The Universe took advantage of my natural curiosity. Of course I’d wanna know all the details about a two-year gig teaching Pilates in Turks & Caicos even though I personally had no interest in the job. Back in the day, I would’ve jumped at an opportunity like this. In fact it would’ve felt like a godsend back in 2008 when my marriage fell apart and all I really, really wanted was an Eat, Pray, Love experience filled with travel, adventure, self-exploration and a juicy new romance. But instead, the Universe deposited me back in NYC with an amazing performing gig and the comfort of my sister-friends. And that’s exactly what I needed. But six years later and on the verge of turning forty-four, I was in the middle of a career crisis with no place to live and no one to love (still). All I really, really wanted was to thrive in a creatively fulfilling career, build a lasting relationship, bliss out on love, and nest in a place I (we) could call home. I wanted roots. So, to entertain the idea of a two year commitment on a resort island with a transient population of three hundred seemed like a ludicrous combination of running away from my fears and running away from my dreams.
My curiosity was instantly met with, “You’d be perfect for the job! You should submit your resume”. But my resistance was just as immediate. In fact, my body recoiled at the idea of such a significant life change. Not even the idea of living on a private Caribbean island known for its celebrity guests, pristine beaches and award winning Spa seemed alluring. Nor was I enticed by the possibility of parlaying this position into future opportunities at the company’s other locations in Southeast Asia or Europe. I had no desire to be a (single) nomad or even a Pilates instructor, for that matter, for the rest of my life. So, from that constrained perspective, the idea of pursuing this job felt like I was giving up and settling. And looking through the lens of mid-life crisis, I’d obviously hit rock bottom! I was tired of not feeling grounded, satisfied or fulfilled. Life seemed unfair.
But at the same time I couldn’t help but admit that the timing was perfect. Assuming I got the job, I’d have a place to live with free room and board! I’d be able to avoid the fear of homelessness and the frustration of the NYC housing market; scouring Craigslist like a full-time job, struggling to find an affordable apartment in a decent neighborhood that accepts dogs and visiting umpteen apartments that looked fab in photos but were more like walk-in closets. Then there was the exorbitant cost of said walk-in closets including credit check fees, broker fees, plus first and last month’s rent.
So neither apartment hunting nor uprooting to the Caribbean seemed remotely appealing. All I wanted to do was close my eyes, escape into dreamland and pretend the ground wasn't shifting beneath me again. But with my eyes closed I started to envision what two years of free room and board might look like and, let’s just say that, taking a leap of faith is far less daunting when you know you’re gonna land on a cozy little financial cushion. Applying for this job, at the very least, seemed like a smart financial decision. But while my mind was convinced, my heart still wasn't in it. This was the first time in my life that money would be the sole motivating factor in my career. My happiness and abundance had always come from pursuing my passion for creative and artistic self-expression. And I was still struggling to make peace with the end of my twenty year performing career that fulfilled me on so many levels. So by comparison, a two year contract as a Pilates/Fitness instructor, even at one of the most exclusive resorts in the world, seemed to arouse no passion.
But I considered the possibility that passion might be for the young and foolish. That maybe it was my passion that led me to this desperate situation in the first place. That maybe it was time to live a more pragmatic life.
So I applied for the job.