Life is like one big TJ Maxx. And it can kill a creative person’s hope.

 

TJ Maxx: a large store where you can go to find a robe, a toaster, cheap hand-weights, olive oil, and a bedazzled sweatshirt all in one trip. The racks are stuffed full as far as the eye can see.

…TJ Maxx, I cannot handle you sometimes. You’re too much. I don’t understand how all that stuff got there and I don’t understand why you put those Crocs right by the BCBG neon-orange purse.

 

I know some of you LOVE TJ Maxx and God bless you! I walk into a discount store like that and my eyesight begins to blur. So. Many. Choices.

And as I walk, zombie-like, running my hands over things without seeing… I begin to contemplate the universe.

What about the people who designed all those clothes? Those artists and designers, producers and manufacturers? IS this what they dreamed? Did they hope someday their velvet pants would be stuffed into a crowded rack in TJ Maxx?

I imagine that each item of clothing was a battle to dream up, design, sell, produce, distribute… How did that ripped-and-also-sequined sweatshirt end up in this TJ Maxx? What’s your story, sweat-shirt?? Someone loved you once!

No one item is treated as special or important in these stores. You have to be willing to hunt and peck and search and dive to find something. It’s amazing that people are still willing to create and sell and give their lives to making things.

It is amazing that we are still driven to create in our overcrowded world, where all of Life is like a TJ Maxx: full of hidden treasures, chaotic, a little dirty.  We can feel small and lost and yet the passion to create simply doesn’t go away.

 

Have you ever searched through Google, Blogger, Tumblr, or WordPress and thought, “This is crazy. There’s so much here!” I could read day and night and never read all the good and great blogs out there.

If you are a blogger, writer and artist, have you ever felt like, “What’s the point?” Why write ONE MORE BLOG? Who is it even for? It’s already way too crowded up in here!! Blogs about food, running, God, gods, sex, fashion, moms, work, and men …. anything you want, there’s already a blog about it.

And this goes for EVERYONE – all who create, write, craft, teach, speak… we’ve all heard “there’s nothing new under the sun” but now we can go online and SEE ALL of the stuff other people already did.

It can kill a person’s inspiration – to feel like a copy before you even start.

Sometimes it’d be better just to not know what else is out there so you can live in ignorant bliss… writing away about the most “delicious brownies” and “how to take great pictures of your kids” and “how to be happier always” as if NO ONE EVER had given this perfect tip or made that awesome craft. But, they have. They already gave it/made it/wrote it/wore it. And it’s all stuffed into that Internet in the air.

 

Why make one more thing? Why speak one more word?

Are you haunted, like I am, by the abundance of voices, books, art, paintings, bands, blogs, pictures….. already out there?  Does it stifle your own creative process? Do you ever feel like one very small voice in a very loud, crowded room?

Well, here’s the good news.

You are. You are one tiny voice in a very crowded room.

And this has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you should create new things, write new words, sing new songs.

We create because ONE matters.

Love

Each one matters. After 1000’s upon 1000’s of sunsets, I still hope to see another one.  Some days, I don’t care much about the sunset.  On other days, I stand on the beach and watch every single second. Whether I watch or not, the sun will set. And the one I watch, well, at times I remember a sunset being the only moment in a day to give me hope and strength to go on.

SoCal Sunset

We need infinite sunsets across infinite horizons to reach each one of us on the day we need a reminder that life goes on.  Fleeting, moving, beauty, perfectly timed, is God’s specialty.

 

For the one teenager who walks past the dress you designed, create.

For the one mom up at 3a reading your blog while feeding her sick baby, write.

For the one person who wanders over and finds your comfy, bedazzled sweatshirt, make.

For the frustrated cook who learns how to make good brownies from your recipe, cook.

For the one.

 

What one person creates; it matters. What one person hangs on a rack; it matters.

Your voice, your creation, your day – however it was spent. It matters.


So, what do we do when the desire to create lives and kicks and calls and drives us to DO and MAKE… but it still feels pointless and overcrowded?

Honestly, friends, freakin’ do it anyway. Just do it anyway.

For the ONE.  For the one human and the ONE GOD, if you have the faith and even if you don’t.  No sunset is wasted on God.

 

Do it anyway. Get up and do it anyway. Do it anyway.

Do it. Do it. Do.

Do it. Post it. Draw it. Sew it. Cook it. Paint it. Write it. Dance it. Sing it. Build it. 

Get even better and do it again. We can all hang on the rack together.  All of us, one right after the other, like sunsets all in a row.

For the ONE who will see yours and find hope.

Sunset Collage