Getting Real

I’ve always been an optimist. An idealist. I’ve looked for the best in situations and in people. I assume the best. I expect the best. But the truth is, that is not always living in “reality.” Countless moments, my idealism has gotten me into trouble. 

A few years ago, during my Saturn return, I was mending from a broken heart. I had been dumped, and it was the worst feeling I had ever felt. Like a death. I had no desire to watch TV. To eat. Talk. It felt utter emptiness. Too painful to even cry most of the time. I don't know how I made it through that winter. 

Then I met a new friend. She was glittery and rich and shiny and cool. Her ex-girlfriend was in a famous band. She owned her own apartment, and was friends with all the cool kids. She took me under her wing, and I felt a renewed sense of life. 

She persuaded me to quit my assistant job to start a company with her. She said she would fund it to begin with, and we would pay her back. She also said, “Let’s go to LA and write a show!” So, we did. I quit my job with maybe $3K in the bank, bought a plane ticket on a credit card, and got on a plane to LA with her.

We did our first Plant Medicine ceremony. We got matching tattoos; wrote two projects that millions of people would watch. But we quickly ran out of money. When we came back to New York City, she moved back into her apartment. And there was I. Homeless. Jobless. Penniless. How did this happen? 

How had I let myself get into this mess? Looking back, it’s clear how. The fantasy was more glittering than the reality.

It took me four years to escape that fantasy. Because our project also brought agents at CAA. Magazine articles and interviews. The glitter on the surface kept shimmering, blinding me. But behind the scenes, I was running myself into mountains of debt. Drinking a lot. Pretending. Until one day I said: “No more.”

I told my former friend and collaborator that I couldn’t go on living in the fantasy of “what could be,” but that I had to GET REAL. Make a real living. Learn how to take care of myself. Walking away was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. The years following, some of the hardest ever. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Saturn taught me how to see the gloss and glamour, and to take time before saying “yes.” To take a step back and not be blinded by the light. 

And now I am facing a similar moment in my life. A shiny package has arrived—and I’m asking for Saturn to help me get really real about what’s actually on the table. Only time will tell. But this time, I will go in with eyes open, allowing the reality to be more alluring than the fantasy.

Learn about Alexandra Roxo's Kripalu program on finding your voice.