Dreaming Bigger 101.
If success is your aim, there is a part of it that can come only once you've put on a set of blinders. My blinders came with a bit of not wanting to look too closely at myself either. But I'm back. And it's time to talk about it.
I slipped into a rather crippling depression last summer. I had decided to give up on music and living a creative life (and, by proxy, myself). I went out and got a job as a claims representative for a car repair company. While having a steady, albeit small, paycheck offered some stability, I spent most waking moments wishing I had made different choices along the way. I wished I hadn't disappointed myself at what felt like every turn.
I found a way out of that job and into a job that seemed a little bit more up my alley. Unfortunately, that one ended up being worse for both my wallet and my mental health. On a whim, as a last ditch hail Mary effort, I called the studio where I had taken voice lessons on and off since college. I knew I needed to do something for myself, to take a moment, even if it was my last, to enjoy singing.
I was incredibly wrapped up in my own head in those days. People I had called friends and acquaintances had told me I could never succeed in the music industry instead of offering support, ideas, or encouragement. We were all madly running on the same wheel, constantly falling over ourselves trying to see what everyone else was doing. I got wrapped up in it. I couldn't turn off the dialogue in my head.
But I went in for the lesson. And everything started to change.
Now it's 2017 and I'm working as a vocal coach on Music Row. I have students in Australia, Sweden, Hong Kong, and around the U.S. I'm encouraged and humbled daily by my students and by the masters under whom I study. Most importantly, I get to sing every day.
And, if I'm honest with you, there's a part of me that wishes I could write an open letter to all the people who just couldn't find it in themselves to breathe positivity into my life. If I'm really honest with you, that letter would be one part expletives and two parts "thank you"s.
Which brings me to this.
I had to get back in touch with what I truly wanted and I had to jump.
Of course, there are still pieces of the puzzle floating around, waiting to find their home. I still have debt. I'm growing my client base, which takes time, so I'm also bartending on the side (which I'm really enjoying, by the way).
But I'm being true to myself and to the things that I'm passionate about. And that's scary as hell.
My wish for you is that you find a way to make the kindling set under you by doubters feed a fire of passion instead of a seed of sadness and despair. Only then can you look back on hard times with the understanding and compassion for yourself that you deserve.