What I Learned from My Creative Burnout

valeriedenisephotos39of77There comes a point, a moment in everyone’s life where they look back and wonder how in the world they got where they are. Did someone pick them up and plop them in this moment, in this body, this job, this home?

Usually these experiences happen when tragedy hits and everything around you seems to halt for a moment and everything you’ve known to be real completely shifts. Sometimes that happens when a creative or any type of person convince themselves that they were not made for something…(a lie…when in fact their very DNA spills that very thing is exactly what they are made for).

How do you expect to fit into a box that you were too big for?

The box that fear and doubt has tried to force to stay in for so long. And how does one even go about awakening a part of them that has only known numbing, shoving and rejecting?

How do you get back up when you’ve been pushed down more times than you can count?

How do you find the glitter, the creativity, the fervor in your own veins again? You search for yourself in all the places you remember. The corner of that coffee shop and the eye contact of that one barista who made your heart skip a few extra beats for no reason. You say yes to yourself. And I know, that gets a really bad rep and only selfish application BUT HERE’S THE THING– sometimes you will have nothing to give because for way too long you neglected the deepest parts of yourself.valeriedenisephotos36of77 When I first bought my car, I drove to the beach alone that week. I grabbed the blanket that I had thrown in the back seat and sat there for four hours. I let sea and salt put my whole perspective, soul and sanity back into perspective, let it remind me of the steady and not frantic pace of my own heartbeat. I felt overwhelmed, frantic and not myself at all so I went to the place that I know will always still me.

You say yes to yourself. And I know, that gets a really bad rep and only selfish application BUT HERE’S THE THING– sometimes you will have nothing to give because for way too long you neglected the deepest parts of yourself.

I saw this quote on Instagram while I was procrasti-writing this post…it read:
“It is our fragments that make us whole; we are a mosaic.”- Kristin Lohr  

I’m starting to believe that all this time we spend trying to make ourselves feel “whole” and rounded is like chasing your own tail. The most beautiful moments where you see yourself for all you’re capable of being and what those around you are capable of being, usually happen when you are in your weakest. Today, I broke down in a coffee shop after a constant flow of “this sucks” this week: a flat tire, a parking ticket, a dead computer, late paychecks, an email that my loan payments start this month. I broke down in copa vida with my beautiful, curly haired friend who was lending me her computer but had also just told me she wanted to help me pay for my tires.

And that’s obviously the response that occurs when people show up for you in ways you didn’t expect them to— you cry. Because your pride has to take a back seat and all the things that make you uncomfortable will happen in that moment.  The volcano eruption of all the feels and tears that you should have cried a week ago come tumbling out of you because guess what honey, YOU ARE HUMAN . The wine won’t always fix it, you must come to the point where you admit “I’m not doing okay” and take all the necessary steps until you can exhale a little more and let the anxiety leave your body with the tears that fall.valeriedenisephotos33of77 I know the story you probably tell yourself — you know the one where you secretly wear a cape and it makes you invincible and completely in control but every cape wearer has their kryptonite. And mine is not being able to fully take care and sustain myself in this season of chasing creativity—not even chasing dreams but a calling that I feel (most days) very sure has my name on it. My kryptonite is believing I don’t have to ask for help, “I’ll figure it out” might as well be my catch phrase. But 90% of that time – I don’t figure it out, I just allow everything around me to deconstruct and erupt around me because I was too afraid to ask for help.

Honey you will be a whirlwind of hot mess forever if you don’t take care of yourself.

As creatives, entrepreneurs and business owners we don’t know how to do that because we’re so busy trying to keep up with the hustle, and our social branding and that’s all fun and dandy until you are a few years in and absolutely exhausted. We have to remember that we are human beings, not human doings.

You have a body that needs nurturing, a soul that needs tending and a mind that needs rest.  

I dare you, turn off the phone, walk away from the computer and find just TWO HOURS (come on that’s the least you can give yourself) to do something for you. Because you know what happens when you take care of yourself? You know even more how to take care of others but mostly importantly you spill the reminder that you’re worth being taken care of and people will show up for you.

So this is me, virtually doing my best to show up for you. Taking the phone out of your hand, the earbuds out of your ear and urging you to get up and say yes to you. You can’t stay a frazzled creative forever, imagine what could stem from you when you rest—you could orchestrate the most intentional kind of magic.

Photos by Valerie Denise Photos


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