Own your rebellion

The view of the red mill building, part of the Vermont Studio Center. The site of my tranquil rebellion

The view of the red mill building, part of the Vermont Studio Center. The site of my tranquil rebellion

I wrote a guest blog post for Minera Rising, a literary magazine I contributed to several months ago. The topic was “rebellion” and, although I didn’t choose the photo, I think it compliments the content very well. Here’s the link to the blog, where it appears on Minerva Rising’s site.

The rebellion I discuss in that blog is one I didn’t consider a rebellion for a long time, until I realized just what being a writer was going to mean. It was going to mean sacrificing the American Dream I had internalized as a matter of course, rather than a personal goal. It was going to mean giving up on the idea that there’s a right and a wrong way to live our lives. Most of all, it was going to mean owning up to the fact that I never intended to follow the path everyone around me had naturally assumed I would.

Last night, I sat around a table with a bunch of other artists and writers, discussing our career trajectories and what had brought us to the studio center at which I’m currently residing.

“I just never thought about doing anything else,” a conceptual sculptor named Emily said. “I couldn’t live my life in a box.”

Although I didn’t articulate it nearly as clearly, that’s how I feel, too. There are those who can work all day in a cubicle, living their lives on the evenings and weekends and go through life perfectly happy to do so. I’m not one of those people. I thought I was, for awhile. And the corporate job wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I got a charge out of many aspects of the gig, and there were moments I enjoyed. But at the end of the day, it didn’t matter if the salary was high. The stellar benefits weren’t going to make me happy. And the title that made people sit up and pay attention didn’t feed my spirit as much as my ego.

It wasn’t what my soul thrived on doing. One day, I decided to take that leap and realize that I didn’t want to live on evenings and weekends. I wanted to get up in the morning and be excited for the day, every day. Or at least, the majority. To me, that’s what’s most important.

Find what makes your heart sing and start writing the score.

Everything else is static.

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