It's so easy to point blame when you're not doing what you're passionate about and living through love. Each morning I woke up, for the last year and a half of my life, I dreaded my fast-paced, dishonest, financially-driven New York existence. I'd somehow manage to pull my ever-expanding ass out of bed, slowly enough to dramatize each minute and once I was out of the shower, I'd throw myself into the kitchen to make my morning coffee - which never tasted as great as I hoped. Once fully awake, I'd pick an outfit out, get dressed and shrug as I left my small apartment to start my day, - which I already assumed would be miserable. You see, I had these horrible routines which brought no joy into my life whatsoever - and because I concentrated so firmly on them, I'd attract more negative energy. Once I arrived at the N train to make my way into Manhattan, I'd always find myself in absolute shock and horror over the unbelievable, mind-boggling experiences that I would encounter: people throwing racial slurs, drunk guys verbally harassing women, homeless people defecating on the subway, "christian" couples denouncing homosexuality and banishing any supporter of such a lifestyle to hell. Really? ..I was just about ready to transform myself into the real-life Dexter Morgan when I had an deafening realization that changed my direction. This was MY life. There was no way in hell I was not going to be in the drivers seat any longer.
I burned a bridge with the real estate company I was working for after not being able to truly grasp the concept of the cardinal rule: "Do anything and everything you can to close the deal". It was by far one of the most outstanding decisions I had ever made. You see, I wasn't about to lie to anyone. I wasn't about to jack up my brokers fee and I wasn't going to rent someone an exclusive listing when I knew very well there were better spaces on the market that were a better fit for my client. I found myself too honest and wasn't going to compromise my beliefs for an extra $200. After all, I had entered the industry in the first place on the belief that I could aid people in finding the perfect home without the major headaches that go along with an apartment search in Manhattan.
Once I left, I sat myself down for a good month and started to think about what I really wanted. I would design websites, create music, dive back into yoga and compose myself in this short time and, when it was all over, the one thing I'd been avoiding and staring at was the one thing I needed most: I needed to go back to a life of performing and leave Manhattan behind. I realized though, that it wasn't the city that wasn't working for me. It was me not working in the city. I would make a million excuses a day as to why I hadn't been to the gym, why I hadn't eaten better, why I wasn't auditioning and why, although I was working 60+ hours a week, I wasn't bringing home a substantial paycheck. The city had chewed me up and spit me out as it had done to so many others - and, without a doubt, I let it get the best of me. I was left with little cash, a ton of debt, unrealized dreams and a very bitter taste in my mouth. As much as I wanted anything but turning into a "struggling performer", even that would have been a more suitable choice for me. I would have at least been doing something artistic.
Fast forward a few months, I found myself arriving in Fort Lauderdale for rehearsals for the Explorer and met people that lit that spark within me again. They allowed the fire to burn and my passion for performance to reignite. Just 5 months outside of New York City and I feel like a new person. There are no excuses being made, there are no days spent laying on a couch and sulking and there are most certainly no days that I feel like I'm not doing something incredibly important. This work is undoubtedly my life's work. It brings a smile to so many faces, extinguishes the flames of a bad day and helps to facilitate a healthy and passionate lifestyle for me.
You might be asking yourself why on earth I'm writing all of this as this might sound like an advice column, inspired by personal experience. Truthfully, I just wanted to get this out and remind myself alone that the power to change will always be within me - and anyone who comes along and allows these words to affect them is surely a bonus. I've found peace in my travels, found wonderful friends that I have and will continue to recognize as mirrors and teachers and never again will I doubt the power of DOING. You can say you'll act upon something until you're blue in the face - until you do though, they are mere words of intention. Always remember, regardless of your current situation, any negativity is temporary and light will always be found at the end of the tunnel. You might make a few wrong turns and head the wrong way at the fork but all in all, you'll find the light if that's your goal and a beautiful path will always be revealed. My path is Bermuda for the month of October. Where's yours headed?