Every week participants take to the legendary stage at the Apollo Theatre in New York City on what they call, “Amateur Night,” with hopes of pursuing their dreams of success and going onto their next great chapter in life. No matter how confident a person can be, I am sure if you ask each contestant right before they hit the stage if they are nervous or not, they will say that they are terrified but here is their one chance to go out on stage and show to the audience their talents.
I couldn’t help but think that in life, there are certain events where we are going out on stage and trying to show to the world our gift. Taking that leap of faith with that job interview, the first date or even becoming a parent and all you can do is pray that you will receive cheers from the audience rather than a thumbs down.
Life certainly has been giving me the thumbs up lately, I feel that after receiving a string of bad reviews that suddenly the world had seen some talent and was giving me my chance to prove myself. After an extremely fun Memorial Weekend in Chicago with friends, I knew that I would be ending a chapter at my current job. There were times, like all decisions in life, where you think to yourself, “Did I do the right thing?” or “Is this going to push me forward or take my backward?” I certainly felt these questions run through my head as my last day at my job was coming to an end. I rather enjoyed the people I worked with and hadn’t even been there that long, but something told me that this wasn’t the place for me to be. On my last day at the office, I had a few waves of emotions run through me. However, by mid-afternoon, I got confirmation that I made the right decision. I received a rather cold exit from my direct boss and it was right then and there that I knew I made the right choice and it was time for me to move on.
I left work only a few hours after receiving my icy exit and the minute my feet hit the streets, I took a deep breath and decided to never look back. That job was simply a stepping stone and I was now more than ready to go. It is great when you know the reason for things happening in your life faster rather than waiting for that “aha” moment. That evening I was going to be meeting Mr. Architect for my first official sleep over at his apartment. He did tell me we would be doing something before going to his apartment and that was him taking me, for my very first time to the Apollo Theatre. It would be on their, Amateur Night. There was a part of me that was so excited for I used to watch this show on T.V. as a child, but I also knew that I would have a hard time booing someone on stage, even if they were not that talented.
He picked me up on the corner of 56th and 8th and onto the subway we went to 125th Street. I can’t even remember the last time I was on 125th Street but once we exited the subway station, there it was; the theatre that many legends had performed at. We got our tickets and sat down. The minute we sat down, he instantly put his hand on my leg. It is gestures like that, that make me feel special. I have never needed the fancy restaurants or going to an exclusive spot with someone I am seeing. I can do that with my friends but when it comes to someone I am hanging out with, it is those kinds of gestures that make me continue to believe in relationships. He looked at me and told me that he is glad that I was there and that I was able to experience this with him.
Soon the lights went down and the show began. It was very entertaining, of course there was some amazing talent and then there was the not so great of talent. After the show, we jumped back onto the subway to continue uptown to his apartment. In my sixteen years in New York, it still surprises me how much I haven’t seen. I had never been to Washington Heights and most people that know me; know that I rarely travel that high but I was actually looking forward to seeing where he lived. It is just another layer of getting to know someone and I was thrilled to be spending it with him. We got our Chinese food and walked to his apartment, if you asked me to get there again, I couldn’t. I do know there were a lot of trees, rocks and it felt rather woodsy for being in New York.
He purposely did a thorough cleaning job of his apartment the night before and I found that rather endearing. He gave me a tour of his home and then we sat for dinner. Over dinner, we were chatting and somehow the conversation went a little into my childhood and he listened intently and that was refreshing. After I was done talking he thanked me for sharing a little bit about myself. It was there, that I realized how opposite we are. We grew up totally different and that is ok, it is just another case of opposites attract. It was getting late and he had work the next day and I had to pack for Fire Island. So we went to bed and while I didn’t physically smile at him, I didn’t want him to think I was a freak of nature; I was beaming on the inside and had an amazing, peaceful rest.
The next day, we woke up and got ready to head to the subway. Normally in my neurotic ways, I would be trying to rummage through his books, closet and even medicine cabinet to find that freakiness but I didn’t. It didn’t even occur to me do such a thing. Which also indicated to me that this dude is pretty normal and that I no longer needed to wait for something funky to happen to me. He held my hand all the way to the subway station and we rode downtown together. It was my first weekend of the season on Fire Island but it was the first time that I wished I had one more weekend to spend with Mr. Architect. We kissed and parted ways. Now I need to run the errands and pack for the weekend. The minute I got onto the Long Island Rail Road, I could barely contain myself, it was also while on my commute to the island that I got contacted from my editor telling me that my fourth article for Yahoo! was just published. Honestly, each moment kept continuing to get better. The weather that day was amazing, not a cloud in the sky and as I was greeted by my friends from the ferry, I knew that this weekend was going to be just what I needed.
Having done Fire Island for more years than I care to count, there is still that first initial excitement one gets when they have been away for a year. After the massive fire the town experienced last December, everyone was wondering what would be made of the nightlife there. Turns out, like every summer prior, you don’t really need those elements in order to have a good time. As long as you have music, good weather, your friends and plenty of booze, you will be guaranteed a fantastic weekend. Which is exactly what became of my first weekend back on Fire Island, I had the same amazing cast of friends, a constant flow of cocktails, the latest Madonna album blaring and plenty of sunshine. However, this was the very first time that I did think about a guy that was back in the city. The Architect and I stayed in constant contact while I was out on the island and he was back in the city doing his thing. By the time Sunday approached, I know I wanted to see just one person and that was him.
I knew he would be busy with work on Sunday, so I sent a text message to him asking him that maybe he stay the night at my place for a nice relaxing evening before we start our work week. He said yes and all I wanted was for that train to get me back to the city as soon as possible. He arrived on time to my apartment while I was still unpacking from the weekend. It was so nice to see him, even though it had only been a few days but it felt so good to be embraced by him. He already knew that the evening would consist of a romantic comedy and take-out. We ordered a pizza and watched the movie, Friends with Benefits. It was the perfect way to bookend an already amazing weekend. We went to bed and I knew the next day was going to be great.
As I sit here writing this entry, it is my first day at my new job and it also turns out to be one month to the very day, that Mr. Architect and I had our first date. As he wished me a great first day at my job this morning, I knew he meant it. An hour later, I got an email from him again telling me he had a wonderful time last night and to knock them dead at the new gig. Half way through my first day, I sent him a message alerting him to the one month mark; he told me he is looking forward to the next month ahead! That is why I buy into all those Hollywood romantic comedies because deep down we all have a little Jennifer Aniston in us and you will potentially get those Hollywood moments.
While walking to my new job today, I began to think about those Apollo contestants and how they must feel right before they go onto stage knowing that the audience is given the chance to either love them or hate them. Life is quite similar; everyday can feel like Amateur Night at the Apollo. First day at new jobs, first day of school or the first time you make love to someone. You hide behind the curtains and then it is show time. Sometimes the audience will love you and other times you will get taken off the stage but the one thing we must always remember is that even the greatest of artists have been removed from the stage and that doesn’t mean you give up. It only means that that stage wasn’t for you and to continue to find a stage and audience that will appreciate your talents.
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