“Follow your gut. Follow your instincts. Particularly if your gut says keep going and people around you are saying stop, keep going if you can. Sometimes it's not possible to do that. I think following your gut and trying as much as possible to do what you love. “
Every day we wake up, the goal should be to figure out to live our best lives. Life presents itself with a lot of distractions. There is a variant amount of white noise as we go day to day that pulls at our heartstrings and guides us down paths we may think will bring us fulfillment, however, a mask over what our true journey should be. Against all the odds, we must become that being we always dreamed of in our heart of hearts. Some might be in the corporate world and wishing they were building boats. Others might have incredible talents in carpentry but have found a career elsewhere. While they all present certain positives, they do not give us the perception of fulfillment. This is how Paul Wisotzky came to Cape Cod. This is his story of what lead him to lead his best life.
Paul grew up just outside of Boston in a town called Lexington. His family would often vacation on Cape Cod. This is where his first love for the Cape came from. His travels to the outer Cape continued throughout his adulthood until he made the peninsula his permanent home 11 years ago. Paul decided that he wanted to pursue his passion for clay and ceramics full time. And this is where he felt the most comfortable attempting to achieve this goal. This decision came to him after a long time soul searching in his life. He wanted to be the version of himself. Working the typical 9-5 was not in the bigger picture.
"I’ve always wanted to be a potter. I began making pots while I was in high school and I loved it. It was my sanctuary when I was in high school. I did not like high school. It was not a fun experience for me. The clay studio at my school was where I went where I felt I was good at something and that I felt happy. I always wanted to be a potter. Life took different turns and twists and that didn’t happen right away. I was in my early 40s and I wasn’t satisfied with the work I was doing. I was good at it, but it didn’t bring me much satisfaction anymore. I sort of asked myself, what do you want to do with your life? I was actually in therapy and my therapists asked me what I always wanted to be. Not like a fireman when you were three but what did you want to be? I said I wanted to be a potter. He said, why don’t you become a potter. And I did. I went back and took classes and workshops. The skills I had when I was in high school and college came back relatively quickly and I was happy. I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I never have looked back nor do I want to."
He became the person he always wanted to be and became successful at it. While some might have struggled to make this giant leap of faith into an unknown career path where success stood squarely on your own shoulders, Paul saw it as an opportunity and didn‘t really think of it as a courageous move.
“I had done other difficult things in the past. Not that this was necessarily difficult, but I had faced many challenges in my life. Some of them took courage to overcome. At that point in my life, I didn’t feel like I needed courage. I thought if I don’t do this, there is more harm that will happen than if I do this. So I did it and I knew it was the right thing for me. Deep down inside I knew.”
So Cape Cod it was. He arrived at the environment he loved. He moved to Truro, the region he loved and continued on the telemetry of becoming a master of his craft. He chose Truro because of many reasons.
“I love the environment. I love the ocean. I love the sand. I love the sky. The terrain. I love the seasons. The light. The light on the outer cape is just incredible. It has a magical artful quality I find very inspiring and energizing. I feel at peace here.”
Paul enjoys serving the community he lives in. As a business owner and artist in Truro, he felt it was important to be a part of the community and this drove him to run and win a seat on the Board of Selectman. He will pass the torch this May. This falls in line with his past life. He worked with non-profits organizations, philanthropists, and governments to help evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and initiatives and to make sure they were as impactful as possible. His background in the public sector brings up a noticeable concern about Cape Cod.
“I’m concerned about how expensive it is getting and how it is changing the composition of our communities. It is harder and harder for young people to live and stay here and it’s just getting unaffordable. It's changing the basic composition of what I think about as the Cape and what makes it so wonderful to me. I am worried about that. One thing I think that is helping is that there is a greater awareness of the pervasiveness of this unaffordability is and how year-round sustainability in terms of community sustainability year-round is a big issue. It has become more and more understood that this is a very serious problem. It is not a serious problem just for one community but it’s a serious problem for the entire Cape. I think awareness is always the first step in trying to do something effective. I know each town is attempting to try different things and there will not be one solution. I am glad it’s on the radar screen and really bright on the radar screen that people are trying to do something about it."
Today Paul is also teaching pottery and ceramics at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. He plans on spending the summer creating more pieces and working small vendor fairs around the Cape to sell his pieces. He left us with some great parting words.
“Follow your gut. Follow your instincts. Particularly if your gut says keep going and people around you are saying stop, keep going if you can. Sometimes it's not possible to do that. I think following your gut and trying as much as possible to do what you love. Surround yourself with people you love and love you. Take time and be grateful for things. Even on the hardest days, find something to be grateful for because that is fuel to keep going. As an artist, we have to look around us for inspiration and for ideas. At the same time, there is the risk of when you do that of comparison. Of trying to compare your work to others. And that’s dangerous. And as much as possible you need to use what's around you as inspiration opposed to what's around you like something to keep you down. Because you're comparing yourself to others and you might not think you're good enough. That’s another time to keep going. Make the work your own, make it feel like it's your own, even though you may have seen and gained inspiration from other things and other people. "
Paul is an incredibly talented and driven man. He continues to create a beautiful body of work and shares his experience with those around them. While he says he might not have courage, he chose to lead a life many of us might not be able to find. He chose to live his best life and to live for his happiness. We wish Paul the best, and continuing success. You can follow Paul at his website or Instagram.