A Grand Update


Last week, I posted a selfie on Instagram.

Side note, I can't believe that the word, "selfie," is a casual word in our vocabulary now. I always mocked it, even naming a Facebook photo album after it, thinking it would go away. But, no. If I said, "self-taken photo," or "front-facing photo," it would be strange. It's called a selfie now. This is life. ANYWAY.

I posted a selfie with a disgusting caption (I always do, to offset the shitbag girls who post quotes or proverbs with their faces. Offsets it, at least for me.) I was surprised to get an influx of messages asking "where I'd been."

I shouldn't be too shocked, as I used to have a prominent social media presence. But a couple things happened: I left the media industry that required a lot of self-promotion, and thus: had no more content to beg for attention. And I fell madly in love with the greatest man on this earth, so I was moreso living in the real world. Regardless, I had the intention to keep going with some sort of blog or personal project. After all, the primary reason that I ever got into media, was to entertain and inform. I still wanted to have that outlet, and came up with a perfect idea!

Fast forward to the present, it has been FOUR years. I had my epiphany in autumn of 2013. For my perfect idea, I wanted to take some time to really get my ducks in line, and execute a captivating project. As I wrote more and more on paper, I began to get a little nervous about exposing my vision to the cruel internet, so then I kinda/sorta converted into a mode of wanting to make sure everything was flawless. Which meant I was either going to have to work with people, or spend time and money on equipment and classes. Between auto-show-traveling and the restaurant industry, I had been working a lot, and I didn't know how I was going to take this on. Not to mention that this was supposed to be fun, by making it on my own, without others' help.

2015 rolled around, and holy shit: I was so happy. My boyfriend and had a great home together, my body was looking more feminine from eating well and being active, and I wasn't living paycheck to paycheck. My mom's medication made her Hepatitis C dormant, and although she was still sick and I had to take on a lot of burdens, it was a step in a positive direction of hope. I updated this website, I had a GoPro courtesy of a bday gift from my buddy, and I had a new, careless outlook about putting my project online. I didn't give a flying fuck about pleasing anyone-- this was supposed to be FOR ME.

Then 2016 fucked me in the ass with a pineapple. The year started out great: on NYE I received an atomic wedgie, and I didn't wake up until 4:30pm on Jan 1st, which meant I was greeted by a beautiful sunset:


Then, my mom died a few days later.

It wasn't a complete surprise, but we thought we had a little more time! The next few months became a whirlwind. Losing a parent is hard enough, but my siblings and I had to take on a mountain of responsibilities that we were not prepared for. My younger sister has autism, and receives some benefits from social security. We didn't know how any of that worked. My mom had a loan, medical bills, and debt totaling around $100K. (The loan being $65K of it.) What the fuck do we do with that? And even immediately after her passing, there were all the questions about if she had any existing policies, or life insurance, or trust funds. We didn't even know what she wanted for her funeral: what songs, what colors, what did she want to prayer card to say?! It was bad enough not knowing, but to never have had these kinds of talks with her, made me feel like a guilty piece of shit.

With auto show season, the busiest part takes place from mid-January through mid-March. Don't ask me why, but most auto shows across the country take place within these two months. I had to cancel one show, but I was back to work a week and a half after her death. And then I had a few more bookings up until April. Trying to juggle this situation on the road was very trying on me. But it was also healing to be at work, because the auto show circuit is filled with a bunch of lovely clowns. Just about everyone is a personality, and to be amongst kind souls was a ticket to keeping sane.

When traveling was done, I had to take on a newly-inherited house, and all the bullshit of being a homeowner. I consolidated any remaining debt from my mom and took out a new loan. The pool needed a new liner, a huge tree fell down in the backyard, landscaping landscaping landscaping, home repair home repair home repair. Then we received a letter from social security that some forms were missing, or not filled out, and we owed them back $15K. What the actual fuck!

Needless to say, my website and project were not the priority.

As the year came to an end, everything got resolved and figured out, for the most part. I think. And then auto show season started up again. I had a lot of great cities to look forward to, and I was starting to find a balance between the clusterfuck of family responsibilities that was given to me all at once, and work. What I know now, but didn't know then, was that this balance did not include personal time into the equation. Off to work I went!

In November, my boyfriend's family endured a tragedy. His younger brother was shot in a senseless act, and when his dad got to the hospital, he (Dad) suffered a stroke and heart attack. His father passed a week later. I was home for December to mourn, but went back to work after Christmas. All in the meantime, his brother was experiencing complication after complication.

The way my schedule was set up, I had little time between shows from January- April. By the time I was finished with the season, my brain was jelly. I was so burnt out. Although I had time for leisure while I was in other cities, I did not have much of a social life at home. Simple concentration tasks became excruciating challenges. Short term memory was non-existent. Bags under my eyes constantly. And my body looked like a cereal box again. Fuckin A.

Thankfully, my restaurant job is flexible, and my boss was accommodating when I requested to only work 3 days a week. My boyfriend's brother was SLOWLY, but surely, getting better. I had time to go to the gym, and prepare more plant-based meals. I hung out with my 3 best girlfriends. I returned calls and texts. I could feel my heart begin to feel warmth again. I could feel my brain beginning to focus.

Over this past summer (2017), I really got my hands in the dirt. Although I obtained some landscaping skills the previous summer, I had never planted a garden and created life (and also murdered many weeds). Even up to my mom's last beats, she was out in her yard whenever she could. I felt it was an homage, within the fence-line, to take care of whatever I could. So, I took a lot of pride in successfully growing a garden, albeit small: carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, and green peppers. My mom had all these little sections around the yard, and they needed to be cleaned up. It was very rewarding to be out there, but also very emotional. It's difficult and taxing on the body. And my mom did that shit year and after year, even while sick. And I never got out there with her. Despite the tears in the soil, it was such a good thing for me.

I kicked the yard's ass this summer. Or maybe it kicked mine?

So... that's where I've been.

It's mid-October now, and I have my first auto show location, for this season, in 10 days. I feel relaxed now. I feel intelligent now. I feel healthy now. I am no longer EXHAUSTED. With that said, maybe I can start having some fun! I say maybe, because it seems that every time I make an announcement on the web, shit hits the fan, and I need to put my project on the back-burner. If anything, at least I'll have time to make some blog entries.