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Rediscovering My Creativity

She’s such a delightful soul – I love her honesty, her humour and ability to spread joy around. Today, I’m happy to welcome, Kathy Combs to share how she has gradually been rediscovering her creativity. Thank you, Kathy for sharing so candidly, as always and for inspiring with your story.

December thinner me with new tweet haircut

Kathy Combs is a stay at home mother of two who enjoys fulfilling her creative itch through her writing, drawing, and photography. When needed she subs in the local school’s cafeteria. She lives happily with her family and four dogs in Elkhart, Indiana of the United States. Follow her blog – The Giggling Trucker’s Wife Writes – and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

 

Rediscovering My Creativity

When I was a little girl I spent most of my time drawing and coloring. I loved to draw and fancied myself an artist. It is all I wanted to be when I grew up. I imagined myself working for Disney and doing art for their feature films. That was the dream then. As I grew the dream faded and reality stepped in. When I was in my 20’s, I dusted off the dream and worked hard to make that dream reality. After a brief stint at Belmont University to study Music Business, I decided to go to school for graphic design at a local college working towards an associate degree.

I began part time, working full time during the day and going to classes at night. Eventually I became a full time student and worked less hours as a temporary office worker and part time in a laboratory conducting quality control experiments. In 1992 things came to a head. My marriage of 4 years fell apart, my mother’s kidneys failed and she was diagnosed with cancer, and among everything else I was doing at the time I became her primary care taker while juggling work and school. As her health deteriorated and my marriage ended, I became overwhelmed. By that time I was 6 credits away from my degree and found that there were simply not enough hours of the day to devote to school. My advisor assured me I could put school on hold and I would be given time to complete my portfolio.

One day I discovered my mom had died in the night. In my immense grief, my desire to create anything came to a complete halt. My passion for art died with her it seemed and I had no desire to complete my studies. I had no desire to draw anymore and I quit school. I quit eating and couldn’t sleep. One day I began throwing up blood. I had lost tons of weight and was a shadow of my former self. I got a full time job as an acquisitions clerk in a library and began to find my way in life without her in it. I was divorced and alone. That changed when I met my true soul mate. We were married within a year, and after 3 years of marriage started a family. With the birth of my daughter I quit my job to be a full time stay at home mom. Five years later my son arrived to complete my little family.

In 2009 I got a cold call from a company telling me they wanted to set me up with a website where I would make a little money writing articles for them. I was skeptical since I had never written anything other than in school when forced to. I began blogging. When the company went out of business, my old site went with it and I created the site I have today.

Recently one of my blogging friends got me excited about creating Zentangles. It is an art form I felt compelled to try and all I really needed was paper and a pen to do it. It was the first time in 20 years I have been inspired and excited about art. Now, when I am not writing, I am drawing. When I am not doing that, I may be looking through a camera lens. I also enjoy dabbling in photography. All of a sudden my creativity has exploded.

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For years I wrote whatever silliness popped into my head. These days I have finally stepped out of my comfort zone and dared to write fiction and haiku. After so many years of my creativity lying dormant and forgotten, I feel that my life is blossoming with possibilities. I have discovered that even at 45 I can try new things. I can explore my creativity on my own terms and enjoy it. It isn’t about everyone else. It is about me and what makes me happy. It is about letting the creativity flow from deep within my soul and not being afraid to nurture it and share it with others. It is therapeutic. It is all me. There are so many ways to be creative from writing to drawing. A person can be creative in so many wonderful ways!

I encourage you to all rediscover you creativity! Try something new!

What will you do to spark that creative fire in you?

~ Kathy

42 Comments

  1. Cathy Graham Cathy Graham December 6, 2013

    I was so inspired by your post, Kathy. That’s so wonderful that you’re rediscovering your creativity through Zentangles. I must try them. They look like so much fun! I want to draw again for the sheer pleasure of drawing without the added burden of it having to sell something or be compared against someone else’s artwork. Art school was difficult for me with my thin skin and I didn’t handle it well. Kind of took the fun out of it.

    I’m sad for you that you lost both your parents way too soon. You must miss them both so much. Hugs to you!

  2. David Stevens David Stevens December 6, 2013

    Hi Kathy,
    Your story has had it’s ups and downs. Your determinations has paid off … you’re on the upward spiral. We all have the creative spark inside of us, some find it some don’t.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Be good to yourself
    David
    David Stevens recently posted..Your Life in full ColourMy Profile

  3. Kathy Kathy December 5, 2013

    Usha, I am so pleased you enjoyed reading my story. Thank you kindly for stopping in and for your sweet comments! ♥
    Kathy recently posted..Conditions ApplyMy Profile

  4. usha menon usha menon December 5, 2013

    Kathy, this a very motivating post. The way you faced the perils of life, with strength and courage is admirable. I marvel at your spirit ! Three cheers for you !. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Corinne I must thank you that you gave an opportunity to know about such a courageous lady, Kathy.
    usha menon recently posted..I’d do things differentlyMy Profile

  5. Kathy Kathy December 5, 2013

    Sheethal, that is so truth. The only roadblock is death. As long as you are alive and breathing anything is possible. Loss is part of life. It was unbearable at the time but I comfort myself knowing death came as a gift to her. She suffered terribly with bone cancer. She had complete kidney failure and was on dialysis. She was in horrific pain. It would have been a relief. God answered her prayers to end her suffering. My prayer was that she get better…but really in death she did. I believe she is in heaven, whole, and happy and that is all I would ever want for her. I will see her again. I am so pleased you liked my post and appreciate you taking the time to read and for your kind comments!
    Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  6. Sheethal Sheethal December 5, 2013

    That was an inspiring post. Sorry for your loss and happy that you find your way to your passion. And the Zectangles looks beautiful. There’s no age for going behind your passion and dreams.:)
    Sheethal recently posted..Will you…?My Profile

  7. Ruchira Ruchira December 5, 2013

    Hi Kathy,
    This was a moving post and also getting an insight into you and your life.
    You are a brave soul, my friend and makes me even more determined to say that life sure offers a lot to those who lick their wounds and get moving!
    Wishing you happiness and will check out that site since honestly never heard of it.
    Corinne once again…I bow thee for showcasing a brave soul.
    Ruchira recently posted..Wordless Wednesday #15My Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 5, 2013

      Ruchira, I am so pleased you enjoyed my post so much. I have found life doesn’t really give a person much choice. You either let life get the best of you, or you soldier on and make your own happiness. It is a choice and a matter of perception. You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy and have a good time. You can choose to cry…or laugh and be thankful because things can always be so much worse. God looks at the big picture where we often focus on just a small moment and only realize that everything works to the good in hindsight. You learn and go on. All a person can do is do the best they can, take a day at a time, and make the most of the life you are given. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comments!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  8. Leah Leah December 5, 2013

    Kathy, what an inspiring story! I too came to discover my creativity a bit later in life, writing my first book at 52 and now, experimenting with paint and photography. I love creativity and find that it soothes my soul and answers a deep place within. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m going to head over to your blog and fb page. Enjoy your creative journey. I’ll be keeping an eye out for you.
    Happy Holidays,
    Leah

    • Kathy Kathy December 5, 2013

      Leah, I am so pleased you enjoyed my story and seeing my artwork will look forward to hopefully seeing you again in the blog universe. I tend to be a royal perfectionist and tend to be a little anal about my work..but I have learned with age to just chill out and let it happen. It can’t be forced. If I am not in the mood, I am not in the mood. I am happy to be brave enough to experiment again with life. For so long I was in ” I just can’t” mode and lately I have discovered “I believe I can” which simply opens up so many possibilities! Thank you for stopping in and for your sweet comments!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  9. Nischala Nischala December 4, 2013

    Wow Kathy – That was a lovely post, and learned a little about you. Sorry about your loss, and that ‘loneliness’ you mentioned can be a TERRIBLE phase. Glad that you found your soul mate (your are lucky there :).. and I am blown away by your art. Your zentangles are beautiful, and had me saying Awwwwwwwww for a very long time. Glad you were able to re-connect with your creativity. and 40’s are the new 20’s. Keep going :).. Love and Hugs

    Corinne – Thanks for sharing Kathy’s story and hosting it here

    • Kathy Kathy December 5, 2013

      Nischala, wow the new 20’s eh? I don’t remember aching in my 20’s or the grey hair then but I know what you mean. By the 40″s you are starting to get things figured out. With my husband gone more than he is not I am used to loneliness and embrace it. I think that it is why I have found blogging so appealing. It is the interaction with others that I miss. Lately I have been getting more hours at work, which is a blessing, and I hardly know how to act. LOL So pleased you enjoyed my post. Thank you for stopping by. Love and hugs right back at you!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  10. Pixie Pixie December 4, 2013

    Hugs Kathy!! I’m so sorry about your mom…
    You are truly an inspiration!! And Zentangles are really fun!

    I have always felt that writing and story telling are my creative strong points and this post just reminded me work harder towards making my dreams a reality 🙂

    • Kathy Kathy December 5, 2013

      Pixie, I am so pleased you enjoyed my post and are inspired by my story. Mom has been gone since 1993 , still I think about her and my dad everyday. He died in 2004. They will always be apart of me. I have never really thought about what my creative strong point is. I kind of dabble in it all. Got to scratch that itch some how! LOL Thank you for stopping in and for your lovely comments!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  11. Amy Morgan Amy Morgan December 4, 2013

    Wonderful to have you share your story Kathy. Your creativity is inspiring and I am a firm believer that our struggles lend to that side of ourselves. I’m glad you found your way back and even branched out into new areas!

    • Kathy Kathy December 5, 2013

      Amy, I had kind of closed the door to art and was surprised to even have the interest to try at this point. I was amazed I could still create something worthwhile. It made me feel really good and accomplished. I am trying to broaden my horizons with my writing and my art. Thanks for stopping in and for your sweet comments!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  12. Aditi Aditi December 4, 2013

    Lovely post Kathy. You are truly an inspiration. There is no age to pursue your passion and I believe too that Art is therapeutic…so good to see you coming alive with your art…your beautiful works shows how much you love this! Keep exploring your inner artist! Lv
    Aditi recently posted..The truth stingsMy Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Aditi, I am so pleased you enjoyed my post and were inspired by it. Thank you for stopping by and for your sweet comments. They touch my heart. ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      G Angela, I am delighted I have inspired you and that you enjoyed seeing my art and reading my words. Thank you for your kind comments! ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  13. Geeta Nair Geeta Nair December 4, 2013

    Creativity is inborn. It may lie latent for sometime. But a spark is enough to ignite it. Glad that yo once again started your journey of creativity. Would also like you to know I love your zentangles. Wish you memerize us with many more.

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Geeta, you are too kind. Actually I need to do some more zentangles. You can’t imagine how thrilled I am that you like my work. Thank you for stopping by and for your sweet comments! ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  14. Jyothi Nair Jyothi Nair December 4, 2013

    “It isn’t about everyone else.” … This is the only way to bring creativity out. For ourselves and not at the compulsion or someone or something. Wonderful and amazing Kathy who does a wonderful job with Fiction ,Haiku , Art and Photography . A true inspiration indeed. 🙂
    Jyothi Nair recently posted..Chew more or less?My Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Your words actually brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. I needed to hear them this morning. Thank you so much! ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  15. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg December 4, 2013

    So good to see you here, Kathy! It is so wonderful that you rediscovered your creative side! And your artworks are simply awesome! Thanks to you, I was inspired to try Zentangling too. Truly loved it. 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..Be The ChangeMy Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Shilpa, I am so thrilled and honored to be your inspiration. Zentangling has become a very rewarding past time for me. It fuels my heart and soul with such a sense of satisfaction. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your sweet comments! ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  16. Alka Alka December 4, 2013

    True, there is no age to discover creativity. Lovely sketches Kathy.

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Alka, I am so pleased you stopped by and enjoyed what you found here. Thank you so much for your kind comments! ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  17. Rainbow Hues Rainbow Hues December 4, 2013

    That’s inspirational Kathy. Its nice that you finally found your calling and went ahead with it. Good luck, always!
    Rainbow Hues recently posted..Diverse StanceMy Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Rainbow Hues, if nothing else I gave myself back a facet of myself I long denied myself and discovered a soul deep happiness I never thought I could experience again. Thank you for reading and for your sweet comments!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  18. JoJo JoJo December 4, 2013

    Great post Kathy! And I LOVE your Zentangles!!!!!

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      JoJo, I am so pleased you stopped by and enjoyed my post. I am also thrilled you enjoy seeing my zentangles. I personally love the detail and the intricate work involved. Thank you for your sweet comments. ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  19. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando December 4, 2013

    This is so inspirational, Kathy, and so true! Sometimes, life’s circumstances cause us to shelve our creative urges, but they are still there, gathering dust, yet waiting for just the right moment to blossom once again. That’s exactly what happened to me in 2007 when a story I had kicked around in my head for over 10 years finally burst forth. That was the beginning of The Glade Series. I was age 52 at that time. So, see? Age doesn’t matter, just as you affirmed here!
    Thanks for a delightful post, Kathy, and thanks, Corinne, for graciously hosting her!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Walking in the Light of the LordMy Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      I am so pleased you enjoyed my post. Before when I created any form of art, I was constantly striving for perfection stressed out of my mind convinced that I could never ever be perfect. Now I realize I put too much pressure on myself squelching my creativity. I became overwhelmed and gave up. When something you are doing becomes a worry and misery, it is time to walk away and regroup. If it comes back to you later, maybe it was meant to be all along and truly is an important facet to your happiness. Thank you for coming by to read my story and for your kind words. They are so appreciated.
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  20. Jairam Mohan Jairam Mohan December 4, 2013

    Wow Kathy, that is quite an inspiring and motivating story, which clearly highlights the fact that if we stick to our guns and keep pursuing our dreams and passions, life and destiny somehow conspire to make them true at some point of time in the future.

    Love your zentangles a lot and also love the fact that you took the time out to write this post to keep the rest of us motivated enough to keep chasing those seemingly crazy dreams of ours 😀
    Jairam Mohan recently posted..The Wordkeepers – Jash Sen – Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      I am delighted you enjoyed my story. It still blows my mind a little that I still know how…after all these years. It is kind of like riding a bike. I guess you never forget and nothing is impossible until you are dead. As long as you are alive and kicking, anything is possible. Thank you for stopping in to read and for your sweet comments!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  21. Tarang Sinha Tarang Sinha December 4, 2013

    Life always gives sweet packets of happiness & little reasons to smile:) Lovely creations! Recently, I’ve developed a deep desire to paint. I love watercolours and I’m trying. Though, I’m not good at it but I’m trying and practicing. It’s really satisfying:)
    Tarang Sinha recently posted..Colours of RainbowMy Profile

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Tarang, I applaud you for painting. Watercolors are so much fun. You can achieve so much through layering. Too much can muddy things a bit, but that takes practice. I haven’t used watercolors in years. As long as it makes your soul sing, you should pursue it. Be happy and express yourself. Thank you for stopping in to read and for your kind comments! ♥
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

  22. Talya Tate Boerner Talya Tate Boerner December 4, 2013

    I LOVE Zentangling! Yours are amazing Kathy!

    • Kathy Kathy December 4, 2013

      Talya, I have really fallen in love with it and have inspired so many people to love it too including my daughter. Thank you for stopping by to read and for your sweet comments!
      Kathy recently posted..Guest Post For Me!My Profile

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