The time you enjoy wasting is not wasting time

When I was younger, I would spend hours upon hours drawing in my room, letting my imagination run wild.
There was a never-ending narrative in my head, pouring out onto the paper in front of me.
I would never tire of it. When the day was over, I was ready to pick up my pencil and do it all over again the next day.
I was proud of my natural talents, thinking it could never be taken away from me.
How naive I was.
After university, I stopped drawing. When I look back, there seemed to be many justifiable reasons.
I had just moved interstate. I wanted explore my newfound freedom, meet friends, date, focus on my career…
So many excuses, none that can justify the ten year gap of not regularly drawing.
I never meant to give it up completely.
There was a lot of hubris in believing that “I can do it if I try / if I only had the time / if had the proper environment”.
But talent is like a plant. If you don’t continually nurture it, don’t be surprised to find it wilted and dying.
Now when I pick up a pencil, the creative juices just don’t ‘flow’ anymore. What was once joy has been replaced by frustration and self-doubt. Perfectionism inevitably kicks in these days — if it’s not relaxing, at least it better be a work of art to justify the time spent on it.
It’s hard to admit to myself, but drawing right now just isn’t enjoyable anymore. Its just a painful reminder of what I let go.
There is a sense of grief in losing my own ability to relax and keep myself occupied with just a pencil and some paper.
But perhaps all is not lost….
I hope that I can find my mojo again and rediscover the joys of drawing. To “play’ without needing to create or external validation.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasting time”.
Funny in this day and age of social media, how we lost the ability to do things we enjoy. The intentions are always there — the book that’s lying by your bedside table for the past year, or the PS4 you bought to relive your childhood, gathering dust in the living room. I challenge you to listen to an album in its entirety without multi-tasking, or watch a movie at home without reaching for the phone.
I persevere, because I know that constantly being switched on cannot be good for my mental health.
I’m using this lockdown to slowly rediscover my hobbies — piano, writing, playing computer games, puzzles. Drawing is on the list, but standing between us is my ego and fear of failure. Here’s hoping these activities somehow help refill my creative cup and self belief to pick up a pencil and start drawing again.

Australian Born Chinese Marketing Professional, living abroad. Living through my very own 'Eat, Pray, Love' journey