Back in college, I had an AWE-some Acting teacher that ended up leaving an impact on my career as an artist before it even started.
Instead of focusing on only character study, her lessons were more about the actor studying his/herself. A lot of her teachings were about embracing growth and transcending to the next phase of our lives.
One of the powerful lessons she used a lot was the message behind the African word, Sankofa.
The literal translation of the word is “go back and get it.”
FA (look, seek and take.)
And the lesson is, that it is not wrong to go back for what you have forgotten.
That message may not have 100% resonated with me back then, but as life would have it, I now understand.
Just a few months ago when I was starting my journey of performing overseas, our ship was at port in Livorno, Italy.
Livorno is a small seaside town outside of Florence, in the Tuscany region.
Usually people who visit this port leave Livorno to get to bigger cities, but Livorno happens to have such a magical piece of my heart.
Nearly four years ago, I auditioned for a dance training workshop that took place in Italy. It was a month of living in Livorno, dancing Monday-Friday, and taking excursions all over the country on the weekends.
At 24 years old, I had never flown anywhere internationally alone, and I was in a very specific limbo period of my life.
I had just finished my first year of living in New York City, and I was actually diving head first in any performance opportunity that came my way. I was seeking and desperate for something to click, so I was saying ‘YES!' to just about anything.
(Desperate young ‘theatre girl’ is never a good look, but hey, we have to start somewhere…)
Living in Livorno and traveling all over Italy had changed me in many ways.
That summer allowed me to discover myself as a young woman and performer.
Dance brought out so many emotional healing powers to my little world.
I was making some of the biggest decisions at that time with my relationship, my money, my career, and while I was there, I discovered writing.
I was following my spiritual alignment before I even knew what I was doing.
Once I returned home, I picked up my life where I left off, made those big decisions, and I honestly never thought I would see Livorno again.
Now I am 28 years old and the Universe somehow brought me back to that small town this year.
Once again, I am on my own and performing overseas.
Despite my overwhelming enthusiasm and shock of being back in that town, I could actually feel my past self walking next to me and discovering those streets. I could see her contemplating her every move, calculating what to do next, and finding peace in the moment of traveling and performing.
Y’all, time travel is REAL!!
The interesting thing is, I have been in a similar state of limbo these past 6 months that I was in back then.
Looking back, I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I did one thing differently when I had that chance to decide.
And that's when I realized...
Life was bringing me back to Livorno and showing me that I was on the right track, and that I have the freedom to look back and do things a little differently.
It’s never too late to go back, take a look around and learn from our past.
Allow the past to help you change course and move on to a different destiny.
I tell this story because I feel like these miracle moments happen in our lives more often than we realize.
If we are quiet and mindful enough to listen to that inner voice, we hold the answers for ourselves.
Do you look back and wonder what could have been different?
What else could you have risked when you had the chance?
We will always come to phases of our life that makes us stop and wonder what to do next.
By taking a closer look at our past, we can find the road maps for going into our future.