My Wonder Year

“Dreams are how we figure out where we want to go and life is how we get there. Dreams are found in the weirdest things.” I can’t recall where I read that, but it stuck.

The year was 2008 and nervous breakdowns were the thing to have. Everyone who was anyone was succumbing. A hypochondriac by nature and not wanting to be left out, I started feeling exhaustion due to being pulled left and right from work, family, dating and a social life.
I was single in L.A. and tired of meeting the same boys who were always in search for the next best thing. I was so over the scene. The town got too small for me… hell, the entire state got too small. On the weekends, I would drive up and down California from San Francisco to San Diego for dancing gigs and the free time I had, I used to complete a VERRRRY low budget movie. It was putting a toll on me. I was saying yes to everyone, spreading myself thin and I had had enough. I had always maintained a full-time job but these side-projects helped me obtain a feeling of accomplishment. Busy and productive equaled validity. However, none of ithese projects I did for the money and as I approached my late 20’s and saw I had nothing to show for. It was then I realized it was not difficult to put everything on the back-burner and try a more quiet lifestyle. Feeling too old to continue chasing after distant dreams, I followed my gut feeling which was demanding me to quit complaining and make a change. The result? I packed up my bags and headed to the sunny Miami Beach, Florida.

Within two months of settling in South beach, I was fortunate to find a partner I was able to click with. Time would tell, however, that it would be difficult to build friendships due to South Beach’s transient nature. The relationship was just wonderful. We’d spend every 4th of July in Michigan and throw themed Halloween costume parties. We’d set up elaborate Christmas card photo-shoots and make videos of our favorite carols and send it into the Youtube stratosphere. We were cheese-balls and considered each other our soulmate. Beach-life was nice. Florida was nice. Then, for reasons one cannot explain, we broke up after 3 years. We are still friends to this day.

After that amicable breakup, 2012 happened. Early, last year, I felt betrayed when after dedicating 3 years of sweat and blood for a company that I considered second to family, they were quick to let me go once my division was shutdown and they realized a position wasn’t available for me. I had been prepared but it all still came as a shock that they couldn’t find me a position or make one up considering I was their most loyal, go-to, jack-of-all-trades guy. It felt like they had stuck their fists in my stomach, twisted the insides and proceeded to pull out whatever they could get their hands on. It was only March but already my second breakup. It was then, I realized it’s an each-man-for-himself kind of world out there. To make it worse, I got a DUI, my first apartment, and three job changes, not including a failed stint in real estate. My plans of furnishing my new apartment, traveling, and possibly looking into getting a new car had instead been substituted by court fees, traffic fines and the obligatory therapy sessions. I was so happy when 2013 arrived that I spent New Years alone in my apartment just so it can all settle in.

Fast forward to today and I have inexplicable joy as I find myself packing again with the intentions of doing something I have always wanted to do, but thought I wasn’t cut-out for, a full-on Las Vegas show! As a child, I had no choice but to drop out of tap-dance classes due to humiliation when, to my Mother’s surprise, my school didn’t offer boy’s tap shoes. I also jremember begging her to invest hundreds of dollars in photo-shoots for a casting company which, now looking back, was probably a scam. However, I never gave-up on my dreams of being an extra on the Wonder Years which was occasionally filming at my elementary school. The show was eventually cancelled and I never made my cameo. So close yet so far.

For the past couple years I’ve been threatening to move back to California; or anywhere in that time zone. As it turned out I was missing the proximity of the beach, mountains and desert; all within a drive’s distance. I missed my people and I took granted the relationships I built with friends and the bond I had with my family. I had no intentions, however, of moving back without a job in hand. I’ve been waiting and waiting for the right one to come around. They say patience is a virtue but I was getting tired of the wait. I prayed for signs that would lead me in the right direction which will hopefully take me back west. So you could imagine my response when I got a call from a renowned choreographer to be 1/7 of a Las Vegas male revue show. The FIRST gay male revue show for that matter. Yes, it’s not quite California and no, I am not a professional dancer, and perhaps it sounds a bit crazy, but after having survived 2012, I said, “fuck it”. I had had my version of what I wanted 2012 to be but instead, the events that had unfolded were beyond my control. This new year I would dedicate to taking risks and embracing change. Taking life by the horns, as they say. I am NOT the most flexible person in the world but I’m spending more time at the gym working on my flexibility and I have somewhat of stage fright. Despite that, I am no stranger to a stage nor the spotlight. I shall face my fears because an opportunity like this comes only once in a lifetime.

Recently, I found inspiration in form of a book about an 80 year old man who escaped from a nursing home and spent whatever time he had left traveling with a circus. There’s a lot more to that story (like when he was younger he had been a vet for a circus), and yes, it was nonfiction, but if you don’t read for the inspiration, whats the point? Yet, here I am, not nearly close to my 80’s and I feel the need to run off and join my own circus. As of now, the most exciting thing I had looking forward to in 2013 was my job moving to a new location. Now, I have the dry Vegas heat, the strip’s neon lights and a dream in plain view.

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~ by Daniel Miagany on January 16, 2013.

One Response to “My Wonder Year”

  1. Thanks for sharing some of your private issues. I get reminded when tough circumstances arise they can break us or make us stronger!
    Life can be frustrating especially at work. It can be disheartening to realize employers that we are loyal to and dedicated don’t treat us the same way.
    Yet when a door closes another will open!

    Your candid blogs points out that everyone has ups and downs. On appearances you are very good looking, young, smart, fit. Yet you encounter problems too!

    Keep moving forward as there are bound to be tons of good days ahead!

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