When I was 19, my at the time boyfriend and I packed up our things and drove our cars from St. Louis to New York. We had it all mapped out, he was going to get signed to Bad Boy and blow up as a rapper and I was gonna be the new host of 106th & Park. I didn’t give my job any type of notice and didn’t really give anything a second thought. All I saw was the goal, which was to find a way to live a better life than I currently was living. Risk taking and thrill seeking are my specialties and I was willing to risk it all. Obviously, things didn’t go as planned. The drive takes about a full day. We ended up falling asleep while driving and had to pull over on the side of the road to sleep. By the time we made it to New York, the auditions were closed. I didn’t even get to attempt at my 15 minutes of fame. We did get a chance to be on TRL and ironically Diddy was on the show that day. My ex was harassing Diddy during the show and all the breaks asking if he could rap for him or if Diddy would at least listen to his cd and security ended up kicking him off the show. However, he caught Diddy as he was leaving and he did get a chance to rap for him. We ended up running out of money and moving back to St. Louis. I eventually went to the audition in Chicago but it wasn’t my time.
I recently told a new friend this story and usually when I tell it I judge myself as being young, dumb, and impulsive. But the new friend responded, “At least you tried.” I thought for a second and that’s absolutely right. What a beautiful way to look at it. At least if I died today I won’t wonder what would have happened had I chased a dream. My only dilemma now is what would have happened had I stayed persistent and kept working at it. What if I had started Toastmaster’s back then to work on my speaking or what if I worked with a coach to help me improve stage presence or whatever it would have taken to acquire the necessary skills so that the next time an opportunity like that was presented, I was prepared. It’s always 20/20 in hindsight, as the saying goes. Looking back, I allowed a spoonful of rejection to stop me from enjoying what could have eventually turned into an all you can eat buffet of opportunity. I gave up because I was told no. I assumed no meant that I wanted the wrong thing instead of thinking that no just meant not right now. Looking back, I was nervous as hell, froze up in front of the camera, and wasn’t comfortable enough in my skin and I’m sure it was noticaeable. I wasn’t ready.
It was an awesome and exciting experience despite being rejected . It was fun and exhilarating taking a risk and going after something that was bigger than I was. Traveling and seeing another part of the world that had been unfamiliar to me before then refreshed my love for life. Telling that story to my friend made me realize playing it safe all the time leads to nothing but stagnation. I also realized I miss that me who was so daring and down for my dreams. Now, I want to take more risks. I’m older, so risks will of course be calculated and I’ll have an action plan, but I vow to risk being stuck in a cycle of routine mediocrity for the reward of making my dreams a living reality. If life is currently telling you no or you feel like you can’t have something you want, think about how bad you want it and how important it is in the grand scheme of things. Will living for it make your life legendary? No…it may just mean that it’s not time yet and you have more to learn before you get it. So keep wanting , keep working and keep learning so that when the opportunity comes you’ll be more than ready for it.
Originally I published this on a different site a little over a year ago, and now here I am living in New York. Although I am not living as a host for 106th and Park, life is good. Take a risk today, seek a thrill. You never know where you might end up! And if you’re in NY, I’m celebrating conquering my first year in NYC Saturday August 24th. Come and network and build with me: nycliving.eventbrite.com
Desi believes our minds control our lives and lives by the mantra, “Don’t Ever Say Impossible”. Connect with her on Twitter, @ImDesi, Instagram @DopeDesi, or email Desi@LoveLiveDesi.com