If there’s one thing I learned from my dad that has stuck with me all these years, it’s this quote … “If It Smells Like Shit and It Looks Like Shit. More Than Likely … It’s Shit.” Thanks Dad ;)
But what do you do when you realize that you’re sitting in a pile of shit??? The Answer: Turn it into a compost and plants seeds to grow flowers from the nasty excretions that come out of anal cavities. (too much?) I bring this up because I am nearing my one (1) year anniversary of moving to and living in New York. As I look back on this past year, I realize that I moved up under some very unique and trying circumstances.
I am proud to say that despite it all, I have some how found a way to make sugar out of what was an initially shitty situation. Bill Nye the Science Guy would be proud.
Let’s start from the beginning of how the Burghal Gurl (moi) made her way to from DC to New York…. (This is a long post so proceed at your own risk)
1. Saturday: August 13, 2011:
I tore my left ACL and Meniscus during the tech run before ECDC. Two hours before the show, I was on stage dancing, prepping to jump during a house section and… BAM! I slipped, my left knee popped and I hopped off stage towards a throng of faces filled with concern. I was in mucho pain but knew that if I started crying the whole team would be even more worried about how the show would go on if someone in a leadership position brokedown … So I put on the brave face, took a few breaths, slapped the ice on and tried to make fun of a not so funny situation. At the time, I didn’t know what I had done to my knee but I knew it was bad because almost immediately after the pop, my knee doubled in size.
Behind the Brave Face: I was mentally screaming … Not only because I had invested alot of love into the development of ECDC last year and couldn’t follow through but also because at that moment I felt like if Dance was my boyfriend … Then I had just been dumped.
2. Monday: August 15, 2011:
Did I mention I had a job interview in New York the following Monday? I had been to the orthopedist that weekend and got my MRI but wouldn’t know what the results for my knee were for another week. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to go to the interview at this point.
One: I needed to find someone to drive me up since taking the bus to NYC was out of the question now.
Two: I had to wear an immobile brace! How was I going to be hired for a job that required me to be on my feet if I came to my interview crip walking? Was it worth it to drive four hours for a job I felt I would probably not get?
Three: I was feeling very vulnerable and insecure. I didn’t feel ready to sit in front of a group of people and have them inquire about my job experience and figure out who I was person in my current emotional state…
But then … My boyfriend had to come along to burst my “life sucks” bubble & said “F**k it. What do you have to lose? You scheduled the interview. They will respect you for simply following through despite your injury.” (Thanks Babe) And then my girl, Lmya, volunteered to drive me to New York (She’s Bomb Diggity) And then the boy and I went shopping so I could find a dress to wear that would match my knee brace. (Retail Therapy) And slowly, my mindset changed and I started thinking that I could do this.
Lmya and I had an awesome road trip with me laid out in the back seat. I hobbled into my interview with time to spare and left out feeling like I had nailed it.
3. Friday: August 26, 2011:
I was offered the job and they wanted me to start September 7th, 2011. This was awesome news and I was in disbelief that they had actually offered me the job! However, by this time it had been confirmed that my left ACL was completely torn and my meniscus was partially torn … What to do? What to do?
Reject the offer and start planning on having knee surgery in a month? or Take the offer and figure out the rest along the way?
Call me crazy because … I Accepted The Position!
Moving to New York had been a dream of mine since I was in the 6th grade. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
After doing research and speaking with my orthopedist, I knew I could walk without an ACL … just no side to side movement. I would have to wait to see when I could schedule to have knee surgery once I got settled in New York. I made a decision to put dance on the back burner and transition into the world of arts administration. If I couldn’t dance then I would at least be able to work behind the scenes within this realm.
At the time of the job offer, I was out of the knee brace and walking around with just one crutch for support. I had to get myself back to walking without a crutch in 2 weeks. “I could do this. I can do this. I will do this. I’m a badass …” These were the thoughts I repeated to myself so I wouldn’t get cold feet with my crazy decision. I spoke with a friend who lived in Astoria and asked to see if I could stay with her until I found my own place since it was such a quick turnaround. She said yes and that was that.
I was moving to New York in two weeks … Crip leg and all…
4. September 6, 2011:
Today was the day … I had a one way ticket to New York. I had one luggage filled with work clothes (3 pairs of slack, a gazillion blouses and all my underwear) and a duffle with regular clothes (a pair of jeans and shorts, T-shirts, two sweaters and a dress.) After living a huge part of my life in DC, I was finally moving away… And with the realization of my dream, I was also starting a new lifestyle called “Long Distance Love.” (Insert sad face here)
The boy was very supportive during this whole process from my knee injury, from driving me around to the doctors, to practically telling me I better accept this position. My own personal cheerleader. He wants for me the things I want for myself and I couldn’t have asked for more.
We had done long distance the year before when he accepted a position to work in Virginia Beach and I was living in DC. Now everything was in reverse … He had moved back to DC and I was leaving for New York. There was a part of me that felt guilty for moving. But I couldn’t stay just for him. I had dreams, he had his and one day, our dreams would link up. Until then, we had to focus on building our personal careers. We had done this before and made it. We could do it again… I couldn’t help but get sad as people started to load into the bus at Union Station to NYC. (Thank Buddha for sunglasses) Right before I got on the bus to New York, he whispered “We got this…”
On this day, I moved into my first ever apartment. Before this, I had been living with my Dad so this was a big step because now I had to start paying rent and utilities. (Big Girl Bills) Luckily, I had been saving up money while I was living with my dad or else this move would not have possible. I found my place through craig’s list and was blessed to be living with two cool girls. (No Craig’s List Killer Allowed!) The boy drove his truck filled with my clothes and various items and helped me move into my room. I had no bed and no furniture. I slept on the floor the whole month of October before I got an air mattress. I would then sleep on the air mattress for 2 months before I finally saved up enough money to buy a bed from Ikea.
I had survived my first month of work and was getting along super well with my co-workers.
I had made huge progress with my knee in that I was walking full stride without any help assistance and the swelling had gone completely down. At this point last year, I had an appointment scheduled the following month to meet with Dr. Rose (The Dance Doctor in NYC) and was ready to figure out what the next step was in my journey back to dance (a.k.a. knee surgery).
Things were moving along and coming together … “I could do this. I can do this. I will do this. I’m a bad bitch…”
Has anyone else made a crazy decision to move in pursuit of your dreams/goals?
Feel free to comment below with your stories!
Cheers and Have a Happy Honest Hump Day :)