My strategies have worked in some ways. I see, look, and know what is around me with much more clarity. Rather than being held up in my art house and studio, I have gotten out into the provincial world that surrounds me. I have taken it all in with deep breaths, wide eyes, and fine tuned ears. Oh. Now I get it.
Yet, I realize now I have come full circle. There was nothing wrong with my art life in the first place. Even though I felt bad about not showing locally, I now realize that is OK. I don't have to be a "local". The irony is I will never be a local. I am an immigrant, so to speak. I live in my own land. I tried to become a member of another world and I really don't like it. I have realized my independence is one of the most important attributes I possess. I want to be the Queen of Sheree World. There is no harm in that. So, I am going back there. I can hear Glinda's words to Dorothy: "You've always had the power....."
The moral of this story is you have to be true to yourself:
If it doesn't feel good, don't do it.
There is truth to the idiomatic expression about trying to fit a "square peg into a round hole". It just isn't going to happen.
Now, I am OK with this.