My BOLD life choices

This is an article I submitted to a publication.  It didn’t get picked, but I can still share it with you!  The topic was being BOLD… something I’ve been told that I tend to be. 😉

“Live your dreams.”  That’s what we heard as children: anything is possible if you set your mind to it.  But somewhere along the journey of continuing education and needing to make a living to pay off college loans, those dreams get put on the back burner.  The expectations shift from childlike dreams of what’s possible to the reality of bills to pay, corporate ladders to climb, houses to buy, and families to start before it’s too late.

When I lived in Texas, my workplace took over my life.  I loved what I did, but it left me with limited time and energy to create, to love, to inspire… to be me.  Moving to Charleston was my chance to start fresh.  I asked, If I could create a life that I love to live, what would that look like?  I decided that finding a less-than-inspiring full time job just so we could save up for a house and climb that ladder was far from priority.  I would do it if necessary, but I prayed that it wasn’t.

What does inspire me?  Music.  I love writing, playing, singing, and even dancing to music.  There are deep, spiritual connections that happen among souls when music is released into the atmosphere.  

But ask most people about music being your job, and they’ll crack jokes about starving artists and needing to grow up.  My childhood was filled with dreams of singing for thousands: moving hearts to joy, eyes to tears, mouths to smiles, feet to dancing.  What a dream!  Maybe different generations have something to teach us.

My grandpa died a couple years before moving here.  This got me thinking about living life well, with no regrets. I knew I wanted to always appreciate my husband, because someday death will part us as well.  But I also knew I wanted to develop my side of being “go-getter” like him.  He always said, “If someone else can do it, then so can I.”  Such words to live by.

I looked around and realized that there are, in fact, many independent artists making a living with music.  I actually knew a few of them.  People I met in Texas, New York, and South Carolina gave me hope that if they could do it, then so can I.

This was the season of my life where music could finally become a priority.  I thought, if I don’t pursue it now, and life gets full of other things when will I get the chance again?  I didn’t want to make it to the end of my life and wonder, what if?  So the journey began.

I knew this venture was not normal.  Normal would be to quickly search for a job, prove myself worthy of promotions, and focus on building our income.  Normal husbands would expect their wives to either be working full time or caring for a child.  While I respect those women and men tremendously for their choices and life paths, I’m also glad my husband is not normal… because for some reason, I’m a bit of a unique character.

Thankfully, my husband’s job provided just enough income so I didn’t need to work to pay the bills.  Money was tight, but I was grateful; I know not everyone is that fortunate.  My husband also enjoyed his refreshed wife who was taking care of the chores and genuinely joyful, rather than exhausted, when he got home.

So after college, grad school, working full time, and moving twice, in 2014 I finally had the time and energy to devote myself fully to something I’ve always wanted to do.  I had the foundation of leading a rock band up in New York throughout my teen years.  My husband also supported me in taking courses on the business side of being a musician, since it takes funds to do this well.  The reality of how fortunate I was to even pursue this dream hit me deep, so I took it seriously.  I joined the serious business of dreams, inspiration, play, and adventure.  The stuff of life.

Quite the adventure it has been!  So far, I’ve released one CD that has inspired joy, tears, smiles, and dancing… and I have another on the way.  I’ve gotten to entertain and motivate 30-40k people at 2015 and 2016 Cooper River Bridge Run.  I’ve brought listeners to laughter with some of my silly songs, opening for nationally-renowned comedian, Chonda Pierce.  I’ve done all sorts of performances and interviews for the media and been selected for a few internet radio stations.  I’ve even written a book (because if my friend could do it, then so could I)!  But most importantly, I am living my dream of inspiring thousands through the music that flows from my heart, in hopes of it shaping theirs.

People say I’m bold.  But it’s just that I don’t want to settle for a mediocre life of going through the motions.  I’m willing to dive into new things no matter how big of an awkward splash I make, or how cold the water ends up being when I’m in it.  There are always other pools.

I don’t ask other people for their permission to do what I feel drawn to. (Except my husband… since he’s along for the ride!)  I request their support, but not permission.  I really don’t care what they think.  I’m not here to impress; just inspire.  I’m here to live life abundantly: how that looks in my life, not yours.  To me, bold, abundant life looks like loving the world in front of me through the gifts I’ve been given.  I encourage you, dear reader and fellow sojourner, to do the same. ❤