Words | Brooke Mazurek Images | Paige Mazurek
I. New York, New Job, And A Shaman-Induced Escape
Three months before I turned 28, I quit my job, packed up my apartment in Brooklyn, and wrote a five-page letter to Russ, my boyfriend of four years and a man I still loved deeply, explaining why we needed to break up.
The question I was so often asked when people found out I was dating a musician was, “What else does he do?” Did he teach music or play in a wedding band? Bartend or waiter and then gig at clubs after work? “Even if he had a desk job, he could still identify as a musician,” my Mom once said to me. It reminded me of my homestay mom in Costa Rica who years earlier had served me a plate of pork when I was still a vegetarian. “Don’t worry,” she had whispered. “I won’t tell anyone if you eat it.”
Stability was the word so often thrown around by our parents, but for Russ, stability lay in the singularity of his commitment to something so unstable. There wasn’t and wouldn’t ever be anything other than music. And against all odds, he was now bracing himself to spend 300 days a year for the next two years touring the world with a hugely successful band. All while I was preparing to throw my own stability out the window.