Backstage at Letterman with Keegan-Michael Key

 

Key and Peele on David Letterman

This is not a story about my famous friend, but rather a story about the friend of someone famous and she made a change.

Last week heartbreak happened. This week, it’s still there in the backdrop. I have never been a “quick to get over sh*t” kinda’ gal if my heart was truly touched. But, for one night, I shared in something amazing with a dear friend.

Let’s set the scene: Two weeks ago, my friend Keegan-Michael Key asks me to join him for his Key and Peele appearance on Letterman. “Ummm yes!” I respond. I am so proud of him. Of course I will be there.

I was also excited because I was dating this awesome guy and he was visiting for Columbus Day weekend. I would be able to share in this experience with my amazing boyfriend and Keegan-Michael Key—my dear friend of 20 years (yes, we’ve been friends for that long,). What could be better, right?

Well, cut to break-up.

Even better, cut to me, heading into Late Show–the historic backstage of the Ed Sullivan Theater, by myself.

I was expecting the normal celeb entourage, but when I arrived in the greenroom my friend was alone—no entourage, and no ego, but rather my sweet, real-deal friend Keegan greeting me with his trademark best hug on earth. Now if you have read my blog for a hot second or know me, then you know that I am always talking about:

SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO RAISE YOU UP.

Di Ana with Keegan and Peele at David Letterman

And I couldn’t drive this point home enough. It’s a necessity. Keegan-Michael Key lives this message and that night I was struck by just how many life-long friends were there to support him.

When you are famous, close that big deal, write that book, etc. everyone wants a piece of you. Which choices do you make? Who do you trust?

Well, start now. Who you surround yourself with impacts ((everything)).

Also, I was reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule described as the amount of time it takes to achieve mastery in a field. Keegan chose to get the best training possible, work in improv to hone his skills, and keep going, no matter the odds.

Side note: I did a play with Keegan, back in the day, and I think we got paid $175 a week. Maybe. And he was always in it to win it—always.

Here’s the deal: While putting in your 10,000 hours you also have to learn to manage adversity, keep opting in, handle rejection and create meaningful relationships—that’s a mastery of its very own.

Keegan extends this kind of commitment to all areas of his life. He has built a strong marriage for over 15+ years and I firmly believe it has given him a grounded foundation for his successes.

Do you create long-term relationships whether it be with a lover, friend, co-worker—you name it, or do you “change the channel” when you get bored or the going gets tough?

I also started to think about my own 10,000 hours. Am I logging those hours as I continue to turn people’s breakdowns into breakthroughs? Am I willing to invest my lifetime to get my book published? Do I throw in the towel after heartbreak or do I keep risking?

I have to stay in the 10,000 hours game on the road to mastery, in all areas of my life.

If you really want to have it all: COMMIT your 10,000 hours. As we navigate, we often fight feelings that sound like this:

  • Who am I? Umm … nobody special.
  • I’m not pretty enough, good enough, thin enough, [insert any enough concept that hits home for you].
  • I’ll never reach that level of success. Who am I kidding?

And the shame keeps pouring out. Been there? You are not alone. I talk with clients about this all the time. And, let me tell you, these feelings were with me full force as I entered the Entertainment Weekly party with Keegan. It happens to all of us—even the ones like me, who give the advice.

But as we walked down the stairs of the Crosby Street Hotel, something came over me. Maybe it was being with amazing, grounded friends, or maybe it was that Keegan‘s authenticity is infectious.

Or maybe I got out of my own way, but I changed the channel.

I’m not famous. I’m not a tall model. Actually, I’m pretty tiny as you can see…

 

Di Ana with Keegan and Peele

And, just like that, I had an amazing time being “me.”

Most importantly, I learned that you should never make people more important than you. Keep it all real and equal—period.

If I lead with my work to turn breakdowns into breakthroughs, use my provocative thoughts to help others have purpose driven lives, build compassion and understanding, while living my own mission out loud, then I really am logging my 10,000 hours—DiStyle.

The DiStyle 10,000 hours: Investing the time to build all the areas in your life—not just your career.

As this special evening came to an end, I put my key in the door and came home to my two amazing dogs, Gazpacho & Chèvre.

Gazpacho & Chèvre

And, yes, heartbreak is still in the backdrop. Of course, I was wishing I had a man to share in the excitement with. 

But my wishing turned to hope.

Hope that in changing my limiting beliefs and showing up for myself I can have all the things I desire—the relationship, the career and the family—Volvo, book tour, baby monitor, and all, accompanied by amazing, grounded friends for another 20+ years, along the way.

And just in case you missed it…watch these masters do their thing. It’s hashtag legendary. #Nosarcasmorirony #BroHug #BestTopTenListEver #OlympicEnergy #ComicGenius

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