Just last year around this time, the winds of change blew harder than they had in a long while for me. Instead of fighting it, rooting down and waiting it out in an exercise of futility, I decided to set sail on what has turned out to be the best adventure of my life. The winds have a habit of blowing harder and harder forcibly altering your life until you have no choice but to accept the changes they bring. But it turns out, my friends, that embracing the currents seems to make the changes easier and gives you at least some control of how to steer the ship.
Thirteen months ago, my life was a mess. I was slowly wasting away in my seventh year with the same grocery chain, and there seemed very little chance of getting out of that. Performance opportunities were slim. They were gaunt, really…emaciated. Spiritually, I felt as though I had no community whatsoever. My boyfriend and I at the time had broken up after over two years. He kept the puppy. I packed up my life into boxes and bags and went home to Port St. Lucie.
There, back in my home town with a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative religious studies, a broken heart, a passion faded from underuse and seven years of customer service experience on an otherwise pretty barebones resume, I made the decision to raise sail and catch myself some wind. It had already blown hard enough to shake me from excited college graduate to near broken hometown failure while I did everything I could to fight it off. So I sold off a bunch of my stuff, my beloved car, packed up the rest in two suitcases and hopped a plane to NYC.
Twelve months ago, I was already so much happier. I came from a place where winds blow in one direction with currents strong enough to turn mountains to dust and landed in a swirling, raging vortex of gusts. A city of constant change, constant growth and immense opportunity that churns out artists and businessmen, students and dreamers, shakers and shapers of the earth at such great speeds that would cause the sturdiest heads to spin.
Nine months ago, I landed a dream job with Stick, Stone and Bone. I spend most of my daytime hours in the heart of the West Village, the historic gay district, selling beautiful bits of earth and offering inspiration and guidance as I can. My time in this shop with these wonderful people, customers and coworkers alike, has reignited a dream so long buried I had almost forgotten it. I’m taking this opportunity to learn as much as I possibly can about a business I would like to enter into myself someday. Possibly sooner rather than later. And the winds just keep blowing.
Four months ago, I auditioned for this crazy thing called Zombiefest. Not only do I now get to spend evenings as an awesome makeuped member of the undead legions (expertly airbrushed by my friend and director Dalton), it has provided me an opportunity to reconnect with the theatrical world. The connections I’m making now, the friends that have come into my life, have the potential to build into brilliant professional relationships down the road. And of course, now I have some amazing drinking buddies who also like to sing on the train.
One month ago, while I was down in North Carolina, I met a boy who I have yet to meet. In the learly hours of the night just before I was to fly back to NYC, on one of those silly gay dating apps for these new fangled smartphones, I received a message from a boy named Kyle. The conversation we had was quite refreshing compared to most others, and soon enough we switched over to texting. Then skype conversations. A little over a month later, we’ve spoken in some fashion or other every single day. I don’t know what something like this can become, but he makes me smile inside, and for that I am very grateful. I’m excited to see what winds are in store for this part of my story.
This past year has been one of great change, and I see nothing to tell me that it’s stopping any time soon. I’ve reconnected with friends from before college and made an army of new ones. Two professional dreams are developing before my eyes simultaneously, and I am as of this moment balancing them quite well. I live in a place that inspires me every single day. New projects hit me all the time, and they are all seeing progress. With another year, who knows where I’ll be?
Wherever it is, I know it will be great. I’ve gotten the knack of riding these winds, I think. Total control will never be mine, and I wouldn’t ever pretend it was. But for now the skies are clear, the wind is strong, and my sails are full. Another great day for sailing, don’t you think?
I certainly do. Happy Monday Fun Day, my fellow sailors.