Have you completely lost your mind? I asked myself right after I purchased my bus ticket to New York City. I had 200 dollars in my pocket and plans to sublet for three weeks from a girl I met on craigslist. She was going to France to visit her family for the holidays and needed someone to take care of her rent. Apparently, she had a very nice male roommate and we were going to get along just fine.
I couldn’t even dream of telling my parents what I was thinking of doing. You see, my father has heart problems and I my mom freaks out about almost everything.
I started panicking maybe a little too late… I was already on the bus. My mind was going 1000 miles per hour. What are you doing? You have a nice life in North Carolina. A nice house, a nice car, nice people who really like you. Why aren’t you happy? God is going to punish you and you are going to regret badly leaving…My brain at the time was my worst enemy.
I arrived the next morning in New York City and took the train to Queens to meet my new three-week roommate and to realize that I wasn’t really going to be subletting a room but a living-room instead. Her room had a sofa bed, with a living room divider that she “closed” when it was time to go to sleep. I didn’t mind. If the other roommate turned out to be a psycho and tried to molest me while I was sleeping I was going to bite him and run. I had more important things to worry about. I had three weeks to figure out the next stage of my life. The big audition to my dream dance company was three days away and I needed to focus my energy in performing my best that morning. I needed that audition to go well. I also only had three weeks to find a job, save money at least to rent a room somewhere and start my brand new life in the city where all dreams come true.
The morning of my audition I was both nervous and excited. I gave my all on stage; it was almost apparent that I needed that place in the dance company for my life to be complete. The following weeks in New York flew by. I started working in a little NYC gift shop in Times Squares and saving the money I needed to get my own room. My heart melted when I was given the news that I was going to be part of Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Everything went according to plan.
During my first month as a trainee for the company, I became injured and had to stop training. I was working long hours to pay for the NYC sky rocketing rent; I barely had money for food, and became sick and heartbroken. Going back to North Carolina did not seem like a bad idea; there I would go back to my not so bad life.
But I just couldn’t bring myself to buy that ticket to go back.
I am convinced that I was meant for greatness, and if I don’t achieve greatness at least I will die working towards it. Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist says it best: “The possibility of having a dream come true is what makes life interesting,” but I would even argue with that and say that it is what makes life worth it. Having a purpose and passion in life is what is going to make your struggles, happy struggles. Some people find their life purpose in their families, other in their careers, music, dance, bakery or dog walking, so if dance was not what was going to make me great I had to discover it somewhere else so I started re-applying to school. Life was teaching me the lesson that everything happens for my own benefit.
After trying to ignore the voice in my heart that tells me that I am made to serve and help others that just like me have come to this country with nothing except dreams; I have finally discovered my second love. Immigration Law. Sometimes I sit back and think: It must be really be nice to have a house where you can get your mail or it would be great to have options but everyone trials are different and we are here in this earth with the solid purpose of finding happiness. In whatever form we may perceive it. The struggles are not forever, and as long as you are being your best honest self, life will take care of the rest. It is not going to be easy, there will be plenty of crying nights, but I have faith it will be well worth it.
Now that the year has come to an end, and that we are ready to embark on 2016, let’s not be afraid of taking chances, making that change that scares the hell out of you. What is the worst that can happen? You get injured and have to discover a brand new you! And fall in love with a completely different part of yourself. Remember that “No heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”