On the East coast, September signifies the transition from a carefree summer to a breezy, beautiful fall of colors before the deep freeze of winter. So many people say spring and fall are their favorite seasons. I don’t have a favorite, but I know my least favorite: winter. I can take about one month of it and then I’m kind of over it. I always have to buckle down and plan a trip to somewhere warm to break the cold winter months up.
Winter’s energy is a bit too intense for me. The city streets can turn into wind tunnels, which go right through to my bones. I fight it in waves, depending on what the day may bring. Sometimes it’s by drinking lots of warm tea, wearing cashmere sweaters, fur hats, down coats, and on the really cold days, layer whatever it is with fur vests. When I was in my 20s and first starting out in New York, my late cousin once said to me, “You cannot live in New York without a fur.” Well, that sounded very adult and “New York” of her to say. I didn’t really quite know what she meant because I hadn’t lived here that long.
After more than 17 years in New York, I can now find truth in that statement. That simple advice actually wasn’t so simple. In so many words, she was saying, “This is how I fight the cold; get a fur for yourself, it helps.” On the frigid days of winter, it’s my daily ritual of warm tea and layering that sustains me, along with a much-anticipated trip to somewhere warm. It is the best way I know how to weather the literal seasons of life.
The seasons and the transitions they require remind me how I have to transition in my everyday life – in relationships, health, work, play— you name it. There is an ebb and flow to the waves of life. It isn’t the waves we need to worry about, but learning how to ride them and not get stuck in the undertow. Sometimes a wave pummels you, but you must keep going until the next wave comes and things even out. This is life. This is everyone’s life. You can ride a wave of something intense, have a breather and then a calm – we need to expect these waves and learn how to move with it, most importantly with positivity. One way we can get pummeled by the wave of life is if we take it too seriously. We need to expect life to flow, but within that flow, we have to expect that there will ultimately be something we have to fight for.
I believe we all have certain life lessons chosen before we take our journey of life. Accepting and learning these lessons can be a good fight, or it can be a fight that overtakes you. Don’t let it overtake you. Decide you will not let it and find anything positive in whatever your fight is. This is always your destiny; it is also always your greatest learning tool. The challenges that we don’t expect or blindside us are all of our greatest learning tools. It is how you take on that storm that creates your destiny.
I’ve experienced a countless number of unexpected waves through the more than dozen jobs I have taken working in all different industries. I would not settle. Instead, I would ride the wave to the next unknown experience, trusting in the journey. I love this city—it is my home and something in it tugs at my soul, so I have always fought to find my way in this city and not leave. For instance, I would finish a job in casting for a movie or episodic and I wouldn’t know where or how I would get my next job. I would find a source of positivity within me and just hit the pavement, which included talking to people I know, calling headhunters, and looking to the universe for clues as to where to turn next. These experiences have taught me countless lessons in intuition, humility, looking beyond the circumstances, and everyday miracles.
My point is, don’t let any wave pummel you. Swim through it with all of your might. It might throw you. Thrash back at it. Be fearless. It’s a decision and it may be the hardest thing you will ever do, but it will be the most important thing you choose to do while here on this journey. So, whether it be a health issue, a relationship, a work challenge, or something that you never believed you could bear in life—You can. You just have to decide that you will win over whatever it is everyday. We all have choices, and you have to choose to not be a victim. Fight the good fight, and then smile and cry tears of joy, because you won the battle.