This Friday, I took it upon myself to indulge in an ‘artists date’ inspired by Julia Cameron’s book The Artists Way. An Artist Date is solo excursion aimed at fueling ones creative juices by self nurturing your inner artist.
I decided to watch the play, The Room of Lost Names by Sitawa Namwalie. It was mind blowing. Being by myself saved me the usual commentary I would have indulged in if with a friend, especially during those awkward moments in Kenyan plays where actors stare into the distance but are actually looking directly into your eyes.
Being solo meant I was able to just be present and enjoy the art as it was presented. I loved the play and would recommend anyone who gets chance to view it to go see it, the last two shows are this evening and tomorrow from 7pm at Braeburn Theatre Nairobi.
What I learnt on my artist date?
I’m not lonely, I’m alone
When was the last time you actually self nurtured, took time to enjoy something for the sake of it and by yourself. It feeds your artistic child within you and allows your imagination to run wild. It does not have to be expensive, a walk in a neighbourhood you’ve never been to, signing up for a free art class… let your curiousity lead you towards an activity, just make sure it is something you venture into solo. The tendency most times is to invite a friend, or have a friend invite themselves, there is a rule with the artist’s date, solitude, try it.
Let go of fear
Going on a solo date may seem daunting. Yes, you will meet people who will ask you why you came by yourself, if they don’t ask, they will surely be thinking it. The social media driven narrative of our lives tells us that we should always be in the company of fun friends, doing fun things, enjoying good company, cheers to the freakin’ weekend etc, if you are not doing so, you must have a very lonely life. So are you scared of being alone?
Not necessarily, that fear that holds you back according to Cameron, is actually the fear of self intimacy. You are afraid of being alone by yourself and your thoughts. I think learning who you are, what your tastes are, what you like to do instead of what everyone else likes is the first step in becoming more self aware, and self awareness brings confidence which in turn gives you the strength to follow your own path.
Take yourself out on an artists date, feed your creative hunger and watch as you gain perspective on what exactly you want to do and how.