I’ve had plenty of people ask me about the word/phrase “wedontsitoncouches”. There are two separate occurrences in my life where this phrase randomly popped into my mind. It’s my pleasure to share those stories and the birth of the phrase with you.
The year was 2009. I had just returned to New York City after completing an 8 month cruise ship tour of the Mediterranean. Yep. For 8 months I lived on a cruise ship, working as a singer by night and frolicking through almost every country bordering the sea during the day. Once my 8 month dream gig was up, I took a little extra time to see some must-see European sites before heading back to NY to resume my life as a not-so-struggling-but-constantly-auditioning actor/singer.
One day as I was lounging in one of New York’s many random outdoor seating areas, enjoying the springtime sun and waiting for a lesson with my vocal coach, I locked eyes with a gentleman who was familiar to me. He was one of those random people who I knew from just being out and about in NY; church, auditions, the like. Well we struck up a conversation during which he asked me what I did. I told him about my fabulous life as an actor/singer/traveller and his reply was “Don’t you think if you just settled down a bit you wouldn’t be single?”
I’m sorry. What?
Here I am, on top of the world feeling pretty great that I’ve just completed a gig that has allowed me to both perform and travel. That same job allowed me to save enough loot to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world sans day job so that I can pursue my dream further…and this dude is suggesting that if I just “settle down” I’d have a man. Is that supposed to be the most important thing to me?
My immediate thought in that moment was “Well, if you want a woman who’s just going to stay at home and sit on the couch, that’s definitely not me.”
Good thing I didn’t “settle down” because the following year I booked another dream gig, the North American Tour of The Lion King. So it’s 2011 and I’m taking a much-needed vacation. I decided on Aruba. It was my first time in the Caribbean and I was travelling alone as I do often. I was enjoying myself immensely. The perfect blue water, fine white sand beaches, peace and quiet, laid back island mentality and a temperature that never dipped below 78 degrees spelled H-E-A-V-E-N to me. As a solo traveller I enjoy plenty of alone time to explore but I also like to take part in group excursions from time to time. I was on such an excursion when I encountered a lovely older couple. The wife was quite concerned but also impressed that I was travelling by myself and had no husband or boyfriend accompanying me.
Sidebar: Why does a single woman concern people so much?
The couple, specifically the wife, began to inquire about my life and my profession. I told her about being on tour and how I travel, non-stop, with the show. I told her about other travels for both work and leisure and how I really enjoy doing what I do. She was intrigued and impressed. At one point her husband, who had been silent during most of the exchange, looked at me and said “So, I guess you don’t really have time for a man, huh? You probably just want to stay single.”
Here we go again.
“Well, no.” I replied. “I don’t want to be single all my life. I do desire to meet a man and fall in love and be married. But I’m not going to sit on the couch and twiddle my thumbs and wait for him to magically appear in front of me. I’m going to live and enjoy my life.”
The wife laughs. “Sounds good to me.”
Anyone who is meant to be in your life, romantic, platonic or otherwise, is going to be in your life while you’re living life. If anyone is suggesting or requiring you to put your own passions or purpose aside for their own comfort, that raises questions about whether that person is meant to be there.
Lately, I’ve been saying this phrase a lot as a way of encouraging people to live their lives, specifically in the area of travel. Yes, travel is a passion of mine. I always tell people I want to see every cave, every rock, every sea, every everything. I want to take it all in and enjoy it. I think the world is such a beautiful gift from God and travelling has expanded my mind and my outlook on life. People often comment that they would be afraid to travel alone or experience certain adventures that I’ve enjoyed. My answer to that? A life of fear is no life at all. A life of fear allows you to merely survive, but not thrive. Life is lived out in the world, not on the couch in the “comfort” of the familiar.
There’s no need to sit and wait for someone else to validate your dreams, talents or desires. If they’re God-given, they’re valid.
It’s ok to get up and live! Take that trip with your mom or your friends. Treat yourself. Do something you truly enjoy. If there’s no one available to go with you, it’s perfectly ok to go alone.
Fear will keep you seated and grounded. Fear is stupid! Kick it in the teeth by doing the thing that’s a little bit scary to you. You will be surprised how one small victory will prove to you that anything is possible. Conquering fear leads you on a never-ending path to freedom.
Fear is Stupid
so…get up. Go live. Be free.
Featured Image from “Encouraged…The finer points of glacier climbing.
Sólheimajökull Glacier, Iceland