For the last 40 years, I’ve nurtured a career in advertising and marketing, the last 10 years as a marketing consultant to the restaurant industry. By most accounts, it’s been a very successful career. I knew what I wanted to do at a young age. Pursuing my career goals was not hard. I thoroughly loved my work.
For the past year or so I’ve been straddling the gap between marketing consulting work and making art. One foot in each “job”. In my heart, I knew hanging on to the marketing role was strictly a financial decision. I just didn’t have the passion for it anymore. But the risk to fully commit to making and teaching art was too great, given our family’s financial needs.
I was constantly filled with angst and insecurity about how to manage this conflict. Then a friend of mine shared a story with me that hit me like lightening. She told me about the well-known opera singer, Beverly Sills, who after an illustrious career, left opera to become a producer and philanthropist. She wore a piece of jewelry with the initials IDTA engraved on it. When she was asked about anything she was doing that represented change, such as leaving the opera stage in favor of producing, she explained the inscription, which translates toI Did That Already.
Everything became clear for me when I heard that. I suddenly knew it was time to let go of my marketing business. It’s not a failure, or a loss or a cowardly move. It’s simply a change. How do I know it’s right? BecauseI Did That Already.