By Kat Hamilton
Part I: Getting to Know the Universe
I grew up in a religious household. My parents were never pushy with their beliefs, but it was always there. This is the thing: I don’t believe in god in the sense that there is a nameable entity who can answer our prayers. But I do believe that life is not random, and that seemingly random occurrences are actually the universe’s energy balancing between lives.
I’ve spent a lot of my time in New York begging for certain things to happen - to find a job, a relationship, an apartment, success, or happiness. Up until this point, I have received what I wanted in spades, but not exactly when I wanted it. In fact, usually I stumble into what I wanted at the worst time possible.
On the night of my band’s drummer’s birthday dinner, I was too poor to afford a full meal. I ordered a side and then frowned when the check came because the table had decided to split it evenly. I was so ashamed as I explained that I could only afford my portion. On my walk home, I descended into dark thoughts. “I will never survive in New York. Everyone will leave me behind. This was a mistake.” Just as I stopped at an intersection, I found a $50 dollar bill. I almost cried on the sidewalk because I couldn’t believe my luck, and also because I could have really used that $50 at the restaurant.
Up until last year, I was convinced that I was running my life and thus anything that happened in my life was my fault or my victory.
New girlfriend? Good job, Kat.
Fired from job? Bad job, Kat.
I fled home to California last summer and went on anxiety medication. I had chronic laryngeal swelling (yucky fat vocal chords) and panic attacks. I knew I needed help, but everyone told me that meds weren’t possibly the way. Within three weeks of being on Zoloft, I felt completely new. I no longer wanted the things that happened in my life to be my fault or my success. I got the distinct feeling that my position of power in my own life was merely for show. That something else was pulling all the strings.
Part II: Relinquishing Control
When I came back from California, I gave up my life to the powers that be. I still worked hard, sought out opportunity and tried, but I gave up the idea that any outcome was controllable. Magically, everything started getting good, but not what I thought “good” would look like. I found great roommates, met a girl, got a new job, and the band was better than ever. But the apartment wasn’t in the neighborhood I wanted. The girl happened when I really couldn’t be bothered with women. The job happened when I was determined to never work full time again. The band happened just as I focused my energy on a solo project.
We all have some belief. Even if it’s just “we die and then worms have Thanksgiving.” Every day my faith in the serendipity of life grows stronger, even though the universe isn’t always sending me fun things in the mail.
The girl and I broke up in February and it was truly for the best. She had just begun getting to know herself and I am hanging out somewhere on the other side. But it wasn’t easy for me to think that there was going to be a silver lining. Great prank life. Show me a little happiness then poof!
In April I developed a tendonitis in my fingers, which is now transitioning me out of my current job. The moment my chiropractor gave me this news, my first thought wasn’t everything is going to be wonderful!
I can see that these bad things happened to balance something that’s coming. I had to lose a few things to make some room for whatever’s next. I know this because the last time I lost important things in my life, they were replaced by better.
When I moved to New York, I went through a horrible break up cycle with my first love. We couldn’t make it work. We were too different - just two people standing on opposite sides of a fence we desperately wanted to get over. At this time, I was in and out of jobs and my music career seemed destitute. Manic Pixi was completely in shambles and I had almost lost hope.
Months after I ran away from the car crash of my life, the band found its missing members, the people that would reinvigorate the fire. I came back to New York with the best support system in the world waiting for me. That break up cycle? Inspired possibly the best songs I’d ever written and gave me the thick skin I needed to make my own solo album.
The universe is unfolding as it should.
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