I have always been one to fill notebooks to the brim with words. Songs, poetry, snapshots of the day. But I have always been a words person – not a drawer, not a painter, not a creator of things. But over the past month or so, I have had such an urge to create. I picked up a watercolor set on a whim a couple of weeks ago and I did it – I started painted when I felt the need to paint.
If you need a creative pick-me-up, here’s what I found:
You don’t need to invest a lot into something new.
Don’t invest a lot of money and don’t invest a lot of time. I bought a watercolor set for $4 at Target and spent 10 minutes painting my first night. I thought, if I hate this I didn’t spend a lot of money or time figuring that out. But I didn’t hate it – I loved it. And I came back to do it again the next day. I watercolor to bask in happiness and to worry and to pray.
If you feel drawn to something creative, just try it out.
Start small and make your own rules.
Notice – I didn’t start by trying to watercolor the city skyline. I used only the colors I needed and painted only what I could. To start, express what you need to express and don’t worry about being good. If you really get into it and want to develop some serious technical skills, you can. But don’t expect to be good any time soon.
I had an interesting conversation a couple of months ago, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. A friend of mine had just started a new job, and he wanted desperately to be good at it. He wanted to be good at his job, and he wanted to be happy, and he was nervous that those might not be the same thing.
“What’s the difference,” he asked, “between something that makes you happy and something that’s rewarding?”
I found some words I wrote during the road trip and thought I would share. They’re pertinent whether or not you’re on the road. I have been so focused the past few weeks. Summer feels like it’s spinning to a close, so soak it all up. New roommates are moving in, so get your life together and don’t leave leftovers in the fridge for that long. The fall is coming up, so find the perfect sweater and buckle up.
Instagram gets a bad rep sometimes. People say photos are replacing memories and Instagram is replacing our presence in beautiful moments. Photos should never take the place of presence, of appreciating an event. But don’t be shy about taking pictures of details – things you might forget like the huge head of foam on your beer after a long day of driving or the pattern of the floor in that cute shop in Boise. Taking pictures can help you stay aware of little things – details, textures, and colors. (more…)
The crazy parts of your brain come out to play after twelve hours in a car. Sarah and I spent over a hundred hours in the car over the course of just a few short weeks. If we’re experts at anything, it’s how to be in a car with one other person. Over that time, I learned so much from her about how to appreciate (and become) an awesome co-pilot. Here are a few tips for how to love your trip (and each other): (more…)
Naturally, this means I think I know everything there is to know on the subject and feel the need to share all of my newly discovered wisdom on the topic.
Unfortunately, all I can do is share our experiences. Let’s start with preparation. To be honest, we didn’t do a lot of it, but I think that was for the better. We scheduled a couple of Airbnbs throughout the trip, scheduled the basic outline of our days, but didn’t plan much in the way of activities or meals. Here’s what we DID prepare: (more…)
Hi, friends! It’s been a while since Thursday Tidbits showed their face. It’s high time for some important things and some completely not important things.
Wes Anderson designed a cafe and it’s just about the most delightful thing ever. So many pastels.
I saw Mad Max a week or so ago and, since then, I’ve been telling everyone to see it. I think action movies are usually entertaining but ultimately forgettable. Fury Road finally combined explosions with incredible female characters and I’m really excited about it. Here’s a review on the Roger Ebert site that I think does it justice.
Day one of the cross-country road trip brought us to Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. It’s a collapsed volcano that filled with snow and rainwater until the basin was full of clear, fresh, beautiful water. This made for some completely beautiful photo ops. (more…)
Sarah and I have driven between Portland and Eugene a couple of times in the past week. While the state is beautiful regardless of where you drive, we were looking for a change of pace. So we headed out to the coast. (more…)
This weekend I saw three beautiful places, two incredible waterfalls, and fell deeply, deeply in love with Seattle in a matter of a couple of hours. I don’t watch Twin Peaks, but if I did, I would be jazzed about staying in the town where it’s filmed (we ate cherry pie at the diner and I think that’s an important element or something). We built fires and hiked and explored for days. (more…)