It was finally here. The day I had been waiting, stressing, sweating, talking about, dreading, losing sleep over for the past several months was finally here: I was moving.
Yep. I was packing my country-loving Louisiana ass up and heading to Jersey. I was trading in my camo and cowboy boots for leapord print EVERYTHING, Italians, and the Jersey Shore. When you live where I did most of my life, people who moved away were always referred to as the ones who “got out”.
And I was making my escape.
I was living such a comfortable, simple, yet extraordinary life. I had built a copywriting business for myself which I ran poolside, usually with a beer in hand, and I didn’t know it then but I LOVED my life. I loved the ups and downs of business, I loved how every small victory called for the greatest of celebrations, how every single positive thing about my business delighted me to the very core. There is literally NOTHING in the entire world that could be so satisfying.
The first several months I was in Jersey it was great. I spent my nights in NYC, and my days in the house half sleeping, half writing, and no part building my business.
The transition was harder than I thought it would be. I thought that everything would be great- that NYC would magically drop more opportunity on my doorstep, and that somehow moving to the Northeast would ensure my business success. *insert giggle at my foolish 30yr old self*
Opportunity did not drop on my doorstep. In fact, I don’t even think it passed through my neighborhood-at all.
I held on to the couple clients I had for a while, but for some reason all of the change and stress of moving myself and my 10 year old daughter across the country with one suitcase and no real plan seemed to stifle my creativity and ambition (shocker). I found myself, depressed, broke, and facing the awful reality of having to get a “real job”.
At the time I could not think of anything I would hate more. A real job meant death to me. And especially after I had “made it” as my own boss for so long. I was a failure.
Enter: The reason why I wrote this post and shared that story with you- I “lost” my art.
I took the job. I dropped my clients. I closed my laptop. I made a choice for the right now. Because the job was easier than admitting that I let my business go. The job had a steady paycheck that was comfortable for me. The job put me in a social setting where I made friends easily and developed a network. I enjoyed the job.
But my art…
went unnourished, unnoticed, undeveloped, untouched. And when you have talent and a purpose, it always finds a way to creep back up and say “hey shithead, remember me?” when you least expect it.
The art of staying true to your art is this:
When you feel it pulling, when life is trying to lead you down one path that looks quite amazing but you somehow feel like you should leave it all behind because down that unknown, unpaved road is someting quite brilliant and that something has to do with your art, when you hear it calling…
Because you can bullshit everyone else around you, but you can’t bullshit yourself. And eventually you realize that to be great you have to give up the good. And if you ever want to stop sailing through life set on mediocrity, you have to stay true to your art.
And now here I am, back to my art. And it feels fucking amazing.