I was at Walmart with my brother on Thanksgiving and a man walking by says, “man the shoes here are so over priced!” He was definitely serious and appeared stressed. His comment put many things into perspective and made me realize how different my life is now compared to my childhood.
I remember as a kid my mom putting clothes on layaway and also me yearning for certain material things that my mom couldn’t afford. I was raised on welfare and money was always the barrier to me obtaining many things I wanted. I fell in love with dance at 5 years old and thankfully my mom worked endlessly to nurture my passion. I didn’t grow up competing dance or going to dance conventions but my mom made sure that I was constantly dancing and training. She allowed me to fly in the field that made my heart happy. She allowed me to believe that this dream could be a reality. She NEVER once told me that it wasn’t possible. She just kept trying to open more doors for me to walk through.
Ultimately I worked obsessively in the profession that brings me happiness. I earn a solid living and I never want for anything anymore and most importantly I love what my “job” is. I often feel like I’m stealing because to me it isn’t a job. A wise woman recently told me (Julia Eastwood), “if you don’t understand the business of your art then it is just a hobby.” I innately understood this theory early on or you could say the desire to succeed made me understand this theory early on. Either way, understanding the business of my art has allowed me the ultimate freedom in life; doing what I love and making money while doing it.
What this Walmart experience gave me was the reminder that through hard work, passion and devotion you can achieve anything you want in this lifetime. It may not be in the perfect package and it may take longer than you desire but ultimately if it’s what you really desire then you will eventually be rewarded. For me, not having the finances to be on the fast track to dance success held me back from immediate success but it allowed me to appreciate every opportunity and accomplishment which ended up being a blessing in disguise. Just 20 years ago, I was in a store like Walmart with my mom financially imprisoned just like the man I spoke about earlier. We all have decisions and we can always change our path. Do you choose to turn lemons into lemonade? I did.
In 2012, I purchased my mother, 13 year old brother and aunt a home in my hometown of San Diego. It was a very proud moment to have the ability to do such. As I sit here typing I’m enjoying the view from my balcony here in San Diego. I worked hard for this moment and I am grateful.
I hope that I have inspired you to pursue your dreams or change your life for the better. It’s always in your hands.