Why Losing Creativity Lead Me to a Career Break

    This might sound like I’m a very gloomy person, but actually, my approach to most things in life is more on the happy-go-lucky side. I tend to trust that everything will work out in the end.

    But I have to share what I’ve been thinking about lately.

    Losing Creativity During Schooling and Work

    We all know that as children we are very creative by nature, it’s just how we are. However, throughout years of schooling, and under the influence of society and media, creativity is often suppressed. And if you’re not careful you quickly fall into the trap of what society wants you to do in life.

    Most school systems, universities, and the work environment are designed in a way that makes you follow structured systems, procedures and ticking the boxes. So that’s what we become trained in. 

    We’re not encouraged to think creatively and innovate. This makes it hard to reconnect with your childhood spark or reignite those talents you had.

    It’s such a shame that by growing up we often lose many of our talents. We don’t develop ourselves in our unique way but instead, we pursue something safe and conventional. 

    I’m not surprised that many people delve into their passions when they reach middle age. It’s the age when you become more confident in yourself and less concerned about what society thinks. You are suddenly more aware of time and that you only get to live once.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to pay the bills. But it’s also important to contribute to the world by being the best version of yourself. 

    nature in slovenia

    Quality of Life and Finding What Works for You

    For the past seven years, I’ve been living in the UK. I relocated after finishing University in Slovenia because it was the time of the deep recession all over Europe and jobs were hard to find. 

    The UK is a beautiful country and it has given me so much. But after living and working here for many years now I found that the quality of life is not the best here.

    But it’s also true that quality of life can be subjective. There are people with all sorts of different lifestyles and habits. And of course, cultures are different. All of this shapes how you experience living in a particular country. 

    Working life, family life, and time for your hobbies were very different in the UK to what my family and friends had in Slovenia. It seems that the society in the UK is much more focused on the work part and less on the other parts.

    I spoke to a lot of other ex-pats and they said the same – they appreciated the opportunity the UK gave them in terms of their professional career. But in the long term, it’s not a life they want for themselves. They want to enjoy life more and have a better balance between their work, family, and other activities and interests. 

    Sometimes young people at the age of 20 already know that they want a simple life. Where you have lots of fun and enjoy yourself. So they never join the rat race. Lucky them! 

    And sometimes it takes a long time to come to that realization. 

    Finding Inspiration in Other People’s Journeys

    One day while working on my computer I looked through the window. It was rainy, cloudy, and grey outside, like most days. Then the sun showed up for an hour or so and then came the clouds and the rain again. 

    I remember feeling so uninspired – the weather and the landscape do have an effect on my energy and creativity. When it’s so dark and heavy outside I curl up inside.

    And so I started looking online for inspiration. Watching videos of people around the world, saying that they wanted to get rid of the mortgage and to have a more relaxed life, intrigued me. They wanted to have more freedom. 

    Some have left their nine to five jobs, and others have cut down on hours gradually. They all downsized and bought a tiny house or even built it themselves. Some started a homestead and embraced a sustainable life. Others started creating art. Or they did both! 

    They all focused on things that bring them joy.

    When asked to look back on their decision, in hindsight, they all said the same thing, They would not change anything and they don’t regret taking that risk. 

    Listening to all these people doing their thing and seeing so much joy on their faces made me want to learn new skills and find my creativity again. Through these online platforms, they share the love for the earth and being mindful of what they use and how they live their life. To make sure to give back to nature and treat it with respect. 

    And slowly, I began to wonder whether time will ever be right for me to do this and whether my partner will also want to embark on this journey with me. The more I watched their stories the more I thought, why not? If they can do it, I can do it. 

    Technology Makes Many Things Possible

    I find it magical what technology made possible for people in recent years. They are able to focus on their passions and share them online. We now have access to every corner of the world – knowledge and inspiration can spread faster.

    Like so many others, I too have worked for several years and so was able to save up some money before taking a break from my career. I lived within my means and I never spent a lot of my money on luxury items or things I didn’t really need. 

    Instead, I learned about investing, living frugally, buying second-hand, and selling off things I no longer needed. This helped me prioritize and allocate money and time to things I valued most.

    I realized that all I need is good food, nice people, health, and love. To do what brings me joy and to have a purpose. That’s it. To be learning new things, improving the world and the land around me – that is what brings me joy. Having fun and doing good is, for me, a life well-lived.

    Getting Lost Helped Me Find the Hidden Parts of Myself

    And so no matter how lost I get in my life, or how many hours I spend doing things that I’m not meant to be doing, it’s okay. Even if I spend too many days indoors, I will always find my way back to nature. My connection is there because I finally understand how much it means to me. 

    Life can be funny and cruel because this dream that I have now used to be my reality – I lived my whole life surrounded by forests, lakes, and mountains. My days were full of exploration and spending time outdoors and doing all kinds of sports. 

    But I didn’t fully appreciate it. Because I didn’t recognize that it’s a privilege to have all that on your doorstep. 

    When I moved somewhere where this was not so easily accessible, was when I learned to appreciate what I had. 

    The Universe is teaching me to slow down and have monologues with myself more often. Maybe that way I would have gotten to know myself a lot sooner. 🙂

    It’s never too late they say. I sure hope so!

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