Accept the challenges, so you may feel the exhilaration of victory. (General George S. Patton)
By the time you read this, I’ll be on the way to scaring the hell out of myself as I spend this weekend embedded with Cirque du Soleil in the heart of Cancun.
I’m honored to be one of a select number of American press invited to the world premiere of Cirque’s newest production, Joya, which takes place at the Grand Mayan resort in Riviera Maya. I’ll be spending this weekend covering the newest chapter in Cirque’s legendary history, while having the opportunity to do it against the backdrop of an amazing resort. The picture at the top of this blog is taken directly from where I’ll be staying.
You might think this is a dream job, and I’m not going to argue that point. One does not look a gift horse in the mouth.
But it’s also frightening, whether it’s having to travel on my own out of the country and back for the first time since I was hospitalized back in 2010, or taking on the challenge of covering something as huge and world-renowned as Cirque is, or even having to hold myself to the dress code when I’ve got a dozen surgical scars to either conceal or get used to people staring at. There are a lot of things about this that make me nervous.
I hate being nervous. It makes me crazy. Yet it is sort of a good thing.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that you have to occasionally do things that challenge you. You don’t get better by maintaining the status quo; you improve by going above and beyond what you have done before. I’m always looking for that next opportunity that requires me to push myself, whether it’s learning a new subject like this – my only Cirque knowledge is what I’ve gained from working with Criss Angel – or doing something that requires intensive work. I can’t do that all the time or I’d give myself a heart attack, but this is one of those times where you just have to jump.
It helps that as I’m getting ready to take the leap, I got a much-needed boost from someone very dear to me. I started my seventh season of The Voice on Monday night, and I have to extend some thanks to Adam Levine for once again reminding me that I’m appreciated and that I matter to some pretty important people. Adam took a few minutes after Monday night’s show to talk to me, and there’s nothing like a hug from your mentor to give you the confidence to face something crazy like this.
Over the next few days, I’m sure that I’m going to be scared and excited and determined and a few other things. I know you’re going to see sides of me that you have never seen before. And then I get to come off the airplane on Sunday, get a few hours to regroup, and then go right back to work on Monday morning. This is going to be a physical, mental and probably emotional challenge.
So for anybody who might still think my job is just fun writing about celebrities: you haven’t seen anything yet. And neither have I.