The Agent of Change (Pt. 1)
Without your Agent of Change, there is no desert. No desert? No Lagoon. No Lagoon? No restoration or healing. Do you recall your Agent of Change?
I will begin this story by stating that it is but a speck of a larger – should I say – “odyssey” of experience in my life. A tipping point. The straw. Oh, how dramatic. But it’s true. And as I write this, I think what I may be really doing is giving you a prequel to my journey through a vast desert. Let’s call this the Desert of Midlife-ish. For we never really know if we are out of the desert until we are undoubtedly swimming in the blue lagoon waters of refreshment and restoration. Not the mirage. Not sure I’m there yet, so the desert-ish it is!
What is this proverbial desert? How to describe it? One could call it the end or the beginning. The end of a personal season that feels more like an era, the beginning of a new season that feels more like hell.
I know. Dramatic; though I rarely read of or meet anyone who, coming out of this heat, though tattered and scathed, does not speak of it with at least a drop, a tear drop or more, of gratitude.
The climax of this story takes place over a phone. The first dip of my toe into the hot sand begins far earlier with a decision. The decision to leave.
Leave what or where? In this case, I was leaving Los Angeles. (Is that a movie? I feel like that’s a movie title. If it isn’t, it darn well should be.) After a quick search, yep. It is a movie… several times over. It seems many have succumbed to this impulse. To leave. I departed Los Angeles after living there for eleven years (roughly ten years too late). Just after the 2008 crash of everything, I decided it was time to return to my theatrical home, New York City. I’d always thrived better there. Worked more. And I’d come to the realization that NYC was my career home after all. So off I went. I was flying, blissfully ignorant, toward the take-off point into the desert.
But there was no sign of the desert in February of 2009 as I landed at JFK in the remnants of a blizzardous freeze. The first mirage. My cousin had welcomed me back by traveling to the airport to meet me and three pieces of oversized luggage. No one does that in New York. That’s true love.
After unsteady work in Los Angeles, I seemed to hit my stride very quickly back in New York. I obtained representation almost immediately and began booking; a sign to me that I’d made the right decision. Just like the old days.
But there were new wrenches thrown in for good or bad measure that soon became painfully obvious. Sabotaging wrenches that could not be ignored, one of which was a silent menace growing within me that, it seems, had plans to thwart any attempt to carry out my own grand scheme of a personal comeback.
This stealthy enemy had a name: Fibroids.
Every time I think of when this all began, long long before, it is a typical example of hindsight being 20/20. I silently remind myself that what is in the past must remain there and I always have a choice to resent or forgive.
What did I have to forgive? At the age of twenty-six one tiny little fibroid, (“a benign tumor of muscular and fibrous tissues, typically developing in the wall of the uterus.”1), was detected in my breast. It was found to be benign, as many fibroids are, and I was told not to worry about it.
Roughly ten years later, (I’m flashing forward fast to get to the heart of this story), some very small fibroids were found in my uterus by another doctor who told me not to worry about them. They were very small. Nothing to be done.
Not worrying about these fibroids, (which I worried about all the time….ALL the time), gave that fibrous vermin the time to grow.
Of course, this in and of itself is a larger story and I will tell it in the future. But today I am giving you the upshot to get to The Agent of Change. For without this Agent of Change, there is no desert. No desert? No Lagoon. No Lagoon? No restoration. No healing.
By the time I hit my late thirties these fibrous tissues, benign as they were, had become wrecking balls. Bowling balls stacked upon tennis balls stacked upon marbles. They filled up my uterus; tightly impacted within my abdomen piled so high that under X-ray they had reached the upper regions of my stomach – just beneath my lower ribs.
Did I say “benign”?
I carried this weight, this worry, every single minute of hour of day of week ad infinitum. It ruled me.
So this - this – is where my heart and mind lived moment to moment while in addition:
I was moving into the otherworldly realm in my career of what I will call “not this - but not yet that” in casting.
I was slowly and suspiciously beginning to look like a woman trying to hide pregnancy.
Once fibroids begin to grow, they gain steam as they multiply wreaking havoc with hormones, blood circulation, sucking from you every bit of iron, energy, strength. Think of it like compound interest. But you don’t want this kind of wealth.
And the worry, anxiety, dread, and midnight black panic began to debilitate.
Never the less, I auditioned.
Remember what I said about “not this but not yet that” in casting? I began to notice that at all of my auditions I was surrounded by women that looked roughly ten years older than me. The directors would have a look on their faces as if to say, “Why are you here?”
So what does that actress do?
She discusses it with her agent.
And thus, we have finally landed, baggage in tow, at the take-off point of the story at hand.
(To be continued…in the desert.)
Is this your first time here? If you like stories try out a few and subscribe. Read about following your North Star. Need some encouragement? Find some here. Need to be reminded that miracles are happening in your life? Listen to the intro.