The weird thing is, I had always planned to be a writer. To write everything that I saw, everything I experienced, every move I made, feeling I felt, love I loved. I wanted to paint my story with words, so that I could look back on it – many years from now – and think…god…did I live or what?
And somehow that got put on the back-burner as I tried to push forward in other things. So here I finally am now on my 27th birthday, at a café in Soho…writing. For the very 1st time in the whirl-wind 4.5 years I’ve lived in this magnificent city, I’m finally sitting down and putting pen to paper. And I just can’t believe how much I’m in love with life at this very moment.
I’ve gone through the most ecstatic of highs and the lowest of lows, but if I could do it all again – I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t change the move to NYC to “find myself” in music and find out what my real purpose was. I wouldn’t change the nights we stayed up till 6am, eating late night pizza, drinking till we forgot who we were or what we were escaping from. I wouldn’t change the constant juggle of dating, social obligations, the working harder than I thought possible, the ever-present bags under my eyes. I wouldn’t change the move to NYC for a job in Finance, the ultimate lay-off, the way I crumbled after, the search for purpose. I wouldn’t change the stays over night in studio, the many thousands of dollars spent on videos/beats/rehearsals/vocal lessons. I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’ve gone from the girl who was afraid to raise my hand in class, the girl who struggled with anxiety, the “new girl” who moved to 4 middle schools. The girl with a speech impediment who was scared as hell to ever show my voice…to becoming the girl who performed in front of 120,000 people in Times Square.
I’ve made my share of mistakes, caused my share of disputes. Had my heart broken numerous times, broken a couple hearts here and there. Laughed till I cried, cried till I fell asleep. Learned a lot of lessons, forgotten a lot of faces. Loved not enough, moved too fast. Been proud of myself, dreaded getting out of bed to face the world. Embraced life to the fullest, broken down completely. Drank too often, partied too hard, pushed myself too much, failed too many times… but I force a smile on my face, knowing that my aspirations will always be greater than my actual talent.
As I sit here with tears forming in my eyes, Alicia Key’s “Empire State of Mind” playing on my headphones, I can’t help but be so thankful of how beautiful life is and thankful to all of those who’ve helped me realize this. I’ve lived. And I truly can’t wait to see what 27 will bring.
Lots of love,
Happy 27th Birthday ShillinIntheCity!