The Highly Sensitive Person as Artist, Sign # 11.
Visit highlysensitiverefuge.com , 21 Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Person, author Jenn Granneman Dec. 12 2019 .
Disclaimer: I am not giving professional advice here. These are my opinions. That said…
Here is Sign # 11 Your inner world is alive and present….
Well, I hope so!
Wouldn’t be much of a Creative if your inner world was dead. Ewww. What smells?
“You have a rich inner world,” you dream vividly, and as a youngster, were “Prone to daydreaming.”
You mean I can’t daydream anymore?
Of course you can. In fact, you should. Seriously.
And as an HSP Creative I can’t see how a vivid inner life would not be a good thing. Having a rich inner world, an ‘active’ imagination and the ability to daydream are the foundation of the Creative’s abilities.
Unless you don’t want to be imaginative and creative. ☹ Or you run into a philistine or two.
Although, as a Highly Sensitive Creative you’re a minority inside a minority, so you will always be rather … unique.
I have another post that looks at the numbers of HSP Creatives in relation to the larger work force. Very surprising. I’ll post that later.
The problem with being of a very small class of people is that you can been seen not as an asset, which you definitely are, but as an Outlier. Many organizations, from community to school to business to religion do not understand that the Outlier is not someone to be ‘brought back to the fold’, to be made to conform, but is someone who proves that the organization itself needs to evolve.
And thus, regardless of your community, you’ll have to contend with being something of an oddity to others. In contrast, you will realize that you live on another level, a richer, more complex level than your detractors. This is your gift.
As to Philistines: “A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.”
These are dangerous people, and not just to creative types – but that’s another blog.
People who are willful philistines are not anyone you want to even be near, let alone have anything to do with. Their hostility and profound emptiness are hurtful, if not damaging. They may find you threatening to their ‘world view’, to their power in the community and deliberately treat you negatively. Tread carefully.
I’ve said it before and I say it here again: Art is not a luxury, it is the purpose of our existence.
We stood up and walked out of the jungle fifty thousand years ago because we had something to pass on to our descendants. What is older than the wheel, the lever, wine, bread and shoes? Older than the oldest known cities, older than the first water craft? Far older than written language itself? Art. Thirty thousand years ago our ancestors invented paint and recorded their ideas in pictures. Not long after we were making figures from clay. Creative expression, even if it is only working on your own evolution as a person, is the reason we existence. Art is the purpose of our existence.
Distance yourself from negative people.
If you are young, what should you do? I suggest you bide your time, until you can make a better life for yourself. Hopefully you will have the freedom to do so.
Back to daydreaming. Where do new ideas come from? Where does that idea for a painting, a movie script, a novel, a dance, a building come from? They’re not hiding in your winter coat, along with that ‘lost’ twenty dollar bill. They don’t stick to the bottom of your feet from the dirty street. Ideas come from our imaginations and when our imaginations play, we are daydreaming.
How important is this? What is a Creative who simply recycles other Creatives’ ideas? A hack.
So daydream and imagine and invent the future. Create something, it’s your gift.
Here’s a personal story.
For my entire tenure in public school I was probably the most imaginative child in the entire school. Sure there were smarter kids, boys who even then grasped math concepts instantly and girls who were two grades ahead in reading, and one kid who failed a grade but had amazing drawing skills. But there was no one more bored with sitting in a classroom than me. The clock ran backwards when I looked.
The old industrial model of education was a disaster for me after about grade three. Even then I was sure it was a gigantic waste of my time.
I can recall sitting at a large round table with my classmates and teacher taking turns reading consecutive paragraphs from the same story. We each had our copy and were supposed to follow along. I, of course, was thinking about something else, while the other children were reading out loud. While I was actually listening to the story at the same time my mind was definitely elsewhere. Probably figuring out how I could collect enough wood to build that tree fort I wanted. And which of my friends I could count on to help.
Well, having been caught and embarrassed twice for not following and thus not knowing what paragraph I was supposed to be reading (and thus also holding up the flow of the story for the other kids), I taught myself to take a mental snapshot of each new page, and then ordered my brain to keep track, while I looked longingly outside and thought about other stuff. Thus, when my turn came up I would look down, let me eyes rest by themselves on the first word of a paragraph, and then start reading. In that split second I could see the last words spoken (by my classmate) of the preceding paragraph as confirmation, and I would continue.
Did this over and over again. Drove my teacher absolutely nuts. She would just shake her head when I’d look at the page, take a couple of seconds and start reading from the correct spot. She’d ask questions (to see if we understood what had just been read) and since I was listening (with one part of my brain) I could answer cogently. She tried to trick me up once by reversing the order after the person after me had just finished. Made no difference.
And I was NINE YEARS OLD. My teacher’s reaction to my mental legerdemain wasn’t “Wow, this kid’s really unique. What can we learn from this and how are we going to help him develop his skills?,” it was “I don’t care. You’re a pain in the ass and not fitting in.”
Read Sir Ken Robinson’s “The Element.” Or see his TED Talks on educational systems.
And I still have a vivid, rich, inner life. And I daydream.
Cheers for now.