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I recently worked a red carpet for the movie, Tick, Tick…Boom! The film is on based the life of Jonathan Larsen (the creator of the hit musical RENT!) and explores the story of a starving artist who is at a crossroads in his life and is forced to choose between pursuing his passion as a creative or giving it all up for a stable and secure career. As I walked away from that premiere, I could not stop thinking about the heart of the film. There have been moments in all our lives where we have found ourselves standing in a crossroad. Noticed or not, we all face these questions whether it be in our career, our families, friendships, or relationships. I came home and pondered the question: is the sacrifice worth it? The theme really resonated with me, and I am sure these are issues that relate to you as well. If presented with this question years ago, I would have said, “no.”
One of my favorite songs is “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. Not just because of the harmonies or the hypnotic sound of Stevie Nicks’ voice…but because of the message in the lyrics. The song delves into the challenges and changes we face in life. As listeners we’re taken on a journey with Stevie as she contemplates whether the amount of sacrifice required for her relationship and career is worth it all. And just as she is about to give it all up because she is unhappy and tired, she looks up and she sees her reflection in a snow-covered hill- which reveals to Stevie the truest desires of her heart and the landslide brings her back to that passion.
I was always jealous of Stevie in this moment, jealous of the realization she was able to come to through self-analysis. When she took a true introspective look at her physical reflection, she freed herself from herself…from her fears, exhaustion, despair, and defeat. Until 31, I was never brave enough to do that…not in my love life or in my career. Those feelings held me captive and I became unwilling to make any sacrifices. I took the easy route. Looking back, and in reality, I was sacrificing but in another way. I was sacrificing the life I wanted for myself to please other people.
If posed with the question now, I would answer yes…an emphatic yes! It is always worth it to pursue your dreams and achieve the goals you have in this life. The ups and downs, the heartache, and hard times are the chapters that will tell your story on the road to success. Life is not easy and no one achieves greatness without sacrificing along the way. But if fear and self-doubt control your every step, you will sacrifice all the wrongs things in life and miss out on the possibility of so much more. Can you imagine always wondering what is on the other side of the rainbow? Can you imagine living in a perpetual state of wonderment and regret? We have one life to live so don’t let time pass you by before it is too late. To live fearlessly and boldly is terrifying and you may sacrifice money, time, relationships, friendships, careers, and so much more. But trust me, it is worth it…I am living proof. Trust yourself, listen to the tick tick boom from within, and let the landslide bring you down.