(That’s me and my dad wearing matching our beer belts at the Reno Rib Cook-Off)
Tonight I was sitting in the lobby at hot yoga, chatting with the instructor, waiting for class to start. During a lull in the conversation a guy, in his mid 30’s (I’m guessing) looked at her and said, “What do you do for a living? This can’t be it”. Those of you who know me, know what my face looked like when I heard this. My head snapped around so fast I’ll be massaging out the whiplash for a week. She looked down and started talking and explaining that she was a substitute teacher as well as a yoga instructor. As she stammered her words and explained her choices, he lost interest and turned away.
This bothered me more than I can explain, I have been on the receiving end of this question for the last 20 years. I thought about it all through class and when class ended, after a few minutes in shavasana, I grabbed my mat and beelined out of there.
I found her, I looked at her and said, “That guy earlier” she immediately looked down and said, “I know, I just …”. I grabbed her hand and said “You can do what ever you want. I doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says.” I went on to tell her something my dad had said to me many, many years ago when I dropped out of college and walked away from a swimming scholarship. He had to come pick me up and bring me home. “As long as you can put a roof over your head and food on your table it doesn’t matter what you do, AS LONG AS YOU ARE HAPPY! I have always lived that way. I have had an amazing life and I have been so lucky. I have done what I wanted and I love my life.”
Yes, there have been hard times and heartache but I have had and do have the most wonderful life. I’ve been stuntwoman in live shows and movies, been a model in print ads and commercials, had a juicing business and a talent agency. I’ve been a bartender, a caregiver, a server and a stay at home dog mom. I am currently a NA in a hospital and I have no idea what will be next. As long as I’m happy who cares. No one else has to wake up to my life everyday. No one else pays my bills, cooks my food or is responsible for my happiness.
In the last few years my dad’s advice has taken on a new meaning for me. It means more now. After watching Duane, and so many others, get sick and pass away I realize that life is short. You never know when your time will be up. You owe it to yourself to be happy and live the best life you can. It’s not about having a huge house, or money or stuff – you can’t take that with you. Be happy, enjoy everyday you can, because you never know when it will be the last one.
– xoxo Victoria
“But it’s all an adventure That comes with a breathtaking view” – Benj Pasek / Justin Paul