There comes a point in every young person’s life where they have to make the jump.
Have to because they can’t kid themselves that they’re happy with the safe route anymore. Working jobs that mean nothing to them and waking up every morning trying to kid themselves that they care. Ignoring the hunger pains of a creative appetite gnawing away at them.
“But life is sometimes about working jobs that you don’t like!” the age-old sentiment kept cycling through my head. “But not if I have any say it!” I finally answered back one day. Last week. When I realized that now was the time.
I was born from a musician and an artist. One took the safe route her entire life and regrets it, the other jumped on the Autobahn to creative anarchy. My father tried going the safe route- which included marriage, kid, and steady employment- but ultimately he couldn’t handle the confines. Do I blame him? No. Because I’m just like him. “And that scares me,” my mother can often be found saying. But we live in a time where if a young person decides that they don’t want to take the safe route- they don’t have to– and I know I will not settle down until I’m ready.
This is not my first time making the leap. I capered from Los Angeles three years ago, when after sitting under a cloud of melancholy for five years that I mistakingly thought would move past, I headed on the road to nowhere. Anywhere. Austin, Texas.
It was by Chicago I came. Twelves months before I jumped into my car on September 28th, 2008, and headed east to Texas, I had been working on a television production in Chicago. Leaving LA for the short term and being housed in the heart of downtown Chicago proved wonders for me. A backdrop of Lake Michigan, historical architecture, fire escapes, city sounds, and down-to-Earth people stirred something within me. I bought a notebook. I began drawing my surroundings. I kept a diary. I wrote songs and song lyrics. I’d walk for hours taking it all in. I was happy. I was being creative again…and I’d be damned if I let that go.
I had never done that in LA. I had lost sight of my dreams.
Shortly thereafter I gave my boss my month notice and he was thrilled. He knew before I did that my heart just wasn’t in Hollywood. It took me another eight months until I left LA. Though I know I needed to leave, I was scared to leave my friends, my apartment, and the first city I earned my adult badge in. Finally one day, I knew when to take the jump. And I did. And I’m making the jump again.
This time I’m leaving my full-time employment with benefits because it was preventing me from achieving my creative passions and I’ve reached an age where I know better. Know better to let comfortable dictate my life. I’m being smart about it this time. I’m moving into work where I will be able to stretch my wings. I will be freelancing for the first time in my life and it is both exciting and scary. I will be working on two movies, freelance writing, and revamping Hipstercrite all in the city that has become my home.
It has taken me 28 years to find my way. Now was the time to make the leap and I can’t wait to see where I land.
Have you ever made the leap?
I was about your age when I took a big leap. I left my husband. I was content, but I wasn't happy. I never looked backed and that was probably the first time I listened to my intuition. It has taken me another 20 years to always trust my gut, so hopefully you have already learned that very important lesson.
I have. Several times, actually. Longest stint off the safe road was 8 months. Hey– no shame in getting back in the safe zone. Consider it a "funding exercise" for your next venture. Anyway, your post found me at the threshold of my own next leap. You have a new loyal reader!
Never took the leap, but I want to. I wish you luck 🙂
I've blogged about this very thing recently, and am about to take a leap. I moved to Austin last year to get into filmmaking, but I got caught up in a full-time office job and just "never found the time."
Now I'm in the process of getting rid of almost all my stuff, moving into the living room and getting a third person into our 2-bedroom apartment. I'm getting my cost of living down as low as I can so that I can afford to work 10-15 hours a week and finally dedicate myself to writing and filmmaking.
I'm excited. I'm ready. This is what I came to Austin for.
I actually contacted Geoff and Melissa about maybe helping out on Loves Her Gun, which I found out about on your blog. If it turns out that y'all can use my help, I'm there.
THIS makes my heart so happy. This is exactly what I am going through right now. I am taking a leap. I am leaving Nashville and the comfort of my steady, full-time job in Talent at CMT in exchange for LIVING MY LIFE in Austin, TX and focusing on my passion for live music and festivals rather than the stability that TV production has provided me. Austin is where I belong – surrounded by live music. I am SO proud and excited for you. It is so awesome to hear of someone else's journey through the same process.
This came at a good time…I've lived in Austin my entire life, and now I'm leaping the hell outta here…SF bound!
When I was 22, I packed up and left the East Coast for Austin. I couldn't see myself getting older up there, it was too bleak. I moved to down here with no job, and only the vague idea that I would myself 5 years to make a living as a musician. In four years, I had accomplished my goal. Flying without a net gives you the space and freedom that are necessary to get serious about your passions. Yay for you!
Well, I'd have to answer "yes" after leaving both a dead relationship of nine years and a job I hated of 7 1/2 years. Finally. I feel better than I have ever felt in my entire 28 years on this planet. I'm sure you can relate.
Lots of luck to you!
I LOVE this post! I'm sure you can guess at how much I am able to relate to it. Eight months since I left my full time job and benefits behind. There have been some frighteningly lean times in there. But I am so much happier. And so much more complete. Good luck! I am so excited for you.
It's a big scary change, but if anyone can do it, I know it's you. You are so ridiculously talented that it only makes sense to take on different projects to quell that artist's appetite in you. Your readers, your online family, is pulling for you. If you get discouraged, share it on here; we will be here to encourage and console and remind you of your creative genius. xoxo
Scanning down, I kind of agree with EMQ's comment… my goal is to eventually cool out and start working with a net but I have embraced the consequence of my decision and see no reason to change my ways… you go, girl!
@Kim- Wow. That was very brave. Good for you! I'm glad to hear that you've never looked back!
@Fabrique Coeur- Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, my safe stint has pretty much lasted eight years. I'm done with it! 😉 Good luck on your leap!
@Fellow Creatives- DO IT!
@Matt- Good for you! Great to hear it! Did Geoff or Melissa get back to you yet? If not email me at laurenmodery at gmail dot com.
@Cassarole- F yeah! Too cool! That is so exciting. When are you moving here?
@Anonymous- Congrats! Best of luck! SF is such a great city!
@EMQ- That is so great to hear. I love hearing stories like that. I grew up in Bleaksville (Upstate NY), so I know what you mean!
@Kati- Congrats! That is very brave! There are so many brave folks here. I love it and I'm glad that you're happy!
@Brooke- I might be emailing you for some pointers! 😉 I'm so glad that you're happy!
@Cathy- Sweetie, you always make me tear up! Thank you!
@Mark- Do you think one day you'll step out from the net?
I'm looking for a job where I can be creative AND have a net at the same time – and crapload of paid vacation time.
Thanks, Lauren! I'll e-mail you straight away.
@Hipstercrite – I am moving no later than January 2012. If I could pack my necessities and my animals in my car today and move I would. BUT I do need to do some smart saving first or at least have a few job leads but come January I will live there no matter what.
I'll be in Austin in exactly 2 weeks for ACL Fest and I CANNOT wait!!! Will you still be there?
I can't wait to start making my new Austin buddies and creating this new life.
PS I keep reading this blog while sitting at work to keep me going through the day. Thank you!
YAY LAUREN! I'm so happy for you!!
Way to follow your heart and passions. I am SORT OF making a leap right now … we should get coffee (who am I kidding, drinks) sometime and tawk.
PS, dude – Geoff was one of the Slacker 2011 filmmakers? That is so fucking cool.
yep! 2 months ago actually and i'm still in progress. i quit my job of 3 years (which i loved-still do, but was energy and time consuming), spent the summer cleaning out my room and getting rid of stuff i either don't use or want in my life anymore and i'm planning to travel to my mom's native country (i'll be staying there for 3 months only but it still counts as a leap, right?!). and i'm working on (finally) finishing my studies in translation soon, so i'll get on with my life! i'll probably pursue my passion for photography (it turns out i don't really wanna work as a translator (at least not exclusively).
good luck with your own leap(s)!
ps. your writing is really inspiring!