I moved to Nashville a little over three years ago.
The main reason I think I waited so long was because as much as I wanted to dive into the music industry, I was really not ready.
I was scared, I was uneducated, and mostly…
I was not ready to be accountable to my dreams.
When we start to vocalize our dreams and tell people who we want to be, there’s accountability and responsibility that has to follow.
That weight can be crushing.
Most people don’t do what they love for a living, because it’s hard to be honest with yourself. It’s difficult to be honest about where you’re at and what you have to do to make a sustainable career.
It’s easier to be told what you should do, then to tell yourself what you need to do.
It’s easy to tell people that you want to be a songwriter, it’s hard once you actually have to start being a songwriter.
When you pack up your whole life and leave a salary job to pursue music there is a lot of new responsibility that comes with that. People are often excited for a little while. You may be personally excited for a little while, maybe even a year, but then comes reality. Bills show up, life shows up, and soon what seemed like a great idea can become suffocating.
I like to view life from an optimistic lens, but in my experience there’s a lot of dream crushers out there. There’s a lot of “I told you so’s” and a lot of people just waiting to passively cheer when you fail.
As people we often get scared that we may be left behind. When someone puts out into the world that they want to become a famous artist, there is this tension of excitement but then a thorn of envy or jealous that may arise. When we see people go after their dreams and desires, we can often find ourselves wishing that was “us”.
Wishing that we had the courage to put out to the public that we are willing to risk it all for the chance to be fully satisfied. To know that we will live our life with no regrets. To be able to freely abandon the people who will scoff at such lofty ideas. We all have that inner desire to do the things we are created to do, but it always has a cost. There is responsibly and accountability that shows up.
The accountability that comes with pursing a non-traditional route in life can be daunting. When I left my job to pursue music as a career, there was friction. A handful of people were extremely excited but the majority thought it was foolish, a long shot, irresponsible. I had lots of people ask me when would I get a “real job” again, how long would I try it out, what was my back up plan, what would I do if I couldn’t get work….the list goes on.
Very rarely do we approach the situation from the other side. No one asked me what I would do when my business grew, what my long term dreams were, what it would be like to work with Grammy award winning artists… the list goes on.
My point is when you’re on your own, all the responsibility and accountability lands on you. If you work for another company, it’s not on you to explain why or why not the business thrives or dies. It’s not your responsibility to keep the lights on and the health insurance paid. You’re not accountable to the world, friends, or family for keeping your job alive. If things get rough, it’s easy to blame the company. If things fall through, we can blame the boss for being mean. If the company dissolves we can blame the economy. There’s always someone or something else to deflect to. This does not at all mean a “traditional job” is less hard or strenuous.. it’s just different than self-employment.
When you chase your dreams and what you really want to do in life all of that rests on your shoulders everyday. There is no one to deflect to.
All of this can become overwhelming unless you know how to handle it and know who you are. I am going to use some old meditation wisdom for how I deal with it all. You have work, but you are not your work. You have thoughts but you are not your thoughts. You have dreams but you are not your dreams. You have responsibility but you are not those responsibilities. We as people are so much more than our work and jobs and desires. It’s easy to forget that, when we begin to feel like things are getting tense. When people are speaking down to us or giving us the odds of making it as an artist, we have to remember that we are so much more then the questions, doubts, successes, and wins. We are more than our fears and doubts and lack of education.
We are humans, free, here for a brief moment, a vapor, and then we are dust.
Don’t let the weight of the world or potential responsibility keep you from trying new things. Don’t let the potential chance of failure lead your motives for doing things. Lets flip the script and let the potential of growing and learning about ourselves and others drive us. Let the potential of changing the world and creating new things that will outlast us drive you.
Those are the things that we should focus on, cheer, and celebrate.
Go crush your Monday!