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My Secret Lock

When I was a child creative expression literally poured out of me. I was the type of child that would draw on the walls...actually I still do that. I would choreograph dance routines to my favorite Spice Girl songs, paint anything I could find, and was always looking of ways to make ordinary things...more interesting. It is one of the most precious aspects of childhood to have an untethered imagination.

Somewhere in my youth or childhood, a switch was flipped in my head. Those expressions were put firmly into the category of "hobbies". Those would not be the focus of my life's work. Those would not make a "career". All of the childhood oohing and awning over the little girl who wants to be a ballerina, singer, or astronaut were shelved with a cold hard dose of reality. That was just not the way things worked...or so I was led to believe. Sure some people "made it" -- meaning made money indulging in their passions -- but that was an enigma. That was a crapshoot. That was not something that smart responsible people did. Smart responsible people took out hundreds of thousands of dollars that would drown them in student debt for the next 30 years to get a master's degree in business and work a stable 9-5 job that would hopefully afford them enough time to still dabble in their hobbies.

I neatly folded and tucked away all of my childhood fantasies in a box at the back corner of my heart. For over a decade I didn't pick up a paintbrush, play an instrument, or write a line of prose. All of the characters that have flooded my imagination as a child dimmed replaced by the harsh light of study and career. I finished my fancy MBA at a top school. I secured a job at a Fortune 50 company. I began my life as a responsible career woman. Then something happened so comically poetic it can't help but be true. In an attempt to supplement my big-girl income to pay off the loans I took out for that oh-so-important and fancy diploma, I opened up that box I had locked away in the deep dark corners of my imagination and began to utilize those once-deemed frivolous hobbies to generate income.

I began to draw, paint, write, and create videos. I learned graphic design and how to utilize the new software to bring those creations to life. I wrote and illustrated nearly a dozen books and sold them on Amazon. I learned to edit videos again and was able to secure a side job doing that professionally. Now I am focused on how I can utilize my passions to replace my corporate income.

After years of my passions lying dormant, there was a dusting-off process and a rewiring of the brain that took some time (years) to fully bloom into part of my being. I urge everyone to examine the idea of their secret self. To really look at the parts of their heart they locked away convinced it was a frivolous endeavor.

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