I had an interesting conversation with a friend last week. She said she wanted to thank me.
A few weeks prior, I had asked her the question, "What do you like to do?" and it got her thinking.
Her thanks got me thinking.
It made me think about the things we love, the things that inspire us, and the things we like to do. It made me think about why all of that is so important.
For the longest time, I never wanted to share my interests with others. Even to this day I struggle with doing so. I've always felt that the things I like are too esoteric, too weird, and too "out there" for anyone else to understand them and why they are so special to me. Even now as I sit here writing this post, I'm listening to "Kaze Wo Atsumete", a Japanese pop song from the 70s. Ever hear of it? I didn't think so.
Even the things I like to create are mostly met with reactions of confusion rather than joy or excitement. Most don't get why I would create a piece of music that "has no words" or make a short film that "looks old". I've even been asked why I choose to take photos of nature and landscapes rather than people.
If they only knew.
But then there are the times - the very rare times - when someone understands.
I had been taking film classes for about a year in school before I had the opportunity to make something that was really personal. Something weird, something different. The assignment was to do anything we wanted and I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I presented a rough cut to my professor and I wasn't sure how she was going to react. Would she find it pretentious and atypical or intelligent and emotional? I was a bit apprehensive. My short film was far from the usual comedy or horror short that most students made. I think it was also the only one devoid of any profanity.
This is what I showed her:
She watched it and then called me an "artist". She knew what I was going for. I was evoking the feeling of memory.
She instantly knew a lot about who I was as well.
That moment pushed me to continue to be creative. After all, being creative is how I was made to be. It's a part of who I am.
One should not be ashamed of the gifts and passions they have been given nor should should they allow others to discourage them. There is no shame in being a creative individual. There is only shame in keeping creativity to one's self.
I am still trying to share the things I like, especially the things I create, with others. It can still be discouraging at times. Most can't get past the fact that the music I make is instrumental or that my photos are "just pictures of mountains and trees". But for every five or six people that don't "get it" there is one who does.
Someone told me that one of the pieces I wrote should be played at their daughter's wedding.
Small moments like that are incredibly encouraging.
Making music, shooting photos, putting together films, it's a part of who I was made to be. And because of the art I've created there have been others - although very few - who have been either moved or inspired.
The friend who thanked me last week decided that something she likes is books. I think that's wonderful.
Her inspiration and thanks then inspired me to write this post.
So with all that being said....
What do you like to do?