Three Blind Mice

When I was a wee thing, my parents enrolled me in ballet classes.  I think it was because I was such a spirited and energetic girl 🙂

All went well until the first recital.  We were performing “Three Blind Mice.”

I kind of looked like this:

Young Ballerinas, Casa de Cultura, Havana

Young Ballerinas, Casa de Cultura, Havana (Photo credit: travfotos)

I tried to find my old photo in the big box of them I have.  I searched Mom’s collection too, but no luck.  It’ll do …

I was so excited I think I went ballistic, though I honestly don’t remember the specifics.  The instructor had to discipline me, and unfortunately had to do so in front of everyone.  I went from whirling like a dervish to hugging my knees in the corner crying in about two seconds flat.

We were about to go on stage and this wouldn’t do.  Her pep talk wasn’t inspiring, but it straightened me out enough to perform.  After the big night, I told my parents that I didn’t want to dance anymore.

I did do a little bit more later on.  One of the local gymnastics clubs was offering after school classes and I did one or two dance classes that way and about four or five gymnastics classes.  I always liked gymnastics better anyway.

The thing was, I learned a couple of negative things from that first creative challenge:

  1. Teachers are the enemy.
  2. Quitting is easy.

Avoidance of conflict and embarrassment crop up quite a bit in my creative life.  Heck though, I was three at the time.  How in the world was I supposed to know how to handle it?

So why court embarrassment again now, all these years later?  Because when you’re creative (and I think everyone is), you’re usually creative in a whole whack of different ways.  This was just the first way that I manifested my creativity.  I also liked to draw, build things, sing, and I was a fantastic pretender …

So a tip for people who might think they’re “blocked” in whatever creative endeavor they’re currently engaged in: exercise your creativity differently for a while.  It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular; singing in the shower will do.  Or maybe you could dance like a maniac when no one’s around, go see a play or a concert, start a journal, if you’ve never tried, check out an open mic night at a local cafe, or karaoke if you dare, buy a sketch pad from your local grocery or pharmacy and get with the cartoons.

You may find that refocusing your creative mind (or your creative body) will make you wonder why you thought you were blocked in the first place.

What alternate modes of creativity do you engage in?  What do you want to try that you’ve never tried before?  Was there a time in your life when you felt shut down?  What lessons did you learn from that and how did that experience shape you?