I can still remember with incredible clarity the first time I ever saw the mountains. My parents and I were driving from Iowa City, Iowa to Crested Butte, Colorado for a summer performing arts camp. They were to teach, and I was to take. As we gradually got closer and closer to our final destination, I remember my mother saying to me: “look momo, see the mountains?” I gazed off into the distance, and squinted my eyes just enough to make out the rough edges of the impending terrain…it looked like one giant hill. But as we drew closer, that one giant hill began to disperse into large, majestic bodies of land and snow and trees and rivers, grander than anything I had ever seen in my life.
They were indeed the mountains, and they were sensational.
This has been a lot like my experience in New York over the past six months. When I arrived, I felt like my task was singular; to scale what appeared to be the greatest hill I could climb. However, as I set out to do so, I found that the mound of rocks and dirt in front of me was actually one piece in a giant set –a mountain range, if you will- and suddenly, being able to see the whole picture made the idea of that first climb a lot less intimidating.
In my last session with Rachael, discovering that I could move to Oregon (or anywhere of my choosing) and write (or do anything of my choosing) and listen to my heart and live life on my own terms was like catching a glimpse of the entire range vs. just the one mountain. Suddenly, performing on Broadway became a PIECE of the puzzle…instead of the whole thing. By removing the pressure of ‘all or nothing’, the waters of creation and imagination were/are able to flow, and my whole energy has shifted. In the past two weeks, I’ve found myself dreaming up all kinds of infinite possibilities for my life; a life that I have always thought would go only one of two ways; I would either stay in NY and live ‘the dream’ –or- I would move back home to New Mexico, get my psychology degree, become a therapist for at-risk youth, get married, have babies, and ship them off to my parents farm for the summers so that my husband and I could wander Europe together. Now, it looks like I could move to Oregon, write my books, have a million outdoor adventures, work in theatre on the West Coast, and go from there...or anything else that I want, which does not have to include or exclude any of the aforementioned possibilities, but rather, greatly expands the repertoire of desire all together.
With the inception of the Oregon plan, it’s like I can suddenly see MUCH further down the road than ever before.
Most importantly, I no longer feel stuck, which comes as a giant relief.
I still feel like I need to audition, even though my heart knows that I don't need to ‘achieve’ any tangible result for it to be worth my time. I am praying for financial solvency, and booking a big contract would definitely be one way, but I know that it's not the only way, just the thought patterns that I have become most accustom to.
Part of my heart feels sad, like it is attempting to mourn the life that I was so certain that I was going to have (NY, B-way etc.) and I also can’t shake the curiosity about 'how would I feel if I WAS indeed living that life; might I feel a lot differently about New York if I could actually afford to live here without so much financial stress?
I also know Broadway performers worry about money and life just like everyone else. A show can close, an ankle can break, shit happens.
The other part of my heart –when I remember to check in with it- feels like it is soaring with new energy. It is so ready to go and expand and explore what lies beyond the wild blue yonder. To navigate life in ways that I have never dared to try; with ultimate trust and faith, knowing that the answers are always inside of me, and always guiding me towards fulfilling my heart, and experiencing my greatest, ever-expanding, human potential.
I no longer feel that I have to close a door in order to open a window.
The rooms are available, all the time, to all of us.
The only choice we have to make is which one we feel called to explore.
Over the weekend, following lots of meditation, I began the process of releasing items that I associate with old identities. I ended up throwing out all of my old head shots, and picking about 9 songs from my 2 giant music books that I really love to sing, and threw the rest out. I threw out all of my dance shoes (donated) minus my tap shoes which I wanted to keep, and got rid of everything that doesn't fit right (things that I was saving for when I was ‘as skinny as I was last summer’) which managed to fill FOUR boxes. When I go to my next home, I will be able to transport everything I have in 2 duffel bags and a backpack.