He Went To The Gym, She Went Shopping, And I Stayed In The Sofa Bed

I’d hit a personal all time low.

I’d become a two time college dropout (first time willingly, second time unwillingly), reached out to my lying ass ex to find comfort, regrettably fought him in a movie theater parking lot (not sure who I was that night…), totaled my raggedy car (it was time for it to go to be honest), and in an act of desperation, sold my beloved, expansive, CD collection.

I needed a major change. What change was that? I honestly wasn’t sure. But I knew all these events were happening to push me into a great direction that I otherwise would not go. At least I was telling myself that to stay positive.

My plan of action was to start writing songs more seriously. At the time, I had recently finished some co-songwriting with a group of super talented people. The collaboration didn’t end in the way we all hoped, but it reignited a fire in me to focus on writing for other singers.

As I strategized and began my creative process, another idea came to me. Every song concept I was jotting down, was about my currently horrible life. So I thought, why not write a story about it? And then I thought, why don’t I musicalize it? And later I concluded, why don’t I write a musical about my ridiculous life?!

I immediately dove into reading about the business of musical theatre, and how to make a show happen. During that week, I ironically received an email about an important musical theatre workshop in Los Angeles. Perfect timing! But…how do I get there? I was in Texas, with VERY little money.

To make things more complicated, I called to reserve a spot in the workshop and…it was full. Not one to give up easily, I contacted the coordinator over the event. Like magic, space was made, and miraculously, a plane ticket was given to me. (FYI, it wasn’t all a fairytale. I took a 35 hour bus ride back to Texas.)

While in La La Land, I made arrangements to stay with my cousins. My second cousins to be exact. Arin and Ariana. I hadn’t seen them in a long time, but I sporadically remained in contact with Ariana over the years. Encounters with distant relatives that you haven’t seen in a while can be filled with aloofness. However, with open arms, they both welcomed me into their cute two bedroom apartment, complete with a sleeper sofa, where I slumbered for the next week.

The first few days were super busy with me attending the musical theatre workshop, meeting people, and learning as much as I could. As soon as I finished business (it exceeded my expectations), my cousins were ready to get turned up. Turn up is an understatement. One night out with them put me out of the game for the remainder of my time in town. I tried to keep up drinking and partying with them, but by the end of our night out, I found myself letting it all out over a toilet…and loving my cousins even more.

It made me think…

Yes, I overdid the pregame drinking at the apartment…and at the first bar…and possibly at the second bar as well (I can’t remember if I actually drank there), but that night out with my cousins provided an aura of looseness and freedom of personality. We connected. I was reminded why I enjoyed them so much growing up, before age dictated in a subtle way, how we should communicate with each other. They were fun in their actions and thoughts! The next morning after the turn up, Arin went to the gym, Ariana went to the grocery store, and I stayed knocked out in the pull out sofa bed.

Alcohol gets a bad rep for all the negatives it can create, but when done safely and responsibly, it can help people open up to reveal authentic portraits of themselves…and make you love them even more.

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