About 8 weeks ago, I started receiving some surprising, friendship rekindling, messages from those I haven’t laid eyes on in over 10 years…reason being is that they all still reign from Los Angeles and little did they know, I was about to make an announcement that I would soon be just a few hours away.
This exhilarated my burst of excitement because unknowingly, I had forgotten how much I've really missed these West Coast peeps. I could feel the warm Californian sunshine resonating through each and every message!!! A feeling, I too had long forgotten about. The timing of this new awakening could not have been better executed, which leads me to wonder:
Does the Universe actually speak to us?
Are we given signals throughout our lives that reveal we are heading in the right direction when in doubt?
Through receiving these messages from my LA friends, is this the Universe's way of saying "Welcome back to the South West?"
From what I‘ve always recalled, living in LA didn’t exactly deliver the most positive experience of growth and development during the infancy my adulthood, but now that I’m armed with the wisdom from the help of my thirties and feeling the happy memories jumping out of each kind message, I must rethink my entire outlook…
After graduating from AMDA, I took the first job I could land in a snooty, high-end, retail store on Rodeo Drive (sooo not a match from the get go). I was discovering a new found pressure from having bills that needed to be paid and suddenly dealing with the misery of having a thankless job, which, unfortunately, came with the territory of being responsible in making sure these bills were paid on time. And on top of that, I was having to learn the struggles of what time management REALLY looked like when navigating through horrendous traffic - praying I wouldn't be late to my auditions...And in some cases I was learning what it was like to deprive myself of opportunities to attend auditions in fear of losing my job. Speaking of deprivation, a new learning curve fell into the equation when I became suddenly faced with trying to decide if whether or not I should skip meals to afford new headshots, business cards and networking seminars requested by talent agents - hoping they would eventually send me out on more work.
In a nut-shell: This reality provided many stumbles and falls - more than I can even count...
...Everything about all of it was new to me...
So really, when it comes to the contributing factors of my misery, how much of it was really LA and how much of it was actually me?
With time, I eventually gained a firmer grasp on upholding the daily demands, but once that was established I felt a revealing stench in the air that this industry was far more discriminating against leading, female storytellers. I had barely scratched the surface in, but it didn’t take me long to feel molded into a discouraged, young, 20 something girl who wondered if she threw herself into the big leagues, unprepared. Navigating through this reality felt like a constant act of troubleshooting on who I was and who I wanted to be - in the midst of trying to figure out how to place my foothold in the entertainment industry. Needless to say, all of this placed me in a trance of discomfort.
Deep down in the back of my mind I started to speculate...
(My mom might kill me for finally acknowledging this, now)
...that maybe I dove into Hollywood too early.
Remembering her messages, urging me to return to Manhattan and finish school, I often wondered if it would have been a smoother transition had I done that. At the level of maturity I had in my 20s, I always believed that in ordered to create memorable, high quality work, I needed to have a great level of life experience and insight. The reality was, I didn’t have that and it ultimately left me feeling that all I had to offer was never good enough.
While my 5 years in LA played out, (aside from making great friends) I did meet people who truly believed in me. But I never felt I was deserving of their presence and, sadly, I didn’t keep as close ties with them as I should have - which left me vulnerable to absorb the predatory attacks from chronic naysayers.
10 years and a few battle wounds later, I am emerging from NYC knowing more of who I am and what I want. I’m better aware of what I have to offer now that I have originated a trajectory that supports my own material and those of other artists who’ve supported me along the way. Yes, LA provided struggles, but NYC provided moments that backed me so far into a corner, there was no other choice but to stand my ground.
Has the Universe spoken to me?
The longer I reflect on this question, the more I have to say yes.
A lot of doubts filled my head right before I published When Bad Apples Deliver a Sweet Outcome - as the decision for the big move was being finalized. I truly believe receiving the Californian messages really were a sign that everything is going to be okay and as soon as I visit my old stomping grounds, it will all be different from what I remembered 10 years ago. The South West is welcoming me back with open arms...and maybe even giving me another chance.
As I sit here, one week into my Arizonian residence, I feel that familiarity of the one hundred degree Valley heat overtaking the the day and inspiring adventures at night...Just like a flashback Friday from the good old LA days!
I cannot wait to see and hug my LA friends. I'm still just getting settled, but I know that it is only a matter of time before I lay eyes on them, once again!!
I've been feeling the sunshine vibrantly calling to me - telling me that through many walks of life, I've managed to find the lessons to be learned no matter what lies ahead. As for this lesson, I think the Universe is reminding me of the person I‘ve always wanted to be and how far I have come. From across the country and a decade later - these messages just before the big move were loud and clear... showing me how beautiful it truly is to remain connected to those who’ve made my past extraordinary and are making the unknown far more sweeter than I've ever imagined.