Four years ago, I was on summer break, living in the Upper West Side, and passing the time working until I was to start up my final year at Pace in the fall. I was on path to become a "professional" dancer, set to graduate with a BFA in commercial dance. In the beginning of July 2013, I had gone through a crazy experience where I broke my wrist. The experience totally shocked my system, my brain, my emotions and everything I ever thought I was working to be. When I think about that time in my life I remember how I was trying really hard. How it seemed like I was in a crippling cycle of injury yet I just kept pushing through because GOSH DERNIT I WAS GOING TO BE A DANCER! I had set a goal and promised myself at the age of 18, when I dropped out of college at Alabama to move up to NYC, that backing out was never an option because dance was my destiny. So there I was, on the cusp of 22, swimming against the current and pushing myself through so many dance ups and downs (but mostly downs *literally) to achieve my 18 year old promise.
When I broke my wrist that July, I was initially traumatized because it felt so discouraging after having so many injuries that felt like I had only just overcome... however, it was just a few days after the incident that I received an email from a producer named Rene Veron. I had spent most of the month of June hunting for summer jobs and responding to Craigslist ads in hopes of getting a job doing something that would help hone my craft while also make money. Rene had posted an ad looking for a singer on a track, I responded with a youtube video of me poorly strumming a ukulele while singing and to my surprise, HE RESPONDED! He liked what he heard and thought it would be great for his track.
All went well when I met with Rene and I soon began to work with him regularly, writing lyrics and melodies for songs and various commercial projects. I loved it so much and began writing songs constantly on my own. Everything became my inspiration. I couldn't believe it! All the passion that dance had burnt out of me came whooshing back in like a hurricane and wrapped me up in music. After my accident with my wrist, writing music became my therapy. Music was my source of hope to deal with everything. The thrill of musically creating was addictive in the best way. It didn't take long for me to change my major to something more general so that I could enroll in music business classes in the fall and use my time outside of school to work with Rene on music rather than more dance classes & rehearsals. My wrist healed up, I started going out to Rockaway Beach, I learned to surf, I started school again with a less dance intensive schedule and began working on my very own EP with Rene. I graduated, moved to Rockaway, made new friends, started new jobs, started dating another musician. I finished the EP with Rene, we built a band, began playing our music live, released the EP, and kept playing music live, which greatly influenced and changed my love of music and career aspirations. It was an I dentity crisis for a while for me as I began to let go of "being a dancer" but slowly and surely, belting my music in bars became my new favorite thing to do and and my new tunnel vision goal.
Now that you know the backstory, let's fast forward to right now. Me sitting on my couch in my apartment, it's early July 2017, I'm on the cusp of 26 (at midnight actually), and two days ago I broke my foot. Womp wimp.
At first, I was hit with a pretty deflated feeling because I've just built a new kickass band, have all this new music to release, I've lined up lots of fun gigs for summer, and more than anything I JUST STARTED TO LUV SKATEBOARDING WITH MY DOG! And the most ironic part about all of this, is that earlier this week when I was reflecting and thinking to tell the story of breaking my wrist. How it was a blessing in disguise because it catapulted me into new greatness and a life that I am so grateful to now live.
When I broke my wrist it made me "Take It Slow" and things I never dreamed I'd be doing, started to fall into place. I wouldn't trade that scary incident or that injury or my former mindset for the world because it brought me here. 4 years older, 4 years wiser, 4 years more musical, with a cool ass dog/cat and living at the freakin' beach. At first, My summer 2017 plans seemed like they broke with my foot on Friday. The anxieties that arose with this injury are ridiculous. I began thinking about what an idiot I am, how I should've done this or that better, how now nothing is going to work out because all my plans are ruined, how maybe I've been doing all the wrong things and this is a punishment for me after all, but that's all just fear and it's all bullshit!
....Because if I've learned anything in my life and from the Disney Pixar movie 'Inside Out', it's that heartache and sadness don't tear us down: they bring us together. It opens a space for us to be vulnerable and love to come in. For our friends and family to show up, and even more importantly for God and the love we have for ourselves to breakthrough. When my goals are so big and the fire in my soul is ablaze, I tend to lose sight of that notion. I lose sight of God's notion. Yeah I made plans, I make a lot of plans. And a lot of them don't work out the way I think they will, and every. single. time...it's for the better.
I know deep down inside that my best life is lived when I let it all go and slow down, but sometimes it seems so much easier to know that than to do that. But I sure hope from here on out, I can live knowing it and let go. So for real, on this day, on this blog post, at this time, let me say that I hope you enjoy this song and I hope you take it to heart.
I'll just be over here, accepting that I have no idea what's to come and that no matter what, it's all good, as long as I heed my own advice and "Take It Slow".