It’s almost Thanksgiving here and it’s something on my list of things I wanted to experience whilst I am here. Just see what its like, spend time with people and have my turkey dinner with all the trimmings American style. I’ve been really looking forward to seeing how it’s done and tasting the different things that we don’t have with our Christmas dinner in the UK. A guy where I serve on Mondays at the Soup Kitchen even went to Pennsylvania to bring me back what he thinks is the best pumpkin pie (and I wasn’t flipping there) so I’ve got that to look forward to on Monday. I sang somewhere today and they had their community Thanksgiving lunch so they gave me a piece there. I think by the end of the week I will have had my fill of pumpkin pie.
In two weeks I’ll be back home and I want to be back home. I just want to come home now. I’ve been feeling it now for a week or so that I’ve done as much as I can here now for this year. It’s been amazing. I’ve lived for half of my year in New York. I’ve made it work. I’ve created opportunities, made a life and met lots of great people. I’ve put on my own show and got an agent. I’ve done things I never thought I would. I’ve had the courage to be vulnerable and speak my truth with people and open my heart to them without any guarantees of anything in return. I’ve put myself out there day after day with only my gut instinct and faith in the strength of my gut instinct that this is the right path, to step into the ‘not knowing’ and carry on. Nothing is any clearer to me right now. I’ve planted seeds but I don’t know where they will grow and if I will ever find a way to stay here. I’m coming home with no home to come back to (I’ll be staying in 14 different places in December alone), and I would love something to just grip onto to make things feel clearer and give me some kind of control, but there isn’t. I have to just finally hold my hands up and surrender to whatever my life has in store for me. No matter what though, no one can ever take this year from me. I’ve lived it and I’ve done it. I’m on the ‘road less travelled’ and I’ve given up any sense of security. That’s the price I pay to live in this way, but I wouldn’t change it for a thing. It’s like Brene Brown quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The man in the arena’.
That’s me. I’m in the arena and fighting my fight and I want to come home just to have a break from being in the arena. New York is all consuming and I’ve given it my all this year. There’s nothing more left for me to give to it, but the plan is to spend Winter at home and come back in March ready for the next chapter.
It’s been a great couple of weeks. I knew I needed to have a bit of timeout and do some fun things for myself so I went for a day around Chinatown with Elisabeth who I met in Central Park.She is originally from China so I was like ‘give me some good insider tips’, so she spent 6 hours showing me around. We went for dim sum, for a massage, to the supermarkets. She showed me food I had never seen, took me places where only the Chinese go (love all that stuff). The next day it was Carribean food on the menu because Akeem my last housemate wanted to show me what food they eat. Also delicious. This is what I love about the diversity we now have around us. It’s so life enriching to experience how other nationalities do things and their customs.
Then it was Elton John. My idol. My complete idol (I even got to sit two seats behind him at The Lion King earlier this year in London). The guy I have loved ever since I was a kid. The one whose songs I sang on the swings with my cousin Emma. I got my backside to Madison Square Gardens and loved every minute of it. He was on for 2 1/2 hours, giving and giving and you just see how much he loves performing and being there for the people. I get it. It’s just what it’s all about as a performer and he inspired me to carry on and to keep those songs coming out of my mouth to anyone who wants to listen. I just felt how much his heart is involved in what he does and it’s so real, and I would have always regretted it if I had missed his farewell tour.
I’ve been doing my singing thingy here too. Going for my coachings with the pianist and agent, practising as much as I can. I was working towards an audition which I did yesterday. My first real audition for work in a long time. Six months ago I said to someone I could never imagine auditioning again as the stress is just too much, but I’m ready for it now. I actually had a cold at the weekend and it knocked me out for a few days and I was in bed resting and sleeping, but I was so glad to just stop and rest a bit. I spent four days taking it easy, listening to loads of spiritual stuff, and enjoying my own company. I realised I had spent my whole trip in fear of the future (and I’ve missed out on actually really enjoying it), trying to control it all and push for things. Stepping back made me see how detrimental that actually is, and how it’s not helping me at all, and I feel in a much more positive mental state from taking some time out and nurturing the inner me. I realise how important this is to take the time to do it….my mental state was reaching burnout and a few days off gave me back some clarity and peace again. I need the spiritual stuff to remind me and get me back on track and I listen a lot to Hay House radio for that.
So I’m just enjoying my last few weeks. Not busting a gut. Doing my singing and enjoying the changing of the leaves on the trees and how beautiful Central Park is, (I got to see it white with snow) and seeing friends for the last time this year. I feel very lucky to have experienced all these things this year. It’s been life changing and I’ll never forget it. The New Yorkers have shown me a lot of positivity and appreciation for what I do.
I’m looking forward to getting back on my own turf again for a while. I’ve got events in London (singing some Disney songs for Disney), back over to Belgium, and will be singing back in the North of England, so there’s good stuff to come back to. I can see my family and friends again too, catch up with people, have some singing lessons, go to the chippy and be somewhere where I’m allowed to work. I don’t need to bust a gut getting myself out there and can just appreciate being back and doing my thing. I know I’ll miss New York. It’s in my blood now but without being able to stay there’s only so much I can do here. I truly do wish I could stay and really build a life here.
However, whilst you have the chance, if you want to hear me sing whilst I’m back I’ve got a lovely event coming up in Hebden Bridge on December 19th. I go to sing in the square there and this time I’m toasty and warm singing in the Town Hall. I’m going to be living there the first few months of next year before I come back here in March so I’m looking forward to getting settled there for a few months and experiencing life in the countryside. For more info and for tickets you can book them through the link:
Here’s a promo I did in my room the other day (complete with my I love NY hoodie on).
I love keeping it real (hoodie and all)…… it’s about pleasing the people and making them happy. Whatever happens I’m just going to keep on this road less travelled. I’m on it now so I may aswell see where the journey takes me. My friend Sandi always says ‘It’s all about the journey’. I’m giving thanks for my journey, because if anything it’s a flippin interesting one. They can never say I didn’t try. If you want to know more follow me on Facebook and check out my website at www.iamnicolamills.com
Bye for now. See you back in the UK………