Landing back on Australian shores last year, I felt a revitalizing energy fill me.
I think it’s an energy one feels when they reconnect with their land of birth.
To me the skies always feel bigger, the way the land feels vibrates within me differently, the smells from the native flora are distinct and the birds squawk in an Aussie tongue.
On the creative front things are noticeably different too from London where I have also called home for many years.
The city I am in is Melbourne, and no one could ever say that Melbourne wasn’t bustling with creativity. The difference I feel being back here, however, is the overwhelming train of thought that a creative path is not a serious career pursuit. Even with the expanding digital world, perhaps our geographical location creates a mental block with the undeniable thought of being so far away from ‘everything’.
Perhaps it’s colonial-era thinking instilled through the generations that obstructs a freer view – work is hard, one must work hard to get by in life, the object to life is to build a home, have a family and take care of it best you can.
Now there’s nothing wrong with having these goals or a work-hard ethic, but what is wrong with wanting to work hard at something you love?
It doesn’t take much exploring to understand that Australia is bursting with creativity, yet much of it is guarded. There is the strong sensation that there are numerous artists of all media out there wanting to set their creative personalities free, yet don’t believe their creativity can or should be considered anything more than a hobby. This results in their freedom of expression being guarded.
On an alternate level to this there are those who do express their creative voice, but have done so solely because they have been given government funding. This means the support people are given to create and share is guarded. It can be rightfully said that the way Australia supports the arts creates barriers – in general the arts are supported by government initiatives, and if you don’t get the grant, you don’t create the production.
Whether we like it or not however, the barriers that create the most hindrance are our own mental barriers. We can always find valid reasons as to why we can’t do something if that’s where our head is at. And in terms of treating the various arms of the arts and entertainment as serious career options, this is where a lot of Australians’ heads are at.
I always thought of myself as a free-spirited soul who believed she could do anything, but when I peered deeper inside myself I found some of my own seeds of disbelief stealthily planted that would have to be uprooted if I wanted to live the life I always thought I believed I can. And this links us to another unfortunately very Australian trend, the tall poppy syndrome i.e. the tendency to depreciate anyone who has achieved great prominence.
Now why would anyone find the need to cut another person down when they are achieving their dreams?
Let’s just call it out now for what it is – people who wanted to do something but didn’t so they don’t want you to either. These people reason with themselves that this way of thinking is the solution to ease their mind of regret, but it only breeds further negativity and cannot ease a life lived with fear. You should know though that the fears that stopped them, don’t need to stop you. And whilst a choir of voices might say you can’t, I say ‘believe you can!’
This goes out to anyone in the world wanting to pursue their dreams, including those that gave up a long time ago – don’t believe the naysayers, believe in yourself and your dreams. The more you believe, the more others will too.
Your convictions will lay the foundation for a much different path to form before you, one that may lead you to places like Raindance, that nurture you and your creativity and show you not only how you can, but why you must.