Your He(art) Matters

9 months ago

I am a creative human. I love creating and it feels like it is part of my heart and soul. I feel that I am meant to create.

Creativity and Healing are two words I hold very close to my heart. I don’t think I’ve always paired them together growing up, but as I look back on my life, creating has helped me heal and grow in so many ways, they can at times, feel intertwined. For me, creativity comes in so many varieties. What a gift it is to create. I’ve found people don’t always think they are creative if they don’t write or paint, play music, or design homes or clothing. I think creativity is inside us all, and is unique to each one of us, which is truly what makes creating such an inspiration for me. We all have the ability to create for ourselves and for the world around us.

I grew up a pretty shy person and I’ve never had a lot of self-confidence, but I’ve always been fortunate to be supported and loved for who I am. This safe space growing up allowed me to pursue things that I loved. Sports, writing lyrics, and drawing. These have always been my outlets, my way of expressing myself. Starting at age 10, pencil drawing allowed me a space to let my thoughts go when I was upset. Even through sports, coming up with plays, for me, was a creative space. I also found ways to incorporate art into sports by creating T-shirts and sweatshirts for the teams I played on.

Around the age of 12, music and lyrics became this deep love I felt in my heart and soul. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to sing, write songs, and just create. I love singer/songwriters and I’ve had the dream of writing songs that people connect with. I want to write lyrics that people can read and listen to, and know they aren’t alone and that they matter. I’m fascinated by music and the way it makes me feel. I still remember being one of the only teens who still loved “My Heart Will Go On” long after Titanic had been out, and it’s the song I chose to sing for my eighth grade talent show because of the emotions that the song evoked and the way Celine Dion created magic with it. I also performed in my high school’s Christmas choir and those were some of my favorite moments of high school because those songs were filled with so much love and light.

I am that person that if I hear a song that I know playing in a store, I have to sing it. I read lyrics sometimes before I ever listen to a song because the words connect differently for me. I love that I can feel the emotion before I hear the singing and music. Then a whole new layer of emotion occurs when I listen.

Without a doubt, I would not be who I am today, if I didn’t write lyrics or have music in my life. The goosebumps, massive smile, or emotions I experience when I hear a song I love sung live almost feel indescribable. Live music is magic. It resonates in my soul like a vibration. Dom’s concert and Emy’s concert are two moments in my life that I won’t ever forget, and that solidified that writing songs is something I feel called to do. I find music and lyrics to be one of the most healing spaces for me. I find inspiration to write from just about anywhere, from walking in nature, to watching a TV show, to hearing someone say a word – I can be inspired to write. Writing lyrics has truly been one of the most significant creative and healing parts of my life.

I’ve found myself, my authentic self through creativity. I still remember when I first wrote down that I thought I might like women. I turned to words and creating to help me along my journey. I’ve now been out and Queer for over 13 years, and my art and writing reflect the path I’ve taken and the healing and growth I’ve had and continue to have. My hope throughout my creative and healing journey has always been to spread love and create spaces through my work that people feel they belong.

Most recently in the past three years, I’ve started painting, and it connects me with my grandmother (maternal) who passed away a few years ago and was an amazing painter. Even more so, she was a strong, loving woman with a deep faith in love. This part of my healing has been so special because I’m reminded of her and her strength and love with each piece. Alongside her, is my grandfather (paternal), who loved poetry and played classical piano by ear. He wore his heart on his sleeve, like me. These two people have impacted my creative journey and I am forever grateful.

When the Covid pandemic began, I found myself isolated because I live alone and I couldn’t be around my family. This was difficult for me as I am very close with my family, particularly, my sister’s family and my nieces, who I would see almost every day. When that was all of a sudden taken away, I found myself alone with my thoughts, questioning every little thing in my life. On top of having to teach in-person and feeling isolated, my anxiety was very high and my mind was constantly questioning who I was, if I was good enough, and my purpose here. It was through painting, writing, music, and meditation, that I was able to ease that anxiety and develop my passions. A lot of my paintings center on love and spreading a positive message, not only for the world, but for myself too. I’ve painted and sold my art to people that found their own connection to my pieces, and that has been an extra bonus. When people share their thoughts with me, it encourages me to keep creating. In addition, I’ve been inspired by some of my close friends as well as by Dom and Emy, to learn guitar. I began learning the Cajon years ago and because of a situation that brought some heart heavy pain, I took a step away from music. It has been because of writing lyrics and the healing it provided for me, that I’ve found my way back to learning an instrument. Acoustic guitar has always been my favorite and this part of my journey is new and exciting.

As I’ve reflected back on my life through creativity and healing, I realize just how much it’s helped me process my thoughts and feelings. It’s not just the act of creating, but the way my heart feels, and the way my mind and my anxiety ease when I create. I don’t overthink (too much), but rather allow the process to take me along for as long as I feel called to it at the time.

I truly believe that everyone is a creative being. You are creative just by waking up each day and making the choices you make to live your life. I am so grateful for my life and I am so grateful you exist in this world. So please never doubt how much your heart matters. I wholeheartedly believe that you can’t go wrong if you create from your heart. (I remind myself of this every day.) Your creativity can shine a light, can inspire someone, can change a life. Be you, in all your authentic, magical glory. You are a miracle and you deserve to love and be loved for all you are. Create your life. You deserve it and you are worth it.

KK Foster

My name is KK Foster and I am a teacher, artist, and lyricist from New Jersey in the US. I come from a big family and they mean the world to me. I would not be who I am without the unconditional love, support, and selfless examples I’ve been surrounded by. I am Queer and Gender-fluid, and I seek to spread love, kindness, positivity, and hope through my work. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I believe that every heart matters. I began drawing at the age of 10, and started writing poetry and lyrics around the age of 12. I currently focus on abstract painting, drawing (usually portraits and anatomical hearts), writing lyrics, and learning guitar. I love music of all kinds and I am constantly inspired by singer/songwriters and the magic they make. An incredible voice singing a song I love can instantly shift my energy. Creating means so much to me; it’s truly a part of who I am and comes from my heart and soul. I believe creativity can help change the world in so many ways, and my hope is that I can be a small part in creating a little more love and positive change.