"And after a week of where I felt like the conquering king of the world by performing in my hometown, the inevitable will now take place. I shall become what I refer to as 'The Drifting Dandelion'. Traveling. Weightless. Unseen. When I put my travel hoodie on and begin my journey out of my country, no one will know where I just came from. The mountain I just climbed. The joy I created for others or simply felt for myself. The multiple adrenalin spikes I've calmed over the last six days, leading me into mental and physical exhaustion...all for laughter from strangers. Only this time, they weren't strangers anymore. And by now, all of them may have forgotten what I said. How I said it. The land mines I avoided as I performed my art...
...Actually? No one should care. If they did, they would somehow ruin the journey of the dandelion. Meant to drift without direction. Unnoticed. To know the path of the dandelion would be to rob the dandelion of the greatest part of its being: It's ability to make chaos appear beautiful through the lense of freedom. A dandelion with all it's pieces in place is unrealized freedom. Stable, yet boring. We yearn for the chaos. So we blow without coaxing. We experience that moment, and then?...We forget again. We move on. But the dandelion drifts on freely. With the memories of where it came from strong within its DNA, and yet generally...Invisible.
...So here I am. Nobody knows where. Nobody should care. They are right to let me drift. It is my destiny."
I was "in the drift" when I wrote this. A day after fulfilling my career-long dream of headlining at Zanies in Chicago. I had never felt more validated, and yet never felt more exhausted. My family and friends were all there, cheering me on. Laughing til they cried. In their eyes I could see half pride and half shock that I had made it this far. "I have definitely peaked" I thought in that moment lol I truly didn't know what was next, or if I even WANTED anything to be next! I didn't want the pressure of dreaming bigger than my recently realized goal just yet. I also felt guilty at how satisfied I was. So many new questions: "Where do I go from here? Will it take another decade to reach the next goal? I hope not. I'm TIRED!"
...You ever feel that way? Then you realize...you're the only one stressing out this badly over your next move?
Just remember this: The people who believe in you as an artist aren't nearly as stressed about you as you are. They can see you at a distance better than you see yourself up-close. They can see your entire path better than you sometimes. Because they are not in their head about you the way you are in your own head about you. They can see the steady progression. They probably see it better because their data points aren't as frequent as yours for tracking your success. My friends see me once a year on average. In a year's time my career definitely improves dramatically in their eyes versus the day-to-day process of my career that I experience taking its toll on me personally. Remember in science class or math class when they taught you about tracking data, and how the closer you zoom in on data points the more separate and scattered they look, but when you zoom further out it becomes more uniform and almost appears to be one straight line? That's how the world sees your story.
This is a loaded post, but what I'm saying is at times we feel like nothing we are doing matters and our life is not moving forward, at all. So if that's you, I implore you to zoom out a little farther. Take inventory of how far you have come in your life. You will recognize the progression much better if you do not allow yourself to get caught in the minutia of your current struggles. To take this point further...How insignificant are we humans when we zoom-out our lense farther into the universe with our thinking? There's no reason to feel insignificant because we are ALL insignificant on some scale. So really, we belong and fit in more than anyone! We are part of the straight line, we are all moving together toward something. And if we are all chaotic in our existence, then we are all "normal" :)
The drift can be the roughest feeling you may experience in life. Pulling on you in all directions. It's easy to feel insignificant in those moments walking through the airport or driving in the middle of nowhere on the road. But that's also a cue that the walls are closing in on your mind and you have to open a window to relieve pressure again so that you can expand outward once more. To drift is to experience a battle between anxiety and exhilaration. The essence of "Live Your Life" in its rawest form. No safety net of emotions. No direction yet chosen. No one there to tell you if this is the right move...
Let go. Fall Down. Recover. Try Again. Then Again. You are not alone. Allow yourself to embrace the drift. Find your next course of action within the chaos and create your next adventure. Never fear the drift, for it will end soon, and you will refocus. You always have. That's why you're here in this moment right now.
Be The Dandelion. Be Free. :)