Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Somewhere over the rainbow theres a lazy little horse who's relied on trails for too long

A few weeks ago as I struggled for air and light and food I was intent on leaving New York. I still am, though my departure date has yet to be determined. I'm leaving that up to life for the time being. It's pretty funny. Life, that is. In 2 weeks time I went from having no money, my electricity and heat turned off for a week, scrambling for jobs to no avail using internet at coffee houses, showering once in 5 days only because my friend was kind enough to take me to the gym...to standing on top of a volcano watching lava glow and sputter and spew with glory 4,885 miles away from my godforsaken apartment. A friend needed help and offered me a break from my broke in Brooklyn life and flew me to Hawaii. The kindness of people...it never fails.

I had never been to Hawaii and have pretty much been stuck in NY since I moved, (aside from working in Miami last summer for Swim week) so the trip, and chance to get away and breathe fresh air was welcomed like no other. We went to the beach, the volcano national park, horseback riding - all the typical (I suppose) Hawaiian things one does while there. And, when we visited the Volcano, she just so happened to be in the middle of erupting. In fact, part of the park was closed due to the winds blowing sulfur plumes onto the road. If you're a nature person like me, you must, must, MUST visit a volcano before you die. There is nothing more magical than watching the earth glow while it literally creates itself. Such an amazing energetic rush and a sight that no video I've ever seen has done justice when compared to seeing it in person.

Horseback riding, was my first time. Yes I was extremely sore the next day. Please laugh at me, I laughed at myself. We went riding at a ranch that uses working horses for rides rather than horses that are specifically for riding as most of their business actually comes from the ranch rather than people wanting to go riding. Because of this, our leader asked us to please take whatever way we wished to go, the only thing he asked was to keep the horses off the trails. Because they have new riders from time to time, he said they'll get lazy and test people. If you don't show them you're boss and actually use your reins, and kick them (this part was hard for me being a major animal lover) - they won't listen to you and will lazily, follow trails already created.

My pony, Kailua, was a stubborn little 6 year old girl. Fitting, as I will admit to being stubborn my damn self. I had to tear her away from trails the entire time and if I wasn't paying attention for a minute, boom! Back on a trail. The last 30 minutes of our ride, I thought about this and how it applies to my own life as well as some folks I've seen around me.

I came to New York to freelance and simply to be here. First "job" I had was bartending. Second job, bartending. Of course, I did makeup as well, but bartending was my main source of income. A poor source of income at that. Surprisingly. When the bar I was working at closed in October I decided to just freelance. Even if it meant eating ramen noodles and never socializing, that's what I was going to do. That was 6 months ago. Since then, I've kind of floated. Can't say I've followed any trails, but while riding Kailua and thinking about what he had said, I realized I hadn't really created any trails either. I look at those around me who follow trails, work the "normal" jobs that they hate but enable them to have money. And I look at those other folks around me, the creatives, who have somehow blazed their own trails. They, the creative folks are a testament that it can be done and seem far happier and far more at peace. Looking back, I feel like I've been stuck at a crossroads for the past 6 months and without even realizing it, I was waiting for someone else to take the reins and push me in one direction or another.

Last night as I drifted off to sleep I had a flashback of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (I think), where he throws sand out from that cavern in the side of the mountain to "test" where his feet might stand so he could obtain the chalice. That's precisely what I feel like. Throwing a bit of sand out in front of me and having faith that despite any past struggles, I will be able to create my own trails. Of course my mom thinks I'm nuts and worries but I truly believe that life ultimately rewards those who take risks. I could never live a conventional lifestyle anyhow. It's just not in my blood.