Do you ever feel like you have too many ideas? And just as one begins to become more, another one comes to fill its place?
Years ago I was taking tests online to see what my ideal career path ‘should’ be. I remember recording everything in a notebook and drawing diagrams and charts. I was going to figure this out.
I saw so many potential paths forward. Even narrowing down my interests didn’t give me true clarity. I continued researching and reading articles and books online about finding your career path.
I was going to figure this out.
I stumbled across an article that said something like, having too many interests can be as debilitating as not having any. I remember looking up from my laptop and thinking, oh no, I have too many interests.
This seemed to come up again and again. My stalemates and indecision would come from too many ideas, too many potentials. I was an idea factory. Even in my time designing clothing and costumes, I would stay up for hours on end, sketching ideas. They never stopped coming.
When I got into painting, it was the same madness. I saved large sheets of packing paper from the studio where I worked so I could have endless canvas space. Sheet after sheet of paper, I would paint or sketch or scribble. It felt like I could go on forever.
I had this desperate desire to create mountains of imperfect creations. But to me, they were perfect. They were my in-the-moment expression of an idea. Fresh, alive, whole unto themselves. They weren’t trying to be anything. Just…expression.
What was I supposed to do with this? Part of me kept trying to reel me in. Make something saleable. Make something that seems complete to other people. Stop wasting paper. Stop wasting materials.
But I didn’t want to make anything perfect. I either wanted to spend countless hours working in extreme detail on a project or countless hours just loosely expressing ideas. Or I just wouldn’t create anything because too many ideas were coming through.
Even with writing, I have dozens of blog posts just sitting in my drafts. In various states of completion. One idea would come through and then on its heels, another. So I would write entry after entry, never bothering to edit them. Or before I could even get a sentence out, I was already distracted by the multitude of new ideas coming in.
I wondered about this. Why was I so reluctant to stay on one topic? It just felt as though the new idea would make the old one obsolete. No longer interesting. But with so many new ideas coming in, everything was becoming obsolete too quickly.
In quarantine, it was easier to write, to paint, to design. Everything was slower. My mind could focus on one idea and easily go in more deeply. I remember telling myself to keep my inner calm as things began to open again. Don’t get swept up into everything again.
But it was inevitable. Our world is so beautiful. There’s so much variety. My inspiration takes me everywhere and nowhere at once.
I practice focusing…but the wildness of running off in a million directions in my mind is too alluring. I’d rather run along with the new ideas, one giving way to the next. Creating nothing, but seeing everything.
Today I sat here and thought, I won’t try to focus into an idea. I’ll focus into this moment. This is what this moment sounds like to me.