Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In the Distance I Saw Light

I could not see for the fog in my eyes
And I could not feel for the fear in my life
From across the great divide
In the distance I saw light
The Maker - Dave Matthews Band

I came to New Zealand in search of something. Perhaps clarity, inspiration, peace, adventure or maybe even direction. I am in the most beautiful place in the world and I'm having an amazing time, but over the last two months l've been just as confused as when I left Portland. I had this idea that I would come to New Zealand and all the answers would instantly become clear. But a few weeks ago someone said to me, "Sometimes you have to become more confused to get to a place of clarity." At the time I thought she was crazy, but over the last few days her statement has began to make sense to me.

This morning I went to the beach for my morning run and meditation session on the hillside of Mount Maunganui. As I sat there and listened to the sounds of the ocean and watched the waves crash against the rocks I began to cry because I felt a rush of pure and utter happiness. I have been so worried about having a plan or understanding why things happen, but recently the light bulb went off and I realized that there is no reason to stress or worry about it because there is a plan for me beyond my control. Small decisions I make, actions of others in my life or unexpected circumstances completely determine my future. Let me try to explain…

My entire life I have dreamt about living on an island and by the beach. Growing up in a landlocked state this seemed next to impossible. I don't know why, but deep down I have always longed for this…and here I am, in my 30's, living out a lifelong dream. I started thinking about my entire life and how smalls decisions and actions have lead me to where I am today. Since I was a little girl, I also dreamt about working at Walt Disney World (WDW). Walt Disney was one of my heros growing up because I found his rags to riches story fascinating. I also admired his vision and ability to turn his imagination into a reality. After I graduated from college, I decided I would take the leap and move to Florida to work at WDW. I packed up the car and drove across the country with my mom for one of the best adventures of my life. I lived in Florida for a year and worked as the International Marketing Coordinator at WDW.

After my internship ended, I was drawn back to the Midwest because that was where my family and my boyfriend (of six years) were. I moved home and within three days my boyfriend broke up…but as they say, as one door closes another opens. In that same week, I got offered the Marketing Coordinator job at the Target Center Arena in Minneapolis. Since I saw my first concert at the TC many years before, I had dreamt of working there and in the entertainment business. After I started my boss told me that they hired me because of my experience at WDW. My first concert at the venue was Dave Matthews Band and I remember standing next to the stage with the photographers amazed that I was there...I had landed my dream job at Target Center.

All good things must come to an end…eventually my position was eliminated and I had to find another job. But I will always cherish my memories and the friends that I made at Target Center. I was offered a job in Memphis, but I decided to stay and work at KARE 11 in Minneapolis. I wasn't sold on Memphis and I was also going to be in three weddings that summer (one being Amy's wedding, a roommate from Flordia.) Working at the station was a great experience, but there was always a part of me that missed the music business and yearned for more adventure and travel.

One night I was in SCF (my hometown) out with my friends and I ran into Mike, a family friend of my ex. This is one of those conversations in my life that I will never forget! Mike told me how he had moved to Portland, Oregon. As he described the city and his life, I instantly fell in love of the idea of moving West and being a free-spirit like Mike. However how could I, Amy Carrier, quit my job and move West…impossible?! Well, things have a way of working themselves out…whether I knew it or not, my heart held on to the idea of Portland. I went on vacation with my family to the West Coast in the summer of 2007 and I visited Portland for the first time. After the trip, my mom asked me out of all of the cities that we visited which city would I choose to live in…I said I loved Seattle and San Fran, but Portland seemed like a good fit for me.

Crazy circumstances unfolded and within one month from the trip, I landed the Marketing Manager position at the Rose Quarter and had moved to Oregon. As chance had it, Stevie D a former co-worker from Target Center happen to be in Portland working on the Aerosmith tour. My first weekend in town I met him out at the Good Foot for a drink and while I was at the bar I ran into Mike (the guy who originally put the Portland idea in my head.) How crazy, right?!?

My life continues to get crazy, about a year later one of my best friends Marty (who I met in Minneapolis and through connections at Target Center) decided to move to Portland and we became roommates. The next few years in Portland were amazing…filled with good friends, love, adventure, good food, amazing lattes and much, much more! As chance would have it, two of those friends I met in Portland happened to be Mike and Laura. I was so sad (and envious) when they told me that they were moving to New Zealand last year.

Less than a year later, circumstances in my life led me to the decision to take the leap and follow my dream of living abroad. So I turned in my notice at the arena, packed up my apartment and moved to New Zealand with Mike and Laura. So fast forward to last week, I was sitting in a cafe with my new roommate, Richard, drinking a latte and I picked up an entrainment magazine. I flipped to the back cover and saw an ad for Stone Temple Pilots in Auckland. Seeing that ad made me feel nostalgic and miss the life I once had. Later that night I went home and surfed Facebook (just like anyone does when they are missing home) and I noticed that my friend Stevie D was in Sydney (where I had been one week earlier.) So I shot him a message and asked who he was on tour with and if he would be stopping in New Zealand. Turns out, he is the tour manager for STP and was going to be in NZ that weekend. It is funny how things work out, because less than a week later I was up in Auckland rockin' to STP and then enjoying cocktails with the crew, band and my new roommate in the hotel bar after the show.

Coming off a great weekend we headed back to the Mount and I have enjoyed three amazing days at the beach with my new German (which ironically is the language I took in high school and college) roommates. Marcus taught me how to surf and we have also enjoyed beach volleyball pick-up games with Germans, Argentinians and a guy from France. I never thought this would be my life…ever! I got the call yesterday that I would begin fruit packing on Friday, so I am headed to Hamilton to move my mattress and pick up the rest of my stuff from the Knapps. On the way to Hamilton, I stopped by Hobbiton and chatted with the woman about the filming of the movie. She gave me the name of the production company, so I am going to make a few calls and see if there is any chance to get a job. If I have learned anything, everything happens for a reason and no dream is too big.

I tend to ramble and sometimes divulge too much personal information. However my point of sharing all of this with you, is so you will understand me when I say…that even though I don't have a plan, I see the light. I am starting to give up the unnecessary worry and stress that I have carried around for so long. I am going to stop worrying about the details and how to get to the end goal, because living in the moment, enjoying each day and doing what I love is the goal. This approach to life is what will give me balance, peace and happiness.

You may all think I am crazy and in all honesty, I don't really care if you do. I think I have found the secret to life…don't just live it, truly LIVE IT! When others doubt you or think your dreams are out of reach, don't listen. Keep them close to your heart and be confident in yourself. Look at every situation as an opportunity and appreciate every person you meet…you never know how they will impact your life. Not everyone has to go to the Southern Hemisphere to have an epiphany, but that is part of my journey and is the path for me to see the light.

The view I had this morning from the Mount.


  1. Amazing Amy! What a testament to your true spirit to chase down your dream. I am reminded of a quote from Paulo Cuelho's "The Alchemist" which says, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I think this is just another example of this theory proved out in real life. Keep going Amy Carrier!

  2. Love it Amy! I feel like I am going through the same thing. Your words made me feel a lot better as I'm having the same stress living abroad and trying to come up w/ a plan and dealing w/ others back home who think I'm nuts for doing this. Love you and I'm glad you're happy!

  3. I am so proud of you Amy, and happy that you know know the "why"! Living for you and not caring what others think of your choices is such an accomplishment! Love you, and although we miss you tons, we couldn't be happier for you! See you when I see you!!