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évolve “Instead of thinking about where you are, think about where you want to be.” – Diana Rankin

Terri Clark ‘The Long Way Home’

58 | My Journey Within 63


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'The Long Way ' e m Ho

WRITTEN BY Jen Watkins

A fter nearly 20 years on the road and in the spotlight, country music star Terri Clark has finally become the woman she has always wanted to be. Clark started her career in country music at the age of 26, when she described herself as “a little girl” who was very “innocent, not very confident and pretty shy.” “I kind of got thrown to the wolves,” she said. Now, at the age of 42, Clark said she is finally comfortable in her own skin – something that took years of heartache and mistakes to be able to do.

Photo courtesy of Margaret Malandruccolo.

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Photo courtesy of Margaret Malandruccolo.

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Photo courtesy of Spalding Entertainment.

“My family members are the ones that mean the most to me. That’s where my priorities are these days.”

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he respect Clark has earned took years of hard work, she said, and the understanding that she needed to be true to herself. She said she spent many years in the party lifestyle that people expected of her. She felt “bigger than life,” and offstage she spent her time with friends who wanted to party all the time, people she now says weren’t really her friends at all. “You kind of get caught up in that,” she said. “In the last three to five years, I’ve learned I don’t need to impress anybody, or be bigger than I really am. The way I am is just fine.” Clark’s understanding of who she was came just before she lost her mother to cancer. She watched her mother take her last breath, a moment she described as earth shattering and sobering. Not long before she lost her mother, Clark had faced other major trials, including going through a divorce and choosing to walk away from a major record label. She said she is very serious about her art, and the hype and press were taking her away from her priorities. “I’ve had a lot of growing up to do,” she said. “My family members are the ones that mean the most to me. That’s where my priorities are these days. That’s been a huge shift to me. I used to think people were my friends, but they were Terri Clark’s friends. You have to try and stay grounded and latch onto those people that are going to lift you up and keep you grounded and lift the morale.” Clark said sometimes we all have to experience major life changes in order to “wake up.” She said she has dealt with a lot of turning points and loss in the past years. “I’m going through another sense of loss in my personal life at the moment as we speak,” she said. “You don’t learn in the good times. It’s how you handle crisis, that’s how you know your strengths and weaknesses. I’ve had a lot of loss. I feel more emotionally healthy coming out the other side of it. Who I was 16 years ago to today, I have a lot more layers. I’m the same girl with a lot more experiences.” Clark said she is currently “happy and single” and planning on staying that way. She said she wants to take the time to have the best relationship she can with herself and get to know who she is. “Figure out who you are again without that extra energy in your life,” she suggested. “Paying my therapist was the best money I ever spent. Get yourself massages and pedicures – be kind to you. As women, we tend to give everything we have to that person and we are definitely the matriarchs of the relationship, and that can be draining. When you’re constantly worried about someone else, your tank is being spent – good or bad.” Clark never had children, though she said her biological clock had definitely been ticking throughout her 30s. She said she woke up one day and realized it wasn’t right for her. She added that she hopes she doesn’t regret that decision, but her nieces and nephews are enough for her. “If I’m 55 and longing for a child, I’ll adopt a 23-year-old,” she said with a laugh. “I’m so wrapped up in music. If you have a child, you have to be completely selfless. There was a time when I definitely was really, really strongly considering it. But that window shut. I left it shut and I locked it.” Up next for Clark is a long tour schedule in Canada after recently wrapping up her Unplugged Tour in the United States. She released an independent album in 2009 titled “Long Way Home” and hadn’t planned on putting out a new record anytime soon. However, she put the finishing touches on a record in April of this year. “In today’s digital word, we kind of have to keep turning them out,” she said. “I’m a big stickler for quality, though. I don’t believe in throwing 10 pieces of crap onto an album.” Her new album is more upbeat, she said. “Long Way Home” came out just after her divorce and while she was struggling to find balance in her life. The album turned out more melancholy than usual. She said her new album will feel like someone “opened all the blinds in the room and let the light come in.” Clark lives in Canada part time where she grew up with her family and close friends. She has strong roots there and is looking forward to spending time this summer with her 85-year-old grandmother. She said her summer will be filled with “fishing and friends that I’ve known since I was 14.” “I really value where I came from,” she said, “the people that helped me become who I am. I want to nurture those relationships. I love Nashville, it’s been wonderful to me. But I go up there to get away from all this stuff.” woman

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“Instead of thinking about where you are, think about where you want to be.” Terri Clark ‘The Long Way Home’ 58 | My Journey Within 63 – Dia...

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