Sometimes the Safe Path is Not the Right Path

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist. I loved to draw, especially, and even took art classes on the weekends when I could. For fun.

Obviously, being an artist isn’t a viable career (or so everyone in my life told me in subtle and not so subtle ways), so instead of going to college to delve deeper into drawing or painting or sculpture, I went the safe route: art teacher.

Well, after a few semesters I decided I didn’t want to be an art teacher, so I went another safe route: graphic design. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy graphic design that much, most of the technical/pre-press stuff was way over my head (and interest level), and I turned down the one full-time job I was offered after college.

Since I was only twenty-one, adventure seemed appropriate. I moved to Vermont to work at a ski lodge, I drove cross-country, I lived in a tiny apartment in Montana, and then I lived in a tent for a while. It was awesome.

After that I went back to the safe stuff. I worked in an office here, I worked as an event coordinator there, then back to another office job.

I don’t want to make it seem like I’ve always just automatically chosen the thing that felt the safest, the most conventional, since the travels of my early twenties, because I certainly haven’t.

I quit a “good” job because it made me miserable and I wanted to get trained as a life coach.

I quit another well-paying job (that made me absolutely batty and went against all of my core beliefs) in order to stay home with my daughter, even though it seemed like there was no way to afford to do so. (We made it work.)

I started making art again, with real gusto and zeal, even though it doesn’t really make any sense beyond my own deep desire to do so.

Recently, though, I faced what feels like my biggest What-My-Heart-Wants Vs. Take-the-Safe-Path challenge ever.

After going in circles and wondering if I should bother trying to make art my main “thing,”…

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