Yesterday was the big day. The day they would take a part of my hamstring to create a new ACL ligament and then screw it into my bones and make me brand new !
There was a lot of waiting time at the hospital as the clock ticked with anticipation, however this time my mother didn't have to put up a fight to sit with me , as yes i am an adult now... but no way in hell was i going in alone ! I was terrified as i was taken through and an antibiotic steroid they gave me felt like it was zapping my insides. Great! i thought its already the end as I'm about to have an allergic reaction before i even go in. Seeing the inside of the operating theatre was terrifying... bright lights so many machines and tools but I told myself to breath and focus. As they put the mask over my face and and counted me down what song comes on but "hey mickey" ! Now to all my friends that know me well, it is clear my obsession that I have with mickey and minnie so in a strange way it felt peaceful to know a part of disney was here with me ! (why they play that music as they are about to cut me apart i will never know!)
The next thing I remember is wailing as they were trying to take X rays of my leg and then flashes of waking up to moan and complain and then fall back asleep and again and again. I got put on the highest amount of morphine and tablets because the pain wouldn't let up so i had to stay in stage two longer before I could see my parents. There was a beautiful yellow flowering tree right outside the window and my eyes fixated on it as soon as i came to long enough to keep my eyes open. It was so beautiful there blooming fresh flowers and radiant with the sun glistening upon it. I felt calm and realized like those flowers- this is a new beginning for me to bloom into the new me.
Finally I got to be with my parents who of course were worried sick and had been at the doors every 5 minutes apparently. All I could say was my hamstring felt like someone had sawed it off with a rough knife. My god the pain !! So i kept sleeping because I wasn't quite ready to feel reality.
My surgeon came around to tell me the surgery went really well and a little surprise. My MRI scans that were super dodgy from LA (probably because I got them done at a blackmarket price in downtown LA with all the homeless people asking matt and myself to buy them quarter pounders) had said that I had two grade III tears on my meniscus. This had been worrying me because it was hurting a lot awaiting my surgery and meniscus have such a low if any bloody supply that they are tricky to heal. Sometimes they can staple it together, sometimes they cut the tear away and more than likely they leave it and you just have to pray yours gets back to feeling the same. But the good news was that they lied !! I didn't have any tears !! just bad bruising where my pain was coming from so I was over the moon !.
My ACL of course as was imagined was in shreds lying everywhere inside my knee cavity. Good thing I got it fixed. I had a wonderful Physio who had worked with some of my closest friends on Les Mis so it was comforting to have some nice support as I was attempting to move my new leg for the first time. 12 hours later I was out of there and into the long drive home with my head out the window to keep away the nausea .
I am so overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I have received from my family and close friends of course, the dance community and people who have followed my career. Looking at my instagram I was shocked to see all the love and kind words from choreographers in LA who I have dreamt of working for ! Getting THAT close and praying next time its "my look". Even though I'm in pain and only one day out it made me realize that yes... that is where I am meant to be. I saw all the strides I had made and how many wonderful souls want me back over there and i know that I will work my little butt off to be back where my heart is lingering for. Yes its time off and out of there but I can already see one reason for this and that it had to happen to give me new fire and realize how much i was growing there and how I almost gave up early on something that makes my soul sing !
Today I start physio to get Kappy (named by stacey) moving. Im pretty scared because it hurts but a good friend today told me to remember "short pain for a long term gain" so here we go !
I am in love with this city.... 8 months in and I can wholeheartedly sing it from the rooftop with my arms spread wide. Yes this city pushes and prods you constantly, you second guess everything you have ever known, you feel unstable constantly and sometimes can't see past the next day let alone year. But it also changes your life in all the best ways!! For once I am loving my passion (dance) not just its rewards. It has been years since the very thought of movement, creation, and exploring has made my heart skip with joy. I feel myself growing every day, heck every hour ! I have met souls that have changed my eyes and the way I see the world. I know more about myself and what I see for my life, what I want in life, what I want to bring to this earth.
Each day brings a new fire with it because auditions, coffee dates, classes, spontaneous nights all pop out of thin air in the blink of eye. I am going to auditions that I have dreamt of attending - waiting in line with 600 people to smother ourselves in a tiny room and spend days there for call backs all for that ONE spot. I have smothered peanut butter on people to make some money to take class (you better believe it, and no you can't see the video) , I have had my first side job in almost 7 years bringing people their chicken and salads at events and hoping I don't cause them to wear it as a dress and through it all - I just couldn't be happier !
I've also had the incredible moments of working with choreographers whom I have dreamt of simply being in the same room , danced alongside my inspirations and watched goals tick themselves off my list.
I was really happy. I felt my momentum and I knew it was all beginning. I decided to focus this week on taking classes that I had never taken and that I knew would challenge me and probably make me feel really uncomfortable. It was the first class- a Tuesday night probably only 10 minutes out from the end when I jumped in the air mid choreography to land in a puddle of water and feel my entire leg pop in half beneath me...
No No No No.... this is not happening. This is not real..... It was painless. I knew I heard a pop but I knew my body was strong - maybe its a miracle and something clicked in and out but I am okay. Ouch it feels a bit strange but no I'll be fine. 30 minutes later after the shock died down and I really took a deep look within myself I knew something was wrong.. lets hope something small and 2 weeks out at most. When I was 18 I tore my ACL in half ( 2 months of recovery) and it took a phone call from my dad to realize shhit- this is the same leg. Still I tried not to panic it didn't really hurt that much.
After a hilarious night in CVS trying walking sticks and finally finding a pair of crutches, drawing healing love hearts onto a knee brace and meditating this all away... the MRI results came back to say I had torn my meniscus in 2 areas with Grade 3 (the worst kind) tears. I needed to see an orthopedic surgeon.
Thankfully my friend Megan was over to hold me close as I had what I would deem A FULL BLOWN MELT DOWN (poor Megan had brought acai bowls and coffee to cheer me up before I picked up the phone..I love you!) . The next few days were a whirl. Hundreds of phone calls to my family, insurance, phone companies, banks and all as I decided that I wanted to return home to be around my family at this time . I was overwhelmed by the love and support of the people I call family over here. Doughnuts, home cooked dinners, tissues, packing up my life, looking after my cactus and buddha and fairy lights, pre halloween bashes and dropping everything in a heart beat to be my side really made my heart melt. How lucky I am to have so many incredible souls in my life that made saying see you soon sooooo hard !!!!
It was 4 days after that class and was in a wheelchair in the business class lounge about to be rolled to my lush plane seat thanks to travel insurance. I lived like a queen on that flight home with my 3 course meals and a an actual bed- no wonder these rich folk look fresh stepping off that 14 hour flight when I look homeless. I was focusing on the positive of the situation and relishing in an experience I was very lucky to be living.
Reality sunk as my daddy scooped me in his arms with a welcome home balloon and I cried all the way to Terrigal. Sad because I didn't know what awaited and sad because I had been forced to leave everything I had worked so hard for just when I felt it ripening.
Its now two weeks later. I sit in my home in Terrigal and preparing myself for surgery tomorrow. Oh yes I haven't mentioned that after three opinions it turns out that I need an ACL reconstruction as I did cause further damage and the limp string that now remains would snap at the next pirouette. So my former 2 week dream recovery has now become a 9-12 month long hard road ahead. Of course I could write paragraphs about how I feel but you can imagine it for yourself. Pretty much I won't be able to do the one thing that I love for a year, I'm losing a year of my visa, my bank account has been sucked dry and i haven't heard from people that matter the most. BUT.... I am breathing, I am alive, I am well. I have an incredible family, I have support and I have the beach at my door step. I know it will be tough, and i know i will learn the most precious lessons. This is a time of patience, resilience and perseverance and I am ready for it . Another chapter to add to my story and another wound to make my warrior stronger. I will come out of this a better, stronger, more wholehearted person and I look forward to the joys the universe delivers along this journey and beyond.
Who didn't grow up belting out this infamous show tune from Annie?! I mean at the time I just thought I sounded incredible singing it non stop around the house, in the car and at every singing recital even though my mother has now revealed she thought I was tone deaf!. Now 24, I don't sing it as frequently however the songs message is one that keeps me dreaming and looking forward and now I see an Annie in me, as I sit thousands of kilometers away from home on a lonely balcony in the north of Hollywood staring at colored taco signs and strange men roaming the streets. Ok I didn't make that sound like roses... but hey thats reality.
The past month for me has been all kinds of a raging hurricane sweeping through Kansas in the Wizard of Oz. They say when it rains... it pours. I previously used this in a more positive tone when too many wonderful things were crossing my path. However, this month it took on an all new meaning. Let me tell you about when Life shat on my face.
I finally got to a stage where i was happy, seeing progress and had found a new fire to light my flame. I was about to go on a lease for the place that had become home, my boyfriend was soon to visit after 4 months away and i finally felt I was living the life i had wanted in LA.
The day came to hear back on the lease. I had just walked out of yoga feeling zen, connected, and ever so grateful. Only to check my phone and instantly have an anxiety attack as i read the message "We need to talk. Our application has been denied." Turns out i had no credit. What a surprise ! Seeing as I'm a brand new "alien" to this country and instead of letting me put down a bigger deposit as most do, little old Ryan decided to become even more of a dumbass and just say a big fat NO... no buts, no options. Just a nice "you have 30 days to get out".
Now 30 days probably seems like a decent amount of time. Yes maybe for most, however of course My roommate was off to the land down under for time "unknown" in literally two days !!! Sorry just repeat all of that, ahhhhh is this real ?!!. Needless to say we both required paper bags for breathing as we imprinted our bodies into our adored carpet with tears and screams. We pulled our shit together like the two mature women we are and begun the process that night ... drinking two bottles of wine and heading out on the town and leaving the empty boxes at home to deal with themselves.
I still look back in disbelief that in a day we U hauled all that furniture and life into a truck out to a storage space. I think we should become removalists the way that three girls slayed life carrying a house down stairs. Cant say the same for Erin and myself who woke up the neighbor when he thought we were having a raging stomping party but really we were just trying to avoid throwing the tv cabinet down the stairs, I still think shattered planks of wood would have been less of a strain.
So there I was dropping the roomie off at the airport and back sitting in an empty house with a futon and my bed . Did i mention i just love living out of a suitcase ?!
I tried not to turn blue thinking about where the hell i was going to live for the next few months or that my boyfriend was about to arrive as I'm a mess, living in a mess and did i mentioned stressed?!
So he arrived. 15 hours of a flight later, 4 months of separation to share a few cuddles and then Yep. He ended it ...
Maybe i was the one crazy gal out there who thought that long distance living in two separate countries would work. But i did. I believed it more than i knew. I loved him more than i imagined and just like that Life-2 Tash-0.
Now add these to the concoction of rejection, disappointment, and confusion that this city breathes and I was ready to say ciao bella, its been real.. but I'm out !!
That night as i looked at flight, the little 15 year old inside was screaming " But this is what you have always dreamt of. LA is the place to achieve the greatness you desire... all this hard work and you are ready to throw in the towel like that ?! "
Listen inner child ... its just all a little too much right now
BUTTTT she screamed back... " will you not regret giving in when victory could have been just around the corner. The growth and possibilities are endless... who knows what tomorrow could bring?!
Finally I realized.... my goodness she was right !!
I worked so hard all my life to create a name and life in Australia I could always fall back on, I worked hard to save every penny to make this a reality, I lived and breathed on my computer and through every bit of paper to put together a visa that would deliver me to this dream... how could I give that up now when it was all just beginning.
I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and i also know that sometimes when you do the "crazy" and move across the world to follow your personal manifesto.. people leave. Friends, lovers and any of the kind. Its out of your control unfortunately, no matter how hard you try. The only thing in my control is the way I react, where I go from here and what I choose to fight for.
After many nights of tearful skypes to family and friends, many glasses or shall I say bottles of red wine, and lots of "dancing" it out .
THE SUN CAME OUT
It wasn't like something miraculous happened. I just simply awoke one day feeling overwhelmingly happy, and alive. I couldn't explain it but I just felt connected to every vibration around me. That night there was a dance event, now i normally would walk in and crawl into a shell and become everything i am not. But today was different. I walked in confident, chatting to every person and realizing what a life i had created for myself here. I was surrounded by friends who adored me, choreographers who loved my work, and an entire room pulsing with support and opportunity. I breathed and took it all in and almost cried with joy at what had been RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME ALL THIS TIME ! It took everything to fall apart for me to realize how incredible everything was around me.
Its easy when our sight is fixated on a goal and no matter what you achieve, it will never be good enough or even cross your radar because it is not WHAT YOU WANT. I took a step away and decided to just be happy and i realized id been wearing the wrong glasses all along and had missed the very magic right under my nose.
The past few weeks have been everything to me. I wake up with a grateful heart, my skin prickles buzzing with energy and my face feels like sunbeams are shooting our of it. Its true people- the second you find happiness in life without the things you believe must be present for your happiness - everything comes your way. I booked my first American Tv performance with an artist and assisted choreographers i adore for the first time. BOOM two goals in one !. And the very next week i assisted one of LA's biggest dance choreographers/directors for an entire week on a project that was on my goals list - it just came in a way i hadn't imagined :).
I am learning and growing so much every single day. I feel more alive than ever before and I can feel the shift and change that is slowly coming towards me from the universe. Its been brewing all along I just need life to shake me a bit to realize the sun had always been out- my own cloud was hiding it.