Hmm, it’s been a interesting day, or should i say, it has just become an interesting day.  I’ve kinda been on cloud 9 lately.  I’ve been dancing a lot, feeling my body getting healthier, making major life choices/changes and i just feel “on track”.  It’s been 18 months in the making.  An 18 month long rollercoaster ride.  18 months ago (December 2008) i had a spiritual and life changing experience.

It was a shift that had, unbeknownst to me, been in the works for about 12 months prior (January 2008 ).   Around that time i hit kind of a low, i just became overwhelmed with this feeling that my life wasn’t what it was meant to be.  During that low i was “working” from home a lot and just watching TV and tuning out life.  One day while “working” and flipping channels i landed on Oprah.  I hated Oprah but for some reason, i kept it on.  It was a book club day and she had an author, and spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle on her show.  He was talking about his book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”.  Honestly, the only thing i remember about the show was thinking “Hmm, awakening to you life’s purpose, that sounds like what i need”…  Literally, it was what i was looking for.  After 8 years of studying to become an engineer, working my ass off to get NASA internships, get into grad school, and land a dream job (which i did, R&D for Boeing Phantom Works) i had come to the realization that i did not want to be an aerospace engineer anymore (a something that started originally with a dream to become an astronaut).

I woke up everyday thinking “OMG, 30 more years till i’m done”… after i would think that, i would think “OMG, am i gonna think this every day for the next 30 years?”… so yeah, i knew that couldn’t be the case.  There is no way i could wake up everyday thinking that, i had to find my purpose… my “career”.  That is why i got the book.

I started reading the book and soon found out is was actually a “spiritual” book.  I didn’t really get that from the Oprah show the day i heard about it.  I guess i really was kinda working and only half watching.  I started reading it anyway, i wanted to find my purpose.  I grew up a very loose Catholic and pretty much identify myself an agnostic (but when asked i always threw in that i “grew up Catholic”).  I went to church Christmas and Easter with my family just cuz that’s what you do.  Spirituality and religion didn’t play any role in my life.  That said, i wasn’t turned off my the book at all… in hindsight, i am kind of surprised that i wasn’t.  The book references Buddha, Jesus, and many other historic religious figures.  I guess i figured since everyone was represented i didn’t feel like any dogma was being spat at me so i didn’t mind hearing what this dude had to say.  Apparently this book had been changing the lives of people all over the world!  People were finding their purpose!

I kept reading and slowly my life began to change.  I became more conscious and aware.  At the time, these words were more or less new to my vocabulary.  Consciousness and awareness weren’t things i considered.  Once i did, i would notice things like when i was sitting in traffic i would get really irritated and pissed off.  While reading this book i learned to ask myself “who is creating this anger”.  It was ME!  The person in front of me wasn’t doing anything to me, nor was the person him front of him.  I was the one choosing to feel anger and irritation.  In addition, i started to realize the value of “stuff”.  I began to understand how we as humans attached our feeling and emotions to inanimate objects.  My grandmothers necklace, the TV i spent so much money on, even the clothes i never wore.  I started to realize that all this stuff meant nothing.  It made my life easier!  I knew for sure something was changing when one time i left my rings on the treadmill at the gym.  I noticed prob like 15 mins after got home.  Normally i would have freaked out.  I would have hurried back to the gym and prayed they were still there.  What would i do if i lost them!  They cost a lot of money!  One was my dead grandmothers!  One was from my brother from when he lived it Scotland!  I didn’t not freak out that day though!  By this time i had realized that if the rings were gone, nothing about me or in me would be lost.  My emotions and mood were not going to be effected by the lack of presence of inanimate objects!  I calmly walked back to the gym and i knew with certainty that if i walked into the gym and the were gone, i would not be effected.  It would be ok… The rings were there.

So yeah, a New Earth started to cause a shift in my self awareness and overall mood.   I became a little more chill and started learning how to BE, although even i that time, i didn’t really know what that meant.  It was just a concept in a book.   Around that time i also felt called to start dancing again.  I took a few classes here an there and i started thinking about auditioning for some community theater dance roles.  I just wanted to make it a part of my life again in a small way.  I knew i was old, out of shape, and far past my prime, but i just wanted to do it for fun.  I found a role on TPS (Theater Puget Sound) that i decide to audition for.  It was the story of Dr. Jekall and Mr. Hyde told only though movement and music, no words.  It sounded super cool.  For the audition we had to chose a passage of some sort and interpret it through dance.  Basically tell the story with movement and not words. I picked Turn! Turn! Turn! by the Byrds.  Yes, i knew it was also a bible passage but i was hoping no one else would notice.  I was starting to feel kind of “spiritual” but i didn’t want other people to know.

In order to prepare for the audition i started going and using the aerobics room at the gym where i was teaching Zumba.   As i watched myself in the mirror there would be times when i would think “wow, i’m not that bad”… i mean, i was far from good.  I was 30 lbs overweight and had zero strength and flexibility, but; i still had a lot of my technique.  Straight legs, pointed toes, decent lines.  I danced like someone who used to be a good dancer.  It felt good to see that glimpse of my former self!  I started to get exited for the audition and started to think i might actually have a shot at getting the part!  I knew it was just a small community theater group and that there weren’t going to be many “good dancers” trying out.  I’ve been to a few TPS auditions and knew that it was made up of mostly [really good] actors and singers with little to no dance training.  Even though i was totally out of shape and 10 years past my peak, i had 16 years of somewhat intense training under my belt.  I could move and the part i was auditioning to was about movement.

Around this time i also decided i was going to audition for “So You Think You Can Dance”.  I was a HUGE fan of the show and i found out they were coming through Seattle in March 09 and i thought it would be a fun opportunity.  I had no exceptions, i just wanted to do it for me to see what it was like.  I had gone with my friend to when she tried out for American Idol and it was a fun day!

So yeah, A New Earth, Community Theater auditions, and plans to try out for So You Think You Can Dance are all going on at the same time.  It was December of 2008.  Then on December 12, 2008 (2 days before my 30th birthday) my life changed forever…

Blog Pic: Me in “The Vomit Comet”, March 2003.  At the peak of my quest to become an astronaut!