A New Journey

(Creative South 2017 Mini-Recap PT 1)

The sun rises over Columbus, GA. Day one of Creative South 2017.

First things first… This is my first post on Medium (Yay! — I think). I’ve never felt comfortable with my writing, but I’m feeling the need to start expressing myself. Here’s the first post of a new daily series. Let’s go…

For those that don’t know, Creative South is an annual conference for creatives. That dull description doesn’t do the conference, or it’s beautiful host city, any justice. “Church for creatives” is a better way to put it. Three days of hands-on workshops and empowering presentations from thought leaders in various industries. I’m talking Ced Funches, bob ewing, Marc Hemeon, and many, many more.

Creative South 2017 had a variety of overarching themes, but one of the stand outs was “what you do is not who you are.” I left many sessions feeling empowered to find myself.

Let me backtrack… I came to Columbus after having the worst creative year of my life. My environment has never been the best for my creativity, but the past year or two has been, for the lack of a better word, toxic. Feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and in many cases, unvalued, led me down a dark road of depression. I’d been successful at hiding it from just about everyone for quite awhile, but it got so bad a few weeks ago that impacted my health to the point where I was unsure I’d be able to attend #CS17. After weeks of excruciating headaches, poor nights of sleep, and multiple CTs and MRIs, at what felt like the last minute, I was cleared to fly to Georgia.

Joy is just one of the many words I could use to describe the emotions running through me when I finally arrived in Columbus, GA. You see, Columbus is one of those towns that makes you feel at home, even when you’re over 700 miles away from the city you call home. I checked into the hotel and instantly climbed into bed — not because I was exhausted from an almost 20 hour travel day (Delta sucks), but because I just wanted to see my friends as soon as possible. “Come as friends, leave as family” isn’t just a fun motto, it’s what drives every moment at Creative South. Seeing all of these creatives face-to-face, hearing their stories, connecting to them in away you can’t via 140 characters — that’s what makes Creative South life-changing…

When you’re really, really lost, it just means you’re really close to finding something special. — Mark Brickey (@AIDpodcast)

Jump to today and I can’t shake the feelings or clear my head — I’m the one that controls my happiness. My value isn’t determined by people who don’t understand what I do. I need a change. Maybe a change in job, possibly a change in what I give my attention to, but definitely a change in how I spend my time.

So there it is. What you just read is the first in a daily series. I’ve decided I need to find myself, and the best way I know how to do that is by creating. It might be a post here on Medium, it might be an illustration I post on Instagram, or a vlog uploaded to YouTube, but starting today I will create something to share with the world every day. There’s no end point in sight. I’ll continue until I feel like I’ve found myself, my happiness.

Thanks for reading and coming along for the ride. ‘Till tomorrow…

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