My creative work is coming full circle and I am freaking out. Five months ago, after firing my last major writing client, I decided to start creating online courses as a way to make my coaching work more financially accessible to the people I want to serve. I thought it was going to be a one, maybe two, month project. When all is said and done, it will have taken me six months to get my first online course off the ground.
What was initially going to be a quick-and-dirty experiment gradually turned into something much bigger. Of course, adding puppets halfway through the process really extended the timeline. It wasn’t until a few days ago, however, that I noticed I was feeling anxious about finally filming. Initially, I thought it was some apprehension about having to change the shoot schedule. In truth, it was something much more charged than that.
I’d been so busy bringing this project to life that I didn’t realize I was essentially redoing my university thesis. The thesis that also involved puppets and pedagogy. The thesis that landed me in the hospital two weeks before I was set to present it. The thesis that got me a degree but that never got presented to the public. The thesis that sent me into creative hiding for six years afterwards. That thesis.
Creative trauma is real and when I looked up from putting the final touches on my puppets and set I found myself staring down its throat. Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed had I not had three tarot cards jump out of my deck during my weekly draw. They signaled good company, healing, and letting go. Together, they spoke of things coming full circle. My body shook when I read them and realized what I was actually doing with this project.
My art school thesis was a post-apocalyptic children’s puppet show about a little girl who, by a series of seemingly random events, becomes a force of change in our world. At the end of the production, a dream sequence reveals that she unconsciously set up the circumstances for that change to take place. Just as I, six years later, have unconsciously set myself up to heal from the creative trauma of my past.
So, here I am, on the precipice of that change. I am still freaking out, however, I am holding that anxiety in balance with what I know to be true. Notably that, this time, my project is going to make it out into the world. It’s not going to hospitalize me. And not only am I going to make it to the other side, I’m going to be better off as a result. Things are coming full circle and I’m learning that creative recovery is possible. It just might take some time.
What is coming full circle for you and what are you learning?