Falling with style into 2017

tony de la rosa

There’s something I haven’t written about in a while: my life.

Not that my life is all that interesting, but I’ve been ‘quiet’ through most of 2016 and haven’t talked or written much about what’s been happening. That’s because there have been major changes that have both kept me busy and had me fighting an internal battle over my future and my past identity.

It all started when…

In October of 2015 my position at Samick Music Corp. was eliminated. Though I had immediate job opportunities elsewhere, I didn’t want to relocate for work and quite frankly I started to question if I actually wanted to stay in the same industry. So, after much thought, I decided I didn’t want to go back into that world, and that whatever I did, I wouldn’t go back to working in a similar corporate situation.

Changes…turn and face the strange

So, I changed the entire direction of my life for the past few decades and decided to go into real estate. I know, what a change. From the fun and chaos of the music world to the suit and tie conservative lifestyle of a real estate agent. Not quite. You can take the guy out of the entertainment world, but you can’t take the entertainment world out of the guy. So, yes, I do real estate, but it’s cool, and I get to be me.

It’s always about working with the right people

I connected with a cool real estate team…no, I connected with the coolest real estate team in the industry. They took me under their wing, taught me the business, and I will never be able to properly thank them. Ever. They took a chance on an unknown. They had faith. They saved me and my family from starvation. I love them for what they’ve done for me, and I don’t care how sappy that sounds.

Not an easy transition

Yes, I’ll admit it was a hard transition both financially and mentally. I didn’t have a pay check for eight months, and the savings and emergency funds were gone. We almost lost the house and everything else in our name. Kids had to go on free and reduced lunch at school because we couldn’t afford food. And then there was the battle inside my head. I struggled with the entire ‘music world to real estate’ transition. What would people think? Did I sell out? give up? start selling real estate as a last resort? Wait a minute, since when did I start caring about what people think? Tough times.

Crawling out the other side

Through it all, God provided what we needed. He was (and still is) truly faithful. I was on my knees in prayer daily, reading a Proverb a day. At the end of every month after I finished reading Proverbs 31, I’d pray ‘thank you Lord for getting us through another month.’ Friends and family showered us with blessings, anonymous gifts would show up, and just when we didn’t know what we would do for the next dollar…some magical miracle would come our way. And then there’s my wife. My beautiful wife, who held me up when I was leaning, caught me when I was falling and always, even on my worst day had a smile that made me forget how bad things really were. Or maybe they weren’t that bad after all, we had out health, our kids, and the Lord Jesus on our side.

Standing back on solid ground…well, more solid than last year.

So, here we are 15 months later and things are different. I’ve reinvented who I am (well, let’s say I’m a work in progress), I’m a better man, I’m working with a great team of people, and for the first time in years, I’m excited about the future. A year ago I never thought this day would come.

Getting here from there

As with most stories or situations of this sort, it’s easy (or maybe not so easy) to look back and see the bloody trail you left behind. And as much as I wouldn’t want to go through it again, I’m overjoyed for the experience and realize that I couldn’t be here in this great place now if I didn’t go through the hardship to get here. Think about that the next time you’re in a challenging situation. Think about what it will be like when you come out on the other side. Remember that as much as it hurts, one day soon, it’s going to hurt less. Remember that nothing great in this world happens without hard work, focus, love, and prayer.

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