Today's blog is going to be the fastest one I've written because I'm about to go look at some wedding venues with my fiancé . Oooh that felt good to say lol. I don't talk about my personal life much because I like to keep certain things to myself. I feel like it keeps them special. But if you actually took the time to click through my email and read my blog, you're probably a really nice person who I wouldn't mind sharing something special with from time to time. So thanks for reading and here goes.
If you didn't know, now you know that I'm getting married and I'm also moving to St Augustine, FL. I've known this for a while now, obviously, but I think more recently it's started sinking in. Let me tell you it's hard to let go of what you know. I've made a name for myself and my band in South Florida and slowly breaking out of that routine has been terrifying and electrifying at the same time. Terrifying because I want to stretch, to be myself and create my art wherever I go.. electrifying because when I actually do that, it makes me a bigger believer in myself and God. There's so much to learn about what we're capable of in this life and you can't get too comfortable in one spot or else you'll miss out on your greatness. So I'm still working in South Florida but living in St Augustine. It's peaceful here. I have more time and space to write and since I'm such an introvert, I enjoy the solitude when my fiancé is at work. I plan on getting involved in a few group activities, making more friends and performing here too but for now I'm enjoying being more of an observer of the city than a participant. I'm still taking it all in. Plus when I start sharing my music with people here, I want to be received as an independent, original artist so I'm working on creating more songs that reflect who I am. Singing covers is a lot of fun but I've been writing my own songs since before I was ten, so it's time to stop hiding that side of myself.
In my previous blog, I mentioned I travelled quite a bit this summer: to California for work, Las Vegas for my sister's birthday and most recently to Austin with my fiancé, Dane. He had a work meeting in Dallas, Texas and so we took the opportunity to make a couples' weekend out of his trip. I met him in Dallas and we drove down to Austin where a good friend of his named Arturo lives. On the way to Austin, we stopped in Waco. I am a huge fan of Fixer Upper, the TLC TV Series starring Chip and Joanna Gaines, a Waco couple who flips old houses. Anyone who knows me, knows how much they inspire me: not only as successful entrepreneurs, but also as an interracial couple. So we stopped at their new restaurant, The Magnolia Table, with high hopes of grabbing a meal. Of course it was packed with other Fixer Upper aficionados and so we were turned away with a discount ticket for their gift shop. So we visited the Magnolia market at the Silos. It's amazing to see the empire the Gaines have built in such a small town. I picked up their book and I'm excited to read more about their story because I typically don't read those types of books. I'm into spiritual books, self-help books and all sorts of similar hippie stuff. In fact, I just finished reading "The Power of the Subconscious" mind, which brings me back to the point of this blog.
Between reading "The Power of the Subconscious Mind" and doing Oprah and Deepak Chopra's latest 21 Day Meditation, I've been focused on harnessing the energy of attraction to bring more abundance into my life. If that's a whole lot of hippie talk for you, I'll say I've been practicing keeping my thoughts on things above and if that's too biblical for you, I'll say I've been implementing positive thinking and setting clear intentions as much as I can. I've had a lot of great things come out of this practice recently, one of which was dropping my phone into the Comal River outside Austin Texas LOL. To be more specific, what ensued after I dropped my phone in the river could only be described as a miracle.
Dane, Arturo and I went tubing in New Braunfels last Saturday in Texas. I ignored everyone's advice and decided to take my phone down the Comal river. I was determined to get pictures because we always forget to take pictures on our trips. It was a risky idea but I was wearing a wide-brimmed sunhat and my plan was to stow away the phone on top of my head underneath the hat. When it was calm and lazy, I would take out my phone and snap a few cute shots and when we came upon choppy waters, I would hold on to my hat! Genius right? Well it was until it wasn't. About 20 minutes before our journey down the river came to an end, I decided to adjust myself in my tube. I knew this was risky business but I needed to give my back a new position to rest in. So I held on to the sides of the tube and pushed myself up to sit on the back of the tube. Much better. We continued for about five minutes and I decided I could sit up even higher. So I took the risk again but this time my center of gravity shifted suddenly and I fell backward into the water, hat first.
I panicked, I screamed, I grasped the water as I saw my phone floating past my knees underwater into the cloudy depths of the river. I'm sure people around us thought I couldn't swim by the way my arms were flailing about as I fell in, but I was just trying to stop my phone from sinking. I got out of my tube and my feet touched the floor. I thought to myself ok it's not too deep. I can get it back. But I couldn't see shit lol and my feet kept sliding out from under me on the mossy river floor. Arturo did his best to help me look but there was no way we could find it. I stood/slipped there in shock at what had just happened. My phone was now at the bottom of a river in Texas. My Garage Band original productions were on there... my new original song ideas in the form of voice memos were on there. But most importantly, the cute pictures I had tried so hard to get in Austin and every other memory from my travels this summer were on there. It suddenly hit me what a silly idea taking my phone on the river was. But I didn't want to believe the story would end like that.
I tried really hard for my phone mishap not to put a damper on our plans for the rest of the trip but I would be lying if I said I didn't feel shame every time I saw someone taking pictures with their phone. To top it all off on the flight back on Sunday, I forgot I had the honey from The Magnolia Table in my carry-on bag so they had to throw it away as it was a liquid over 3 ounces. Then we got seated in aisle 13 at gate 13 and had a bunch of turbulence that caused us to land in Atlanta to refuel, before we could make a safe touchdown in our original destination, Jacksonville. By this time I thought luck was not on my side and I was just out of sync with the universe. But I kept reading my hippie stuff and practicing gratitude for all the things I did have, like a safe trip back home. As I settled in that night, I started sharing the news with my contacts that my communication would be limited for a few days. I was lamenting to my friend Erik about all the music I needed to figure out how to recover since I hadn't backed up my phone in forever (another great reason to take it down the river), when an email showed up in my inbox...."iPhone found at the bottom of the Comal River".
My jaw dropped as I read an email from someone by the name of Steve who found my phone at the bottom of the river and wanted to return it as an act of good will. I was in shock and probably said "Oh my gosh" way too many times. I had prayed to get my phone back and reading that email was pretty much like reading the answer to my prayer. Apparently Steve is an older guy who sometimes dives in the river and recovers all sorts of items which people drop: eyeglasses, ID cards, phones... He returns them to their rightful owners as his own way of generating good karma and he doesn't ask for anything in return. Even though I insisted on having his Venmo, he still hasn't given me the details. In other words Steve is an earth angel. Have you ever seen the show "Touched by an Angel"? Well this felt like my very own episode. All I could think about was what did I ever do to deserve such good karma.
Since I can't pay it back, I'm determined to pay it forward. I will never forget my trip to Austin, not just because the BBQ and the Mexican food was unbelievably delicious, but because that whole experience refreshed my view of the world. Even as optimistic as I am, with everything that's going on these days, it's easy to get cynical and feel like people have stopped caring, but Steve is an example of someone who still cares. As the Chloe x Halle song goes "there's still cool people in the world". I can only hope to be as cool as Steve.