Life as a Full Time Artist: Day 1

Originally Published August 6, 2015

I recently left the (relative) security of a senior management position in corporate America to pursue my passion as an artist and writer. While my corporate job was creative and fulfilling to a degree, there was something missing. I needed something more. I made the decision last year (2014) that I would take the leap “some time next year.” In January of 2015 I once again said to someone “sometime next year.” That’s when it hit me. It is next year! So I had to put a real date on it. I decided July 31 would be a good one.

Last Friday, I packed up the last of my things, took a walk around the building, hugged some folks, and then left the building for the last time as a “colleague.”

In the days before my leap, several people had asked me, “What will you do on your first day?” My canned answered was, “Go to the passport office.” Not what they wanted to hear, but it was the truth. I’m going out of country later this year and I need a passport. So that’s all I had planned for my first day. Get that biggie out of the way, then I can think. Then I can focus.

I’ve been questioned and advised by many good intentioned supporters. “What’s the first thing you’re going to work on?” “Give yourself time to get organized.” “Take a little time off before you get started.” and “Do you have any events on your calendar yet?” The thing is, I’ve got so much on my mental “to do,” I need to take a minute and sort through it. Write it down. Organize it.

Here’s how day one really shook out:

  • Woke up at 6:30 (really? on my first day of self-employment?)
  • Arrived at 9:20 for my 10:00 passport meeting.
  • Realized I’d forgotten my checkbook. (The nice man processed everything and set it aside, advised me where to find a bank.)
  • Found said bank, obtained cashier’s check
  • Back to passport office. Task complete!
  • Back in my car. Now what?
  • Checked phone for anything exciting. Saw message from my writer friend, Susie, who sent me info on a “art collective” meeting that evening. Bonus!
  • Took a nostalgic drive to old neighborhoods, just because I could.
  • Stopped at Ruby Tuesday for lunch. Salad bar – good. Beer – because I could. Said yes to an upgrade to XL on the beer for only $2 more – maybe not so good. Three tiny (tasty) little cheesy biscuits that magically appeared on my table while at salad bar – evil!
  • Drove to The Global Mall. I’ve heard so much about it, I wanted to see. Nothing going on inside the mall on a weekday. Elected not to drive around back to see library and skating rink, as I was feeling the heat by then and also a little sleepy.
  • Home again. Nap.
  • Did some online research (seriously) along with some Facebooking.
  • Sent a couple of emails.
  • Made a couple of calls.
  • Made a sandwich for dinner.
  • Headed out for art collective meeting. Listened to a couple experts talk about branding. Good information. Some I’ve heard before, some not, but it was good to get out and do something related to my new career. (My friend Susie was so sweet to break away from her packing for a personal trip to make sure I knew someone at the meeting! )
  • Back in the car, heading home I returned a call from my friend Megan who had tried to reach me during the meeting. “So…how was your first day?” (My friends are really pretty awesome!)