How many of us are humming along in our routine life? I may be marching a bit to the beat of my own drum with embarking on my own creative business with photography, but I still have a daily routine of work, family, laundry, de-cluttering, Netflix-watching.
Last year, I came upon a website of Fredrik Haren, Creativity Guru and speaker. He owns a few islands in Sweden and the Philippines, and allows others to apply to stay at them free of charge to work on creative ideas. The catch? There is a suggested donation to a local charity.
When I read it, I thought 'cool'! That's amazing. That's like the stuff you see circulating on social media where one person will get to stay at an out-of-this-world resort or travel the world in exchange for blogging about the experience, and getting paid. You know, out of reach stuff for the normal human. Weird, strange, uber-creative, super-guru people get those opportunities, not the regular worker bee in my neck of the woods. So I didn't apply.
Then, a friend posted an article on Facebook. I can't remember what it was, but something about taking risks. Getting out of our bubble. Breaking expectation of what a lived life should look like based on current societal norms. I mean, I already gave up one career to pursue another mid-life, went against odds by returning to night school full-time at 40, only have 1 child, so already I'm a bit of an outlier (really, soooo many people wonder or ask why I don't have another child - mind your own business!!) The article gave me courage to revisit why I didn't apply for the island. The truth was, although it would be very convenient since we were already planning a trip to Sweden to visit my husband's family, I didn't think I was creative enough for the creatives this man was searching for in terms of applicants. And how did I come to that conclusion? It had to do with my own self-doubt, nothing else. Says who I'm not more, less or equally as creative as anyone else on this earth? Kind of silly when I think about it. I was my own obstacle.
So I applied. I had an idea I wanted to pursue. I thought my husband could use some time to quiet his brain (he's a software developer) to incubate what I call his 'million dollar idea that he'll sell to Google'. And my daughter, well, let's just say instead of being another consumer at Disneyland, she'll have a unique experience: staying on a secret island. Very few kids would be able to say that, and imho, that's cool!
So fast forward one year. And guess what? I got it. We'll be staying at the island in 2016. We were notified this past weekend, and I'm telling you now that life just won't be the same knowing that will be coming up. At first, after the initial amazement and shock, I sort of just calmed down and thought, ok, part of our Sweden trip will be spent on this island, back to routine. But now, a few days in, I'm thinking OK PART OF OUR SWEDEN TRIP WILL BE SPENT ON THIS ISLAND.
It's changing me already. I think it will change me in different ways forever - before, during and after. And although I look forward to what will happen during and after, I'm also going to pay attention to my before. What other creative change will this inspire for me today?
I'll continue to blog about this experience as it unfolds in our lives. But I want to leave you with a message. Push the boundaries. Life can be what you make it, and it doesn't have to look like anyone else's life. It doesn't even have to match anything we're taught about what it should look like. This felt like a big risk but in fact it wasn't. It was just an online form to fill out. The scary part was the words I put into that form, but the process itself wasn't risky. So be bold, and take what I'm calling the 'inner risk'. Meaning, it's not a physical risk like jumping out of plane. It's a risk far more scary - the risk of daring to go beyond my fears and doubts. What's your risk? Will you take it today?