I got offered the amazing job that paid a nice salary plus food and hotel expenses. I packed my bags and went to Vegas. I worked with the most delightful crew ever, and I had an amazing time.
Once that job was over, I wasn’t positive what I’d do next. L.A.? New York? Where should I go?
I went back to New York for a couple of glorious weeks. That’s my home base, and I didn’t really know where else to go. I worked on Broadway Bares. I did my part for The Marriage Equality Act, rallying and phone banking. And then I got a phone call offering me another job. In L.A.
I didn’t want to go, but I remembered what it had been like to have nothing. I didn’t want to turn down any opportunity – even if it was in California.
I had about a week or so before I had to leave. I went to see every Broadway show I could. I filled nearly all my time with theater, ’cause I knew it’d quite possibly be the last time I was in New York for a while. Daniel Radcliffe was so good in How To Succeed…! (Do not get me started on his lack of a Tony nomination for that role!)
I saw a lot of wonderful theater, and said goodbye to a lot of wonderful people. And that was that.
I had just left New York when late at night on June 24, 2011, The Marriage Equality Act passed. (I’d never been so excited to just sit in front of my computer watching State Senate proceedings.)
When that happened, I felt okay (maybe never totally okay, but better) about leaving. I ended on a pretty high note. I’d seen everyone and everything I’d loved. And I was a teeny itsy-bitty part of making a change in New York – a change that really happened! It was magical to see, and as silly as it is, it was a tiny sign that said, “Bye, Aurora. This good news should hopefully negate some of the awful feelings about leaving.”
I found the best deal on an apartment right in downtown L.A. that anyone could ever ask for. I started my job and having been working steadily (and usually pretty long-term jobs) ever since.
Finally, I had a stable and secure life. I had those basic needs of food and shelter met. I wasn’t constantly looking for the next bit of money or the next place to live.
I have a gym in my building, and I knew it was time to start taking care of myself again.
I fought so hard in the hospital for the ability to run. I kept telling the doctors that no matter what happened, I had to keep the ability to run – nothing could happen to that.
So, as I floundered for a long time after getting out of the hospital, I kept feeling a bit weird and almost ungrateful. I mean, of course I was so grateful, but how was I showing that? I had yet to successfully do any sort of long-ish distance. And it had been over a year!
In order to force myself back into training, I signed up for a really fun 5k, and I kept doing events. If I did events, I had no choice but to do more miles ’cause I had to reach the finish line. And the lively environments of events made it easier to focus on the fun rather than focus on what I could or couldn’t do.
I had to try to learn not compare myself to where I’d been before I was sick, but instead just see the progress as I made it from where I currently was.
It’s a hard lesson, and I’m not sure I ever truly learned it. But, I do my best on this journey that is life.
So, basically, the story’s done. I’m gonna throw up a couple more chapters just addressing if I think it changed me, and perhaps if I really learned anything. I think I pretty much (super, probably more than you wanted) covered everything. (The story is 42 parts, after all.) But, if you have any questions or any reactions or anything, of course always feel free to comment or email me!
I’ll pick up here tomorrow.