Whenever I think about things and situations that make me happy, besides being with the people I love, I have to conclude it all comes down to the moments when I feel creative and have the freedom to express that creativity. I do wonder how many people would agree with this, we are not all creative all the time. But then it also comes down to being proud of something you’ve done or made by yourself. These things, I find, have enormous value to us as human beings, as creatures designed to strive for something more.
So here is a little modest list of things that made me happy and proud, because I could express my creative side while doing them.
This doesn’t mean my creativity was something that would be praised by others, but these small projects just brought a lot of pleasure to me and that was enough at the moment.
Writing project proposals
The process starts with an idea or collaboration with someone, because there is an opportunity that is recognized. Someone has the idea, they or we are hoping to get funding and support and here we go. The creation starts. From the blank sheet of word file we create a project. We outline our objectives; define our specific goals, activities, expected results, the budget, and so on. We do the needed research on the topic, meanwhile learning so much about something probably completely new to us (for me it was sometime agriculture, sometimes rehabilitation of prisoners, sometimes socio-economic position of vulnerable groups). We learn a lot about ourselves as well. Who are we as project owners? What are our references and why do we have the right to deal with this issue. It’s a wonderful process of learning and becoming an expert on a subject while the project unfolds in front of you. You are creating it, correcting it, testing and loving it. You are hoping that it will pass, but sometimes it does, while sometimes it doesn’t. Still, you never leave the process without being richer for the new experience.
Completely different area than the one I wrote about earlier, but still similar excitement. You have all your bits and pieces, you imagine a situation or the person wearing a piece of jewellery and off you go. Ribbons, beads, colors, tools and hours. When it’s completed you behave like a little child, sending pictures of it to everyone and feeling proud. The best results, however, when you see someone wearing it and being excited about what you made for them.
Knitting and crocheting
I am no expert in this area, but I am making a blanket for my little girl to come. I’ve had an idea to combine crocheting and knitting, and somehow made it. I even made wonderful waves as a result of my inexperience in crocheting, i.e.
I made a mistake, which made the start of my blanket to look like waves. But I love it! It’s unusual, fun and I get a lot of happy moments doing this.
Cooking and baking
A daily activity, not always big complicated meals. It makes me so happy, especially when I get great feedback (mostly from my husband ). Recently I do feel proud when I make some of the traditional Bosnian foods, like “pita” (this would be a Bosnian pie, or a swirl) for example. This is something I learned how to make just when I missed eating it. There’s great pleasure in presenting your food to new friends, especially if they are from different cultures. Now, trying new foods also brings a lot of pleasure.
Taking beautiful photos of nature
Now I am not doing professional photos, nor do I own professional equipment. Just a normal phone camera, some walking tours, and experiencing everything that’s beautiful around us. When you send these photos to your friends and family it helps to bond, stay in touch, since it lets them experience a bit of your life if you are far away.
About the Author
Sanja Ivandic is one of the Co-Founders of Outside Multicultural Magazine. Sanja relocated to Ireland from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Inspired by the Sligo Intercultural Project she managed for a while, as well as her work in various NGOs such as LEDA and World Vision, this Magazine was born.
Sanja wrote for several magazines, enjoys every form of writing, be it poems, case studies or prose. Her special skills lie in marketing. Currently she is an Employment Advisor. You can get in touch with Sanja by emailing her on: [email protected]
Sanja’s words on multiculturalism: “Multiculturalism for me is a synonym for humanity. Being diverse and similar at the same time is who we are and we must never forget it. Remembering this evokes respect, love, and peace, so we must keep reminding ourselves about the word multicultural”.