taking stock

Over the last week or so, I have been taking stock of my year so far. Looking at all the different directions I could choose to travel in.

There is something about the phrase ‘taking stock’ that I like. To me, it is looking back over a period of time, and lining up all the things you have done. Looking at them objectively. Considering their value. Discarding habits and aspects of life that are no longer relevant. Finding old forgotten aspects of yourself that have suddenly become relevant again.

If any creative person out there is ever doubting their abilities, look back over your life and take stock. Look at all the incredible abilities that you have. I’ll tell you a secret – as talented as other people you know are, they will never be able to do exactly what you do. And even if they very nearly can, it is your decision to keep doing it that will set you apart.

A good friend of mine and I were talking the other day. We studied music together, and she is now an incredible musicologist, while I am bumbling my way about the world of education and composition. Funnily enough, we studied classical performance together, which neither of us pursued long term. She mentioned a true love of hers that she never let herself really enjoy previously – playing the Irish fiddle. The joy that was on her face when she spoke about just being able to relax and pick it up to play without caring about the excellence of it was exquisite.

And it brings me to my challenge of taking stock. This journey back into my deep love for music and the performing arts has been an amazing one. I did not realise how much I loved it all until I came back.

But. Yes, there is a but. I am so thankful for the time that I spent away from it. Because it means now that I come back to it not burnt out from study, not trying to fit other peoples’ ideals of who I am as a composer. I come back as myself. Relaxed. Able to pick up the instruments and skills that I love without the accompanying tension of needing immediate success through an assignment or a weighted performance.

So here is my challenge to all you creatives out there. Recognise in yourself the incredible talent and skill that you have worked hard to call your own. Take stock. YOU can do what you do. Your skills are not all universal. They are unique and they are yours. Don’t just use them to get by – enjoy them. Value them. Relax with them. Love them. And if, like me, you recognise that they come from the amazing heavenly Father who created us, praise Him that he gave them to you to enjoy.


This post was originally published 2nd October, 2019.

5 responses to “taking stock”

  1. […] Sometimes, when you travel, you’re leaving so many things behind, it is easy to believe that you get to leave part of yourself as well. That element of yourself that you wish was different, or even that part of yourself you love; surely, by flying to the other side of the world and leaving physical reminders of that behind, you leave the trait behind too. But no, you take all of it with you, which in many ways is wonderful, as I wrote about a few weeks ago. […]

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  2. […] far away from your creativity, when you’re thinking of leaving it behind, remember yourself. Remember your heart and your passions. Sometimes you might be pulled so far away from them you think that you’ve forgotten them; […]

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  3. […] times last year about the joy of remembering parts of myself that I left behind. The importance of taking stock of what you’ve done with your life so far, recognising the worth of what you have done with […]

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  4. […] shouldn’t surprise you (I hope) to hear me say that you are not just what you create. You are a whole person, with a myriad of skills and talents, who has value far beyond your creative […]

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  5. […] I am not here to suggest you get away from them; they make you who you are, and no-one else is that. […]

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