. What's most important to me is that I allow myself to be authentic in everything I do and share, that I stay true to my heart and what feels right for me, and that I let creativity into my life wherever I can.
I hope you'll enjoy coming along on this journey with me, and I also hope it inspires you to find your own authentic voice and to invite those everyday creative moments into your own life.
Please feel free to look around the rest of my site - read some of my blog posts and find out what I've been up to, head over to my Etsy shop and check out what I've been making, join me on Instagram for daily colourful photos and musings, subscribe to my newsletter (below) for a monthly round-up of what's inspiring me, or drop me a message and say hi on my Contact page.
Or, if you'd like to chat about how you can invite more creativity into your everyday life, and get some guidance on a particular project or wider question, please check out the details of my creative mentoring services by clicking on this big button: