Writer's Block / by Kenneth Dixon

May 13th, ’17 10:52 pm

I CAN’T MAKE IT IN MY OWN CITY!!!! At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself for the past couple of years. I’m preparing to come home to spend time with my family and follow up with a few people about some business that’s been in the planning. For whatever reason, I keep replaying this same story in my mind that I’ll arrive at the crib and be overtly excited — not shortly after, the adrenaline boost of being home will dwindle down and I’ll be ready for the next adventure. This narrative I’ve created and have been living has been a thing since I graduated from college. It took me two years to actually find a well-paying job in my career field, and that didn’t happen until I got an interview with a company in New York. 

But way before I was interviewing celebrities and taking trips across the country, I had interned for a music web platform based in Chicago, where I blogged about mainstream hip-hop, up-and-coming rappers, the underground, and of course my favorites artists. (Yeah I was sometimes biased when I had the luxury of picking my own topics). After that gig was short lived due to the lack of compensation, I began working as an environmental specialist and as a part-time photographer for one of those franchise photography companies in a shopping mall. I was barely making ends meat and I was miserable because of the work I was doing. So for two years I saved what money I could and plotted on a way to get out of these, what I considered to be, dumps at the time. During those moments of job hunting and soul searching, I picked up a book called "One Day It Will All Make Sense” by Common. (Ironically I would later meet him and get that book signed). I had always loved Common’s music and had grown to really appreciate his artistry as I got older. In reading his book, I had discovered how he also didn’t catch his big break in Chicago even though he was born and had lived there most of his life. I'd learned he too had spent some time in New York City and eventually connected with the right people making music. That’s how he ended up making a name for himself in the music industry.  

He and I were alike in a sense. At least in my mind. It seemed as though I hadn’t reached true happiness and success until I moved from out of the Chicago city limits. To be transparent, this wasn’t because I hated living there, or was caught up in senseless distractions or violence for that matter — I suppose as an up-and-coming writer I had always dreamed that I’d make it big-time as an author living in New York, plus I was obsessed with fashion and the culture out there. When I experienced NY for the first time the summer before my senior year at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, I had become determined to move there. Eventually, my dream became a reality. 

That ship has since sailed and I'm currently living in Dallas, while simultaneously traveling all over the place when work calls or I just feel the impulse to. Though my excitement about Chicago is present, I’m thinking about this trip back home and my previous impression remains the same. My hustle is different when I’m away, and I find myself more inspired than ever by a bunch of other places. But this time around I have optimistic feelings about the level of productivity that will take place, the vibes I’m in search for, and the paths that I need to cross. Wishful thinking….