Many people have asked me how did I know I was ready; how did I know I had what it took. Normally, I rattle off the usual “anyone can do this” speech: we all have it in us, you can do anything you set your mind to and similar encouraging truisms. While I do believe that everyone creates the reality they want and that if someone wants to have a successful business, make a lot of money or find the partner of their dreams, they truly can if they go after it. It dawned on me while I was in Vegas, however, that if I would have set on this path even three years ago, when I first began to play with the notion of being an entrepreneur, this whole thing would have been worlds different… and would have probably crashed and burned.
The person I was before I set on a path of spiritual growth, introspection, health and the process of ridding myself of self-made hurdles like insecurity, fear, cynicism and pride, would not have been here. I could go on and on about this but here are two major reasons why:
Rami: There are a lot of tempting parts of the events/music industry; Lots of free liquor, attractive people, partying and other debauchery that Rami (the alter ego a few friends created for me in college when witnessing the dramatic transformation I would experience when heavily intoxicated) would absolutely love. Friends who have met Rami will definitely co-sign this.
A few days ago, I was in Vegas for work. Three years ago, Rami would have taken over this town the second she hit the freaking tarmac. Three years ago, I would have been more concerned with “taking advantage” of this free trip by visiting every nightclub, taking back every free drink and experiencing every attraction Vegas had to offer without regard to consequence. Thankfully, in the last three years, I have also experienced some sobering (pun intended) moments that allowed me to… grow up and realize that Rami led me to many an-embarrassing-time and unfortunately, a handful of dangerous moments I’d rather forget. While I will still partake in social drinks (in the company of good friends whom I trust,) I now am able to have the wherewithal to not be swooned into a fast life because quite honestly, I now want more than that.
Vanity: This road has introduced me to more egos than I’ve witnessed in a really long time. (You may recall my “Being a Woman” post.) I’ve been questioned, laughed at, belittled, objectified, humiliated and infuriated. Years ago, I would have competed to demonstrate that my “bad ass” was never impressed with facades, haughty attitudes or judgment. I would have made sure that my wardrobe, pop culture knowledge and overall tastes would never suggest to anyone that I wasn’t on top of the latest; much of my professional energy would have been spent on making sure I was never made to look bad or “less” than anyone else. I also would have been obsessed with working out more and losing weight so that I can keep up with celebrity and model-like bodies that tend to be around these industry scenes. If it weren’t for the last few years of taking a critical eye to the mirror, reading, and challenging the identity I thought I was stuck with, I would have actually fallen into the trap of this common form of self-destruction.
I won’t pretend that I don’t occasionally worry about what to wear to a star-studded event or what people will think of my shoes. When I do, however, I now remind myself that everyone around me is too worried about what their own shoes, hair, brands, jewelry and otherwise decorated lack of self-worth looks like to be worried about me; and if they are worried, I should only wish them the freedom that I have embraced in my long journey to self-acceptance and self-love. Another trick I have is a list of the reasons why I am extraordinary pinned up on my wall in case I’m having one of “those” less-positive days : ) (It works.)
Relief: Three years ago, I was definitely talented enough to do what I am doing now but I realized during my trip to Vegas, as I happily hung out in my hotel room an entire day- laying around, working out and watching movies- that two of the key prerequisites of success were missing back then. It was not until I appreciated myself as is, without stimulant, garment or witty comment to “enhance” me, that I would ever go after more; and it wasn’t until I didn’t need to be successful that I would ever actually be successful.
“Everything in its time” is beginning to have such a different meaning for me.