“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” -Pema Chodron
Seven years ago, I packed everything I owned into my little red Honda Civic and sold, gave away, or tossed whatever didn’t fit. I was 24 years old and I was on my way from Florida to Los Angeles to pursue the American Dream.
I was consumed with swirls of intense emotions—anxieties, excitement, fear, and joy, all mixing together in one little body. I was crossing the country on a new adventure, filled with hopes and dreams, seeking something I could not define or put into words.
These past seven years in Los Angeles have transformed me. I landed there so young, so innocent, and so lost, yet somehow I gained a sense of self that I never thought I would.
None of us gets a roadmap to inner peace and joy, but I’ve made one as I’ve gone. It hasn’t included fast or easy routes, but the journey has definitely been interesting so far.
When I headed to Los Angeles, I had Hollywood stars in my eyes. I was pretty certain I was supposed to be a famous actress, and I thought that would bring me happiness and clarity.
As I worked with various teachers at several acting schools, trying on different roles and character traits, I learned a lot about myself. I eventually realized that I wasn’t really interested in pursuing acting. I didn’t want to be authentic on stage; I wanted to create an authentic life. I wasn’t trying to step into a character. I was trying to step into myself.
I wanted to find my voice—to live on purpose and do something that made me feel passionate. I felt I had something to say, something to share, something within me that was asking for a fair shot at being expressed.