Lessons Learned

It has been a long time since Coco felt like writing. But that’s not for lack of things to write about. On the contrary it is simply because my life has been so full of new experiences, quiet spaces, and revelations that I haven’t written. I’ve simply been soaking everything up from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to lying in bed with Nuts after a show willing my body to stop aching, to sipping sweet strawberry wine on a canal in Venice. I stopped running for a while and just recently started again. I’ve been bouncing off the walls happy and I’ve cried in my room stressed to the gills. I’ve cultivated a new found love of bright lipstick (I’ve been a strictly nude lipgloss girl up until now) leaning most to those orangy reds that are tragically popular amongst either the 19-22 year old crowd or those fashionable, artistic broads of about 78. I’m really feeling a difference in my age and also really reveling in it. Oh, what they say is true – your 30’s are the best…as far as I can tell. But who knows, perhaps my forties will be even better and then so on.

The other thing about aging though, is that people you know and/or love start getting sick and dying and it brings your life, your past and your future into sharp perspective. I have the leisure of writing now because I am in transit back to America because of a family emergency of this very sort. Especially now when Nuts and I are in the middle of planning our wedding and the rest of our life in general, a sick family member forces you to take stock of what you have put value on I your life. It is a huge feat for me to take off work and fly across the world and in truth I wouldn’t have done so even 5 years earlier for many reasons. One major reason is that I hadn’t intimately known the value of family at that time. It is a newer development in my person. Work has always always come first for me. In my business if you’re out sick for a day you just may miss the chance of a lifetime and it will be given to someone who simply showed up. So I am notorious for dancing and working on broken bones, torn ligaments, through infections and flues, for missing every birthday, wedding, family reunion and special occasion since I started working at 15. I would have always said that I loved my family, always, but how exactly have I shown that? And for all intents and purposes I am proud of my career- not so much for my talent but for my work ethic. I show up. And yet, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized what a singularly faceted life I lead. I feel that to be a true artist you must, must be multi dimensional. For who do these rivers of passion flow? Who helped shape me, for whom would I take a bullet?

It started out with Nuts. He is my Sun and without him I am just a one dimensional puppet. The more time we spent together the more I uncovered a heart and a life so much more full than a robot intent on securing jobs. There is so much more driving me. And now there are jobs I would turn down, there are parameters to my decision making because I not only want to work and be proud of myself, I want a life, a whole full messy life with another person. Which then made me realize I had always had a life that involved others and it could be more full. I didn’t just have to have one thing I could have people and experiences, they were there the whole time. I have a best friend and a family.
All of sudden over the last few years things have been clicking in to place. Work is still very important to me. But I began to look back at those who invested in my life and I took it for granted. Case in point this whole thing has been set off by my Grandmother whos brain started bleeding and is now on life support. It is for her that I’m now staring down 30 hours of one way travel, a week of unpaid leave and jet lag. As I made my plans 2 things occurred to me 1. I have to go see her. I have been dancing in fishnets for many many years but I have only one moment to make the choice to be with my family at this now. And 2. My grandmother invested quite a lot into her grandchildren and I always felt loved and cared for. She made me a priority and throughout my career it is today only, when she is dying that I’m making the effort to go see her. What a tragic thing to realize about yourself. It is only now that I have a niece and nephews and I’m planning, dreaming, pining for us to have children of our own that I get this. It’s now when Nuts and I are traveling the world and looking at these old buildings full of history that I understand the value of time a little better. How sad and how sorry I feel now but also lucky to have people to show me the way. This is growing up. And I’m very grateful that I am.
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