I believe this trip has aided in my music career by roughly 90%. Not only do I get to spend time doing the things I love, such as climbing the tall pine trees or chasing after the birds on the beach, but I also get to consume my life with music.
It hasn’t been long since we left Texas, where I was raised. Once I graduated high school, I was sure that I’d be able to focus better on learning an instrument. I was wrong. My adorable 6 year old niece loved to listen and distract my piano sessions. How could I resist a begging puppy face? School kept me from spending what little time I could with her so this new amount of free time was a pleasant blessing to the both of us. I was also struggling with the discipline of studying. Instead of buckling down on learning scales or a new song, I often let my mind wander and pluck at the piano instead of actually playing it. What was wrong?
I found my answer as soon as we left Texas. Ironically, I left right before hurricane Harvey hit (God bless those affected by the storm). Piano was now my greatest distraction. I was forced to remember what I am fighting for and how this new skill will aid me in the long run. And so I’ve learned that living in a small box causes one to take time for themselves.
We have traveled through 9 states already in the past 2 months. Florida was our last stop for a while until it was time to go back to Texas for Christmas. We had it all planned out. Disney had so many auditions and job openings that I could not resist it calling out to me. In fact, when we arrived in Fort Myers, Florida, we heard of an audition taking place in Tampa for a Disney retreat to Tokyo, Japan! No time was wasted. I hastily made my way to sieze the opportunity before me. Sadly, the audition did not pan out. I wasn’t too disappointed since I learned that earning a spot with Disney was like getting a lucky draw on a lottery ticket. I met a man at the audition who auditioned for 13 years before he ever made it into a show! We decided to stay in Florida for a while hoping it would only take me a few months to earn a spot with Disney.
It turned out another hurricane was headed straight to where we were staying and our RV was not ready for the category 5 Hurricane Irma. Disney closed down shortly after we fled from Florida. I’m guessing that man was pretty dissappointed to have lost that chance he had been waiting for after so many years.
We counted ourselves lucky. Thankfully, we took time out of our trip to explore the Keys before we left. We might not have ever known what it was like to stay at the John Pennekamp State Park and snorkel in their beautiful coral reefs if we hadn’t visited right before the hurricane hit. I can only imagine how devastated the people are down there and how terrible the storm was for the reef. It was my first time truly swimming in deep ocean water like that. I’m happy to have a good memory of that beautiful place.
The best part of the Keys was, of course, the music. I met some interesting people in the Keys. I ran into a fun little restaruant owned by Jimmy Buffet known as Margaritaville. I met a man named Dorin, who was our waiter. He seemed nice, but absolutely surprised me when he bursted out in song on stage. I looked at my family to reassure myself that this moment was real. We all laughed in shock and applauded his dramatic moment in the spotlight. After he stepped off the stage, my grandma grew courage to announce that I was a singer as well. You could imagine my embarrassment until the man on stage offered me a mic. Before I knew it, our waiter had switched places with me. I was now looking down at him and my family singing the lovely Patsy Cline song, Crazy. Crazy it was- that spontatnous night of excitment. I was asked to come back and sing a few more songs after my first departure from the stage. I fell in love with the band and their kindness. I also was able to keep in touch with Dorin in the hopes of seeing him again.
I’ll never forget my memories in Key West or in Florida for that matter. In an attempt to flee from the hurricane, us girls decided to head out to Nashville, Tennessee. Look out for my next blog to find out the adventures that happen next…