Life is a crazy thing really. The ups and downs, turns and twsits. We dream for things that may never happen. Sometimes things happen we never could have dreamed of. Human nature is such that we strive for control; however control is an illusion even in the lives of those who seem to have taken hold of their preverbal reigns and steered into the successful abyss as if they couldn’t possibly ever experience failure.
I have been having an identity crisis of late. I am about to turn 31 in less than two months. Age isn’t necessarily a big issue for me, or at least I don’t think it is until I realize how old I am and then I examine my life and think…really?? This is where you are?
So let’s review. I am almost 31. Unmarried. No children. I live alone in New York. I am making the least amount of money I’ve made ever. I have four jobs I am currently working…not counting my broadcasting job that is technically seasonal at this point. I’ve never worked this hard in my life and I can’t help but wonder if my life is going backwards.
Then I think of the reasons I am lucky. I have a man in my life who loves me and has stuck with me even when I haven’t stuck with him. When I struggle and have hard days (which have been frequent lately) he is the resounding voice of support and love. He seems to know when a text message to remind me that I am a strong, intelligent, special woman really is the remedy I need most. Knowing someone believes in you even when believing in yourself feels impossible can be enough to lift you out of the dreariness of life and its realities as you drudge through the muck to get yourself back on solid ground.
I also have five jobs in a time when many people cannot find one job. A month ago I needed something to happen to get me through my slow time after spending my savings on vet bills for my sick puppy. Then I got hired to work at a restaurant here in Brooklyn, took a job with a wedding planning in the city, booked some dates with the WNBA for clinics and just yesterday was asked by the principal of a high school in Manhattan to fill out paper work to be a substitute teacher all while I wait for the college women’s basketbal season to start back up this fall. Granted I am working 6 days a week right now, sometimes 7, and as many as 15 hours a day but I am grateful for the opportunities that have been put in front of me.
Still, I think the struggle I am having is not as much working non stop to make ends meet as it is wondering where I am going. I have done things people dream of and never come close to accomplishing. I have been a professional athlete, lived all over the world. I am a sports broadcaster and get paid to talk about sports. Yet, I have this feeling there is something more me, something bigger I am meant to do. I am pissed as hell at myself right now because I find myself losing faith in myself and where I am going; getting caught up in where I am now instead of thinking about where I am going.
Last night when I got home from work I watched the season premiere of The X Factor. The last man to audition on the show was a guy named Chris Rene. A 28 year old trash collector and father of a two year old boy who was just 70 days out of rehab for alcohol, cocaine, and meth addiction. They asked him what he was going to sing and he said an original song he had written. When they asked him what it was called he said “Young Homey” and the judges tried not to snicker and prepared themselves for something awful which they get more times than not. When the music started and Chris began to sing/rap he blew everyone away. You could see the shock and amazement on the judges faces as the song went on. I myself have now listened to it countless times.
Chris inspired me at a juncture in my life when I was struggling to inspire myself. I’m sure he never imagined being 28, married with a son, a recovering addict working as a trash collector. Life provides us all opportunities. Some earlier than others. It’s just a matter of whether we give-up before our own personal opportunity presents itself. Chris inspired me not to give up. To keep believing in that gut feeling I have that there is something more for me out there.